Tips For Finding a Roommate
Why does it sometimes feel like you’re the only one still looking for a roommate? It’s just not true! There are plenty of other folks who—just like you—are trying to find a roommate before the Housing Lottery. Here are some tips to help you—and them—find a roommate:
1. Make a "roommate qualities" list
You'll never know what type of roommate you want until you do some self-reflection. Are you messy? Are you clean? Do you get annoyed when things are left out? Are you quiet? Do you like to come home late? Make a list of your own habits and use that as a guide in your search.
It is unlikely that you'll find someone who meets all your criteria, but creating a list of what's important to you is a good starting point. Some people just shouldn't live together, so to avoid a potentially negative situation, look for people who have similar habits. The best candidate is the one who has similar expectations.
2. Start with friends (and friends of friends)
If you have a friend who is also looking for someone to live with, that's a great place to start. But know that being friends doesn't mean you'll live well together. Let your friend know your habits and decide if it will be a good fit. If it's not, ask them if they know anyone else who is looking to live with someone like you.
Remember, the roommate relationship isn't always built on friendship. Sometimes it never develops into friend status at all. And that’s okay! As long as you can live together comfortably, that's all that matters.
3. Who is in your classes?
While you’re probably used to sitting in the same seat for every lecture, mix it up a bit. Sitting next to some new people will give you the opportunity to make small talk and smoothly insert a comment here or there about how you’re looking for a roommate. While talking to new people isn’t everyone’s favorite way to spend their free time, it could just result in a roommate for next year—or even better—a new friend!
4. Use Facebook groups
For some, Facebook may seem like a thing of the past, but for others, it's still a great way to meet and connect with people.
If you look for a college roommate on Facebook, there's one key thing you need to do: be honest. Put yourself out there and describe the type of living environment you're looking for. If you're a late-night party animal, say so. If you want silence after 7 p.m. so you can have quiet time for studying, make that known.
You have to be honest about who you are and the expectations you have. Try it out, and you might be surprised at the matches you get.
5. Post flyers in the residence halls
It may seem like a strange thing to do, but good old-fashioned print marketing can be quite effective. If you've exhausted all your other options, print up a few flyers and get the permission of your RD to hang them in the lounges around campus. In your flyer, make it clear that you're looking for a roommate with certain qualities. Be honest about who you are and what you want.
Does the thought of strangers contacting you creep you out? Don't worry—there are things you can do to protect yourself and your safety. If you don't want to include personal information, create an email address specifically for the flyer. That way you can screen your responses without anyone having access to your phone number, address or social media accounts.
6. Talk to your RA, your RD, your professors, etc.
The fine folks in student life know your struggle. We too were college students back in the day. We too had to go through housing lotteries and find roommates and deal with the stress. So not only can we empathize, but we’re connected: we meet daily with students from all over campus. Your RA and RD are often hearing from fellow students who, just like you, are looking for a roommate. Wave us down in the halls, stop us on the Hello Walk or ask us out for coffee. While we can’t promise you that we’ll be your roommate solution, we can certainly help you brainstorm ideas and possibilities.
Still finding it difficult to line up a roommate for next year? Don't want to be bothered with any of the Housing Lottery? Willing to put your future in the hands of the housing office? Sounds like you're just the candidate to submit a request for a roommate.