It’s that time of year to start thinking about housing plans for next year! Are you going to live on campus or off campus? Do you have a friend in mind to live with, or are you searching for a new roommate? This is the perfect time to start making decisions about next year, especially if you are going to be signing a lease off campus.
Choosing a roommate is a very important task, but can sometimes be very tricky. It’s natural to think that you and your three best friends would have a blast living together, but living together is very different from just hanging out all the time. Does your best friend have an annoying habit that just drives you crazy? If so, living with them may cause you to notice that habit even more often, and can lead to fights. As Chapter 2 of the Freshman Survival Guide says, there are little things we ignore about our friends because we care about the friendship more, but when it’s a roommate doing something that bothers you, you need to feel comfortable speaking up.
With that in mind, think about how you’re going to choose a roommate. Does your university have a roommate matching service that you can use? Are you searching around on Facebook groups or planning to put an ad in the paper? Whatever method you use to find a roommate, remember that honesty is key. Tell your potential roommate things you do and don’t like, and what you’re like as a roommate. Don’t say that you keep your room spotless and like cleanliness when the truth is you clean your room once a week and let everything pile up in between. If there is something that makes you uncomfortable such as significant others spending the night or drinking in the room, say so! You owe it to both yourself and your potential roommate to be honest so that each of you can find a roommate that you will be happy living with, not one that will have you calling your mom every day complaining.
If you do end up living with someone you don’t already know, plan to get to know them before you move in together! If you live on campus, most universities will tell you your roommates ahead of time. Send them a message introducing yourself and asking about them. Plan together how you will decorate your room or which big items you will bring. If you have a fridge, could they bring a microwave? If they have a TV, could you bring your PS4? Having these conversations ahead of time will prevent an overcrowded room, and help both of you cut down on costs. Roommates are an important part of the college experience, so do your homework and plan ahead!