Besides a brother or a sister, the first person you’ll be sharing a room with is probably your college roommate. While movies and TV shows sometimes make living with a roommate look like loads of fun, the truth is that being stuck in a small room with someone day in and day out has its challenges. To make living with a roommate in college a little easier, it helps to know how to find a roommate you can get along with, and what it takes to keep from getting on each other’s nerves for the next nine months.
Finding the Right Roommate for Your First Year Away
Some colleges go the traditional route of assigning you a roommate, and some have you fill out a form that lists your preferences and lifestyle habits so they can match you up with someone compatible. If your chosen school lets you do the research to find a college roommate, here are some options you may want to explore:
A high school friend. If you’re attending the same college as a friend you grew up with or went to high school with, you may have already shared plenty of sleepovers and know each other’s habits. And it would be comforting to live with someone you know since it’s your first time away from home. Just remember that if you’re already great friends, living with each other could change that. Annoying habits and brutal moments of honesty will rear their ugly heads, so if your friendship can’t handle that, steer clear of rooming with someone you already know.
A roommate finder website. On sites like Roomsurf.com, Roomsync on Facebook, or possibly on your college’s website, you can fill out a profile about yourself or answer questions about what you hope to find in a college roommate. Be honest. Do you like to stay up late? Okay with sharing food or other items? Can’t stand a messy room? Be upfront, and let he or she know!
After syncing your answers together, these apps can find incoming students who match your preferences, hopefully ending up with a few people you could live with. After they’re narrowed down, you should be able to send them a message and get to know them before making a final decision.
Mutual friends. You may be able to find someone in need of a roommate by asking around at school or on social media. It might be nice to find out the scoop on potential roommates by speaking to mutual friends who know what it might be like to live with that person.
How to Make Living with a Roommate in College Easy?
Hopefully, once you find a college roommate, you’ll get along great. But just in case, here are some tips to help your transition go smoothly.
Be upfront about your expectations. If you find out that the student who said he was a non-smoker is actually a smoker, or that he lied about liking to stay up late, bring it up in a conversation right from the start. Staying quiet about something that bugs you is just going to cause friction in your room, possibly affect your grades, and make the year to seem a lot longer.
Give some space. Remember, your roommate chose you based on your profile answers too. So, be as considerate as you said you’d be, keep your space as clean as you would like him or her to keep theirs and understand the need for a quiet room while he or she is studying. Doing your part to build a mutually respectful relationship will help establish a courteous environment throughout the room.
Have fun together. Yes, you and your roommate should be serious about getting good grades. But building a friendship is also key to living happily together all year. So, grab a bite for dinner, shop for some new things for your room, or find a club that you both enjoy. Finding some things in common, and being able to laugh together, may help you become friends for years to come.
Building Your List of Things to Take to College? Don’t Forget a Mattress Topper!
You’ll need a mini-fridge, a desk lamp, and other dorm room necessities that are fun to shop for. But the most important thing you’ll need in college is a comfortable bed to rest your tired mind at night. Dorm mattresses are hard, dirty, and just not as cozy as you’re used to. Ask your parents for a DormTopper mattress pad to take to school with you. It’s made of all natural New Zealand wool, gel-infused memory foam, and bamboo quilting for a cushiony, breathable sleep surface that will help you get the rest you need.
Still not convinced a mattress topper can change how you perform academically? Download From Zs to As: A Guide to Better Sleep and Better Grades, and learn about the overlapping impact of sleep and academic success. Trust us – your future will thank you for it.