Tuesday, March 30, 2010
How to Select Roommates You Can Live With
It's that time of year: roommate selection. Some of you college kids may already be done with deciding who to live with for another year, but for those of you that aren't, take these seven tips to heart.
(This is Part 1 of 2-- there will be another post on how to get along with your roommate(s)).
Be Wary of Best Friends
I know a few people who decided to room with their best buddy and it took a huge toll on their relationship-- as in some of them aren't even talking anymore. You may love this person, but you've never lived with them, and that can tear you two apart. Rooming with your BFF sounds like a great idea now, but you have to consider the little things that bother you-- they may become very big things-- and your general lifestyles.
Give Everyone a Chance
If you're in a situation where you're going to end up choosing someone you don't know, be especially open to your options. Meet everyone you can that fits most of your criteria, even if they seem a little strange. That chick who seems a little too into Anime might be a better match for than you think.
Compromise-- But Not Too Much
I advocate compromising for a lot of situations, but rooming is one I'm very reluctant about. You have to live with someone for a whole year, so don't feel bad for being adamant about certain things. If you don't want to live with a drinker, don't. If you don't want to live in a suite, don't. If you'd really prefer a certain building, find someone who wants the same. You deserve to be happy. On the other hand, realize that you might not get exactly what you want. Make a list prioritizing what you want in a rooming situation and be willing to bend a bit on the ones farther down the list.
Also: be upfront about your priorities. You wouldn't want too many surprises, and neither will your roommate.
Ask People In Classes and Clubs
You'll probably share a few interests with the people you see in class and extracurricular activities. They might be looking for a roommate, too, so it can't hurt to ask.
Some of you may disagree with this advice, but it's totally legal. Some people put a whole lot of information about themselves online, so Facebook can be a decent gauge of character. You can see what their interests are, what they're a fan of, what they're doing in their pictures. I doubt many people alter their Facebooks to be appealing to potential roomies, so you're probably going to get a genuine peek into their world.
Some schools offer co-ed rooms, so don't write this option off your list. I know a lot of ladies who say they find it easier to get along with guys than girls, and vice versa. It couldn't hurt to try, right?
... you're not necessarily looking for a soul mate. The person you choose doesn't have to be perfect or turn into the best friend you could've dreamed of. My boyfriend's best roommate in our three years of college was probably the guy he only talked to about three times in one year. They weren't friends, but they were both neat, quiet, and respected each others' space. In the end, you're not looking for a friend, you're looking for someone to share space with on a daily basis, and those two things are very different.
How did you choose your roommates?