Student Life

College Life: Finding the Perfect Roommate

The perfect roommate is out there -- you just have to know where to look.

Student Contributor, Aleena Islam

May 15, 2022

One of our student contributors shares her tips for finding the perfect roommate in college.
College Life: Finding the Perfect Roommate
Dorms and college housing are key facets of the college experience. While living with a roommate is one of the most anticipated parts of college, it can be scary to share a small space with someone who you’ve likely never met, much less lived with, before.  Having a compatible roommate is essential to a positive college experience. You don’t need to be best friends but being friendly can enhance your time in college tenfold. If you’re unsure of where to begin looking for a roommate, you’ve come to the right place! 

People You Know

You’ve probably been warned to stay away from living with your friends in college. This has some truth to it, but it is absolutely not an end-all, be-all. In some cases, rooming with a high school friend can be quite fulfilling.
However, it’s still best to use some caution if you’re looking to room with a friend. Keep in mind your compatibility as roommates. Your best friend may not necessarily be your best roommate. Consider sleep schedules, work ethics, cleanliness, and overall compatibility of lifestyles. I roomed with one of my high school friends and it was a great experience; we had similar mindsets, so it worked out well! Additionally, try expanding your network and see if you may be comfortable with rooming with a friend of a friend, or another distant relation. This may be preferred for some people as you won’t be rooming with a close friend, but you still have some knowledge of this person and how well you’ll get along.

Facebook/Instagram

In the age of social media, look no further than your phone for finding your roommate! In my experience, there are usually a plethora of Facebook groups, Instagram pages, GroupMe’s, and more, made specifically for the incoming class. You’ll likely be able to find a roommate-specific Facebook page or group chat as well. Within these chats, people will list their roommate qualities that you can scroll through to find someone you may be compatible with.
Don’t be shy to make your post and be the first one to reach out to others! Everyone’s looking to meet new people and find their dream roommate, so put yourself out there.

Roommate Apps (Patio, Roomsurf)

There are tons of apps and programs for matching compatible roommates out there! I’ve found that some apps are more popular at certain schools compared to others. For example, many of the students at my college used Patio to find potential roommates. Patio is primarily a messaging app, but the roommate-matching forums are very successful.  Other apps include Roomsurf which uses a quiz to match similar people, and The Roomie App, which functions similar to a dating app but for roommates.

Themed Dorms 

In some colleges, dorms may be reserved for specific demographics. Themed dorms can include all-female dorms, minority dorms, and academic dorms for honors or scholarship students. These dorms often have a special roommate-matching program where you can search within a smaller pool of people.

Next Steps

Once you’ve found a few people you can see yourself living with, it may be beneficial to conduct a “roomie interview” of sorts. Don’t be alarmed–it’s much less formal than your typical interview! When I say roommate interview, I’m referring to a casual conversation where you both get to know one another. It can be in person if you’re mutual acquaintances, but it’ll most likely occur online, like many things these days do. Just get to know one another and discuss what you’re looking to gain from your roommate and college experience. Use this opportunity as a chance to go beyond the basics of sleep schedules, cleanliness, and academic interests and see whether you’ll be compatible. Talk about everything and anything you can think of! Some questions to ask: • How often do you plan to be in the dorm? • How often will you clean, and how would you like to split chores up? • How often do you think you’ll bring people over? • Are you open to sharing food, clothes, space, etc.? • How would you spend your time in the room (studying, relaxing, socializing, etc.)? Finding a roommate can be a daunting task, but I promise you that it all works out in the end! With the plethora of tools out there today for finding your perfect roommate, you will emerge successful. Good luck!

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