If you know me, you probably know that my roommate and I are attached at the hip. We’re always laughing together, and we just get each other. I thank the universe all the time to have blessed me with a roommate who is one of my closest friends. I know a lot of incoming freshmen have the expectation that they’ll become best friends with their roommate, but the reality is that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, your roommate may be a suitable co-inhabitant and nothing more, and that’s perfectly fine if that’s what you’re looking for. Other times, your roommate’s personality and habits may clash with yours in a way that creates tension or small scuffles. This is unavoidable sometimes, but I’d like to think that there’s a way to minimize the possibility of winding up in one of those horror stories we’ve all heard or in a living arrangement you’re not satisfied with. After having heard both success and horror stories, I’d like to offer a few tips on finding your ideal freshman year roommate. I want to mention that this is by no means a foolproof guide that will give you the results you want –just some tips that might help!
My roommate and I!
- Use roommate search Facebook Groups
There was a Vanderbilt Class of 2020 Girls’ Roomies Facebook group I was in before I came to college where people posted short summaries about themselves to try to find a roommate. If you found someone who had similar interests as yourself, you could reach out to them and chat more over messaging. I think this was a pretty useful tool to not only find a potential roommate, but also to become acquainted with your class. Obviously, it’s hard to really get to know someone without meeting them in person, but a little profile stalking can usually give you an indication of someone’s hobbies and personality.
My year, people created different GroupMe’s to connect ethnically, academically, and geographically similar people. For example, there were GroupMe’s for people from various states, of different ethnicities, for those planning on rushing, for people in certain areas of study, etc. Personally, I found my roommate through the premed GroupMe. Looking back, I’m glad I did because not only do we share academic interests, but also a certain set of values that unite us in a particular way that I can’t exactly put into words. As an added bonus, since we take many of the same classes, we can help each other study!
- Use other online platforms
When I was looking for a roommate, I used a site called Roomsurf that a lot of people used to find roommate matches. You put in your school and answer a series of questions, and at the end, you get a list of people who match you to a certain percentage. You can then message them on the site or through social media.
- Go to Vandy networking events
Vandy usually hosts events in cities across the country for accepted students to get to know each other. These events are a good way to make some friends and possibly find a roommate. If you were accepted, look out for an email in the spring about attending one of these events in a city nearby.
I know many people who went random and it worked out perfectly. If you’re not really into the whole “online dating” thing and are feeling adventurous, leaving it up to Vandy to pair you up with someone might be the way to go. Follow your conscience!
Above all, I think it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be the same person as someone else to be good roommates or good friends, even. If you have certain qualities you would like in a roommate, you can limit your options that way, but it’s ultimately up to you to make the final judgement. Your living arrangement will be a big part of your life in college, so I encourage you to take the time to get to know some of your classmates before arriving. This should be an exciting process, so cherish it!
I hope this post was helpful, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at [email protected]! Anchor down!
How to find the perfect roommate
Finding a roommate and finding the perfect roommate are two different things. The latter typically requires more time and effort but is very much worth it. A perfect roommate means fewer problems and hassles, a more harmonious lifestyle and possibly a new friend. Here are a few tips to find your perfect roommate.
- Tap into personal networks: The people you know have similar interests and lifestyles so there is a higher chance to find a perfect roommate in that group compared to a pool of strangers found through a website.
- Use detailed searches: Be specific about what you want in a roommate.
- Meet in person: Internet interactions never provide the full picture of a person. Make sure to meet with them to get a better take on the person.
- Discuss finances and expectations: Two big issues that often cause problems between roommates are how expenses are to be handled and what is expected of each person. It’s important to discuss how rent and utilities will be paid as well as noise preferences, having people over, significant others spending the night, how cleaning will be handled, etc. By to discussing such topics you weed out people who may have a great personality but aren’t a match in lifestyle.
- Research prospective roommates: A simple Google search can provide relevant information a potential roommate may not be willing to share. For example, key in on a criminal history to avoid someone who might be dangerous or look for social media outlets as a way to find out if you have the same or different political ideals.
Now once you do find your perfect roommate remember that to keep said roommate around you have to be a good, if not perfect, roommate yourself.
How to find a roommate safely
With an increase in scams, it’s important to conduct a roommate search as safely as possible.
- Use safe websites: Opt for websites that screen out possible scam artists such as RoomieMatch.com.
- Take safety precautions: Take a friend when meeting in person with your prospective roommates.
- Check criminal history: Before meeting them, check potential roommates’ criminal history to make sure they do not pose a threat and are safe to meet.
How to find a good roommate on Craigslist
Craigslist is a trendy way to find everything from a free couch to a new roommate, but it is also notorious for scams and people who may not be the safest to be around. It can be a good way to find the perfect roommate when used correctly.
- Use bullet lists: People often avoid long paragraphs so maintain their attention and get the facts across go with bullets instead of paragraphs, if possible.
- Meet in person: Don’t fill out any paperwork or complete any form of transaction without meeting in person first.
- Write about your interests: Individuals who share your interests are more likely to respond to those types of posts while those that don’t are discouraged even to try. Of course, remember not to share too much about yourself.