When you think about the stress and anxiety surrounding college, typically you think of whether you are going to be accepted into your dream school. Many people don’t realize that there are a series of other challenges people face during this process that could provoke more feelings of anxiety. One major event for a high school senior is finding a college roommate.
Almost immediately after you commit to a school, you become part of a new community. As soon as you add your college and graduation year to your bio, you will be inundated with new friend requests and invited to group chats with other incoming freshmen at your new school. This can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
Then comes the roommate selection process. This looks different for many people. Some go the “random” route and want to be paired solely based on a quiz that you take provided through the school where you are matched based on common interests. I have many friends who did that and were super happy with their choice. However, there is a more common way these days of finding a roommate, which is getting to know people through social media. Social media in itself is a very tricky platform filled with the best and prettiest posts that can sometimes create a false or misleading illusion of people.
Finding a roommate, in my experience, can be stressful in different ways for the people that choose to do early decision (ED) and early action (EA) versus the people who choose to do regular decision (RD) to their prospective schools. People who ED or EA quickly realize how fast people pair up. When I went through it, I really wanted to take my time and get to know people first, because living with someone is a big deal to me. There are going to be many people that want to find a roommate right away. I didn’t fully realize that, so it stirred up feelings of anxiety for me as I was trying to find the perfect fit for me.
Then there are the people who do RD. These individuals have a different type of anxiety. Unlike the ED and EA people who know that there is going to be another batch of new students getting in later if they don’t find a roommate right away, the RD people don’t have that. There is a sense of urgency to find a roommate, not only because there is a smaller group of people from the ED and EA finding roommates, but also because school is just around the corner.
Watching people that you meet through group chats find roommates within days can be really tough to process. Even with that being said, I want to stress that everything will all work out even if it doesn’t seem so at the moment. So remember to take a deep breath and talk to friends, parents, guardians, or anyone you feel comfortable with about how the process is going.
I also want to stress that, even though it is great to love your roommate, it truly isn’t the end of the world if you don’t. As long as the two of you are compatible in terms of your living styles, that is the most important part. I want to give you a list of helpful questions you might not have thought of that can help you see if you and your potential roommate will be compatible.
Question 1: Are you a morning or night person?
Question 2: Are you neat or messy?
Question 3: Where are you from?
Question 4: What are your favorite tv shows?
Question 5: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Question 6: How do you feel about drugs and alcohol?
Question 7: What would be an ideal night out?
Question 8: What’s your major?
Question 9: Do you plan to go home a lot on weekends?
Question 10: What are your favorite things to do outside of school?
All of these questions can be extremely helpful for getting to know if this is the right person for you to live with. Also, ask friends you know who do not go to your high school if they have friends who will be freshmen at your college. Knowing you have a friend in common can definitely ease your anxiety about deciding if the person is right for you. Having a mutual friend can create a space of safety because you have a little more information about the person than what you get from their social media. It also is another good conversation starter when first talking to the person. Even though finding a roommate is a little bit of a daunting process, once you find one, the fun starts to begin. This person can become your go-to for everything, and you will be able to get excited for this new chapter of your life together. Just remember that, just like choosing a college, selecting a roommate will work out as it is meant to be, and as long as you put yourself out there, you are bound to find a roommate in no time.