California — With the spring semester wrapping up and Fall 2021 approaching soon, college students are beginning their search for a roommate now. But how are you supposed to pick a roommate without ever meeting them first?! If you don't want to leave it up to your school or the universe to pair you with someone, you could take it into your own hands.
I had to go through the same process a couple years ago when I started college. It was already pretty rough during pre-pandemic times, but it’s definitely much harder now. So here’s my tips and tricks on finding a roommate.
- Where to find potential roommates
Most schools have some sort of housing portal where you can search for other people who are also looking for roommates. So you can connect with other students at your school that way.
If your school doesn’t have an online portal, check to see if there is an official Facebook group for the class of 2025 at your college, or general housing Facebook groups for your school. So yes, you might need to resort to creating a Facebook account for the sake of finding a roommate.
But listen, Facebook groups can be a great way to read a little bit about potential roommates and message them to try and get to know them a bit better before making a commitment. And be sure to upload your own profile with a picture of yourself and a little bio so others can get to know you as well.
- What you should look for in a roommate
Are you a morning or night person? Do you like to study alone or with a group? Do you have a job outside of school? What time are your classes? Are you messy or like to keep things tidy? These are all great questions you should be asking yourself before choosing a roommate.
Once you evaluate your own living and study habits, be upfront about these things with potential roommates and ask them their living/study habits too. This way you can pair up with someone who meshes well with your own lifestyle. Trust me, you don’t want to be sharing a room with someone who likes to be up until 4am every night playing music, while you have to be up the next morning for class at 8 a.m.
- Connect and bond on social media
This goes hand-in-hand with the last tip. After messaging people on the online portal or Facebook group, exchange Instagram and Snapchats with people you think you vibe with. That way, you can get to know each other a little bit better and an easy way to stay connected and communicate with one another.
- Verify that your new roomie is REAL
The internet is a very big place, and can sometimes be kinda scary. Remember to always be careful when finding a roommate online. You want to make sure that they are actually a student at your school, and in general just who they say they are.
Video call with them beforehand, don’t meet them for the first time alone, and ask them questions that only people who go to your school would know. Safety first!
- Not everyone you meet will be ideal to live with
So you find someone that you really click with and feel like there’s a budding friendship in the making. But they have some qualities you don’t share. Like maybe they like to do their homework late at night and you like to have it all done early in the day. That lamp in the room is sure to stay on all night when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Remember that just because you hit it off with someone as friends during your roommate search, it doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Sometimes rooming with your friends isn’t the best idea. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that.