Students returning to campus have a great advantage over new students – they get to choose their own housing! And because you know yourself better than anyone, you will also have to choose who you are going to live with.
It is empowering for most students to be able to decide the type of environment and the individual(s) with whom to live which will shape their coming year. Still, some students struggle to decide who to live with either because there are too many or not enough options. Those challenged with roommate choices are encouraged to get the word out early that they’re pondering options. Planning is essential.
It is in your best interest in the process to select your roommate(s). If for some reason you do not have a roommate in March during Housing Selection, we will have a very limited number of rooms (called Option Rooms) for you to be placed with a random roommate. Without a roommate, your selection will be limited to the Option Rooms remaining.
Please read through this information carefully to assist you with finding a roommate for the upcoming year!
Below are helpful hints when talking to potential roommates.
- Discuss your sleeping habits (weekdays and weekend).
- What temperature you like the room to be (very warm, warm, cool, very cold?)
- Discuss what kind of sense of humor you have (silly, sarcastic, dry, etc.).
- What time do you typically come home (before 8pm, after midnight, etc.)? Discuss how to handle late night situations.
- Discuss issues about the noise level in the room (TV, music, studying, sleeping, etc.).
- How much TV do you watch and what kinds of shows do you like to watch? Discuss music favorites, décor tastes, and pet peeves.
- Discuss what state you like the room to be in (very neat, messy, etc.).
- Where do you like to study?
- What belongings of yours are you willing to share? If so, what are the ground rules?
- What are your thoughts on alcohol?
- Do you smoke? (Although smoking is not permitted in the residence halls, a smoker roommate may smell like smoke.)
- What are your spiritual or religious values?
- What are some of your habits a roommate might need to know?
- What guidelines should be set for guests in the room? Under what circumstances can someone else stay in the room?
BFF or a Fresh Start?
Whether deciding to join a new community, be more social, focus on academics, make new friends, or continue current experiences, most students face the age old decision – whether to live with a good friend or select a stranger.
Should you live with a friend?
Friends can be awesome roommates – as long as you really know (and are okay with) how they live. Having your friend as a roommate may be the choice for you because you already know you like this person and you have common interests. Living with your friend may also make things a lot easier. However, if you are easily annoyed by your friend’s habits, you should realize their way of doing things would just magnify once you live together. Maybe your friend loves to shop and has a ton of clothes she lets you borrow; but imagine having those dirty clothes thrown all over your residence hall room. Or what if your friend adores One Direction but he does not turn down the tunes while you are trying to study? Could these little habits cause so many problems you have to end your friendship? You need to decide if living together is worth the possible risk of losing a friend.
Advantages to Living With a Friend
- Living with a friend can be so much more comfortable than living with a stranger, especially at first. You’ll skip those pins-and-needles first days of trying to get used to each other.
- Even though college campuses are full of people, they can be very lonely places if you don’t know anyone. Live with a friend and you’ll always have someone you can count on.
- Residence hall room shopping is easier if you do it with a friend. You can decide who brings the rug, who brings the gaming console, and so forth.
- Friends are much more likely to share their stuff – clothes, food, or movies. It may be more awkward to borrow from a stranger.
Should you live with someone outside of your friend circle?
Like living with a friend, having a stranger for a roommate has its pros and cons. If you have a lot of disagreements, then you don’t have to worry about it damaging your long-term friendship. Another pro to living with a stranger is you can meet someone new and hopefully start another friendship. On the other hand, having a stranger for a roommate may cause more conflict than concord. What if the two of you are complete opposites? Perhaps you like to have friends over often, but your roommate is more of an introvert. Not having anything in common with and not knowing a lot about whom you live will require some more energy in the beginning.
Advantages To Living With an Acquaintance
- If you live with a stranger, there’s nothing to lose. If you don’t get along with the new acquaintance, the problem ends when you no longer live together. If you don’t get along with your friend, though, you can lose a friendship. Keep in mind that living with someone is different than just being a friend to someone, and people who are super compatible as friends might be horribly incompatible as roommates.
- If you live with a friend and have problems, you can put a strain on other friendships as well. You won’t be able to go to your friends and vent about your roommate problems, because the roommate in question is their friend as well!
- If you live with a stranger, you can go your own way and not see each other for a while. This can be a welcome break even if you two get along. If you live with a friend, however, there’s sometimes no getting away (which is not good if you’re not getting along).
- Having a friend to fall back on can make you too comfortable. Some people go to college their first year, hang out with their friends from high school, and don’t make an effort to know other people. Rooming with a stranger later can help you step outside your comfort zone and get to know new people.
- Living with a stranger can be a mind-opening and maturing experience. It forces you to learn to be accepting of someone who might be very different than you, and helps you learn to both assert yourself and compromise. After living with a stranger in a small space, it may make it a little easier living with a romantic partner when the time comes.