How To Find a College Roommate


New college roommates get to know each other. Credit: Creative Commons.

Getting into college is already stressful enough, but finding a freshman year dorm mate is almost as hectic. Going through the respective class of ‘27 Instagrams in order to find someone who could potentially be a good fit based on the same generic “Hey my name is … I’m from … I love going out but also staying in some nights… looking for a roommate, feel free to DM!” gets tiring. After DMing about 20 potential roomies, it can feel hopeless.

Going in blind isn’t ideal either. You’ve probably heard horror stories : what if someone is entirely rude? Or snores like a lawnmower? Or even brings their pet tarantula? All of these possibilities could make or break a college experience. 

The best remedy to this dilemma can be done in a few ways. 

Having a comfortable environment in your dorm room is important, especially after a long day in a completely new environment. There are a lot of anxiety-inducing situations when you first go to college, and having someone to relate to, and vice versa, makes everything less distressing. 

Find someone who is interested in the same major to increase chances of shared interests and similar schedules. This makes it easier to live together and coordinate plans. 

Another possibility is to plan to rush a fraternity or sorority, and then look for a friend who is also preparing to rush. Nina Taleb Bendiab (‘23), who is attending the University of Michigan next year, shared that she “found my roommate by going onto the Michigan class of ‘27 Instagram page and looking for people with the same major that I’m going into, since it just makes everything easier between us.” Taleb Bendiab and her potential roommate are also planning to rush a sorority. “I’m so excited to go through the process of rushing with a friend. I think that having someone I know well beforehand will make the experience much easier and more enjoyable.”

Shared hobbies also make for a good indicator of compatibility. If playing the banjo and baking pies are of high interest, find someone who also likes playing the banjo and baking pies. Common ground during the first meeting can alleviate a lot of the stress of going to university. Ava Marble (‘23), who is attending Northwestern University next year, says that “finding a roommate was so nerve-wracking for me, but I found one by narrowing down potential people by what they like to do. I think that it creates commonalities and it’s easier to talk to them.” 

Why not room with someone in your grade who is going to the same college? If it is your best friend from Kindergarten, it might make it difficult to branch out and create new experiences. If it is someone you are loose friends with, it might alleviate the stress of not knowing your roommate or how to act around them. Coming into college and having to  adjust to a new way of living. However, college is about how you can make the best of challenges and if your Kindergarten bestie is your soulmate and 

Aside from shared interests, communicating with each other about living standards is just as important. It’s hard to tell over the internet and basically impossible when going in blind, but no matter what, upon arrival, it’s important to set up some ground rules and be willing to listen and compromise. Everyone has grown up in different households with different rules for 18 years, and are comfortable with different things. The best living situations will most likely come from being up front with each other, no matter how a roommate is found.