Housing At a Glance: Finding the Perfect Roommate

By Martin Hussey

With freshman housing selection just a few weeks away, it seems like the entire class of 2015 is on pins and needles with roommate drama. The coming weeks will inevitably be filled with jostling for the few remaining apartments in Henle, needless drama between people who may or may not live together and the frightening feeling that all of your friends have found roommates, leaving you all alone.

Yes, for freshmen, the housing selection process for sophomore year is both terrifying and stressful. Dramatic and confusing. Nerve-wracking and miserable. Fortunately for freshmen, 4E is beginning a series of posts, composed by those of us who have survived the process, with advice about how to navigate this stressful difficult process. Today’s post: how to pick your roommate for next year.

Picking roommates for sophomore year is the process that causes the most drama in the housing selection process. Friend groups jostle for who should be placed in which room. Current roommates must choose between living with each other or living with other people. Most of what makes the process of choosing a roommate so difficult is that everyone has a different idea of who they want to live with. And, since freshmen have only known each other for a semester, it’s difficult to know now what your friendship will look like a year from now. After the jump, we include some tips on finding the perfect roommate for next year so that you don’t end up rooming with The Roommate.

1. You don’t need to live with your best friend. While best friends often do live together, the slightest roommate conflict next year could ruin a wonderful friendship. People are often different people when you’re sharing a room with them than when you’re going out together. So, rather than rooming with your best friend, you might want to live with someone who shares your interests, schedule or temperament. Moral of the story: pick someone you’re compatible with, not someone who you have fun with. If you can achieve both, that’s even better.

2. You don’t have to live with your current roommate. Sometimes the people you find on CHARMS aren’t the best roommates, but they make excellent friends. Sometimes, it’s the reverse. If even one person expresses doubts about living with a certain group of people, it probably isn’t a good idea to room together next year.

3. Explore your extracurricular activities for your next roommate. Having similar interests and schedules can really help in the roommate search. Even if you aren’t particularly close now, the mere fact that you have similar interests can go a long way toward making next year great.

4. Look for friends of friends to room with. Sometimes, mutual connections can make the best roommates. If you feel like you won’t make a good roommate for your best friend, it may be a good idea to room with a friend of theirs that you don’t know as well. Having mutual friends means that you probably have a lot in common, and your schedules might be better suited to each other than with your mutual friend.

5. Pay attention to cleanliness. Whoever your future roommate is, pay attention to their level of cleanliness. Pairing a messy person and a clean person with each other, no matter how close they are, can drive a wedge between people. Plus, disputes about cleanliness can be magnified when it becomes necessary to clean bathrooms.

Check back next week when we’ll be outlining the best (and worst) of possibilites for sophomore housing.

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