Why this is one of the most important decisions
It’s getting to the point where students (especially freshman) will be looking for their future roommates to live with. If you’re lucky, you’ll just be living with your dorm roommate. In most cases though, you’ll be living with someone else and/or more people.
You will go into the year thinking it will be awesome, and for the most part it will be. However, how much fun you’ll have versus how frustrated you’ll get solely depends on the people you choose to live with. It’s a very important decision that needs to be broken down before being made.
Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a potential roommate is shared interests. My roommates and I are huge sports fanatics, and you’ll rarely see our TV without a college basketball game on (at least this time of year). We also like to do the same activities such as working out, playing video games and watching movies.
If you don’t have roommates with similar interests, it’s just simply not going to work out as well as it could. You can maybe try new things and make them try new things, but ultimately you will be on different pages for the year. It will also make conversations slightly awkward because you won’t be able to relate sometimes. So please, find someone who likes the same things.
While this is only a temporary decision, it’s a long one.
Try to pick someone you’ve known for and hung out with for a while. Yes, you will have your differences and your fair share of arguments, but for the most part you know who they are. At the end of the day, you will be glad you lived with them. There’s a difference between knowing someone for a while versus knowing someone for a while and hanging out with them a lot.
If you room with someone you’ve known, but didn’t hang out with all that much, be prepared for new experiences. You will learn a whole lot more about that person, some good and some bad. More often than not, I feel like it has a higher potential to lead to a bridge-like gap between the two. Just be careful about choosing a roommate you don’t know a lot about.
Try to choose roommates that are on the same or similar schedule as you. This can depend on what your class schedule looks like, and I’m not saying you have to have the same class times. However, have an idea of when your roommates like to go to bed and wake up. If you live with two night owls and you have an 8 a.m. every day, that could get old real quick. Similarly, if you don’t have to wake up until 10 a.m. and your roommate has an 8 a.m., be prepared to wake up and fall back asleep. None of this will apply to you if you’re a heavy sleeper, but for you light sleepers, this can make or break your roommate relationship status.
Once you find your roommates, don’t expect perfection. You must realize that no matter how close you are with the people you are about to live with, nothing will be perfect. When people say nobody’s perfect, they couldn’t be more right. What I mean by this is you will get annoyed at some of the things they do, especially if you haven’t lived with them previously.
When it comes to your roommates, you generally start to notice their flaws and their flaws only. It can get to a point where you don’t even appreciate anything they do well. It will irritate you so much that you’ll think or talk about them behind their back in a negative manner. It’s up to you whether or not you’re going to confront them regarding the issue. It’s easier said than done, but it’s definitely worth it being honest with them and communicating what’s bothering you. Otherwise, they’re just going to keep doing whatever it is that bothers you. And, believe me, there will be things your roommates do that bother the absolute crap out of you.
Make sure you have everything you need in your room. Sometimes you’re just going to get so annoyed to the point where you will need some alone time. This is the significance of having a prime setup in your room. Get some lights, a giant TV, Xbox, speaker, mini fridge or whatever else that brings you joy. Make your room feel like the home itself without the rest of the home. You’ll be in the living room hanging out with your roommates for the most part, but having a safety valve for when that’s not working is key to success.
Please read this, especially if you’re a freshman looking for roommates for your sophomore year. It’s important to know this stuff beforehand rather than find out after you’ve signed a yearlong lease with four people you’re sick of after the first week. While this is only a temporary decision, it’s a long one. Take your time and pick the right roommate.