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    roommate matchmaking

    Posted : June 4, 2003
    Last Updated : May 29, 2013
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    roommate matchmaking

    Choosing a roommate is a hard process and maintaining a relationship with the person you live with can be even harder. You will have enough things to worry about in college without having to stress over fighting with your roommate. To make roomie life a little easier, you need to know how to choose a roommate and how to live with him or her when the time comes.

    Choosing a Roommate
    Choose your roommate carefully because the experience you have with him or her will have a significant effect on your college experience. This person will affect your study habits and your social activities. To help you choose someone, consider the following:

    • Should you live with your friend? Friends can be awesome roommates as long as you really know (and are okay with) how they live. Having your friend as a roommate may be the choice for you because you already know that you like this person and that you have common interests. Living with your friend may also make being away from home a lot easier. However, if you are easily annoyed by your friend's habits, you should realize that their way of doing things would just magnify once you live together. Maybe your friend loves to shop and has a ton of clothes that she lets you borrow, but imagine having those dirty clothes thrown all over your dorm room. Or what if you and your friend enjoy the same music, but he doesn't turn down the stereo when you are trying to study? Could these little habits cause so many problems that you have to end your friendship? You need to decide if living together is worth the possible risk of losing a friend.
    • Should you live with a stranger? Like living with a friend, having a stranger for a roommate has its pros and cons as well. If you have a lot of disagreements, then you don't have to worry about those fights damaging your long-term friendship. Another pro to living with a stranger is that you can meet someone new and hopefully start another friendship. On the other hand, having a stranger for a roomie may cause more conflict than concord. What if the two of you are complete opposites? You may be a country music fan while your roommate is more into heavy metal. Perhaps you like to have friends over often but your roommate is more of a loner. Not having anything in common with and not knowing a lot about whom you live with could cause you to have a rough freshman year.
    • Do you share common interests? It might make your living situation easier if you can find a common ground that connects the two of you together. Try to pick someone with whom you share at least one common interest. For instance, even if you don't like the same types of music, maybe you both like to play basketball or go camping. Having common interests will allow you and your roommate to enjoy being together and possibly make living together bearable.
    • Do you share the same meaning of clean? Pick someone who has the same cleaning habits as you do. If you are a complete slob, then rooming with a clean freak will only cause conflict. Don't think that this would be an ideal situation because more than likely, your roomie will not clean up after you.
    • Are you an early riser or a night owl? If you are an early riser, then pick someone who likes to get up early too and vice versa. Imagine having an 8:00am class but you can't go to sleep because your roommate has friends over until the wee hours of the morning. Or if you like to sleep late, imagine how annoyed you would be if your roommate's alarm clock went off at 6:00am. It would be more convenient for the both of you if you could go to bed and get up at approximately the same time.
    • How do you feel about guests? Do you like to have several friends over frequently or do you enjoy your alone time? This is especially important because there is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own house/room. Try to pick someone who feels the same way about guests as you do.

    Living with a Roommate
    Even if you think you have picked the perfect roommate, living with that person may change your mind. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain a good relationship with your roommate in order for you to enjoy your time at college as much as possible. The following are some useful hints to help you sustain a peaceful relationship:

    • Set rules. Create rules with your roommate that both of you agree to follow. Decide when and how many friends to have over, when study time is, and whether or not you can borrow each other's belongings. Delegate cleaning chores. This may seem elementary because it's one of the reasons that you wanted to move away from your parents, but setting ground rules will make your living situation much easier.
    • Communicate. In order to maintain a good relationship, you must communicate openly with your roommate. Deal with problems immediately. Don't keep a problem to yourself, instead talk to your roomie about it. If your roommate is slacking off on cleaning, tell him that since you are cleaning your half, you expect the same in return. If you don't communicate with your roommate, then your anger will just grow and lead to major fighting.
    • Be considerate. Treat others as you would want to be treated. This includes your roommate. If your roommate is sick, offer to take her assignments to class or make him a bowl of soup. If you are nice to your roomie, then hopefully your roommate will remember your act of kindness the next time you need something.
    • Be flexible. Be willing to change your daily schedule if need be. Sometimes a slight problem may arise in which you might need to accommodate. For example, your roommate may be having a huge fight with her boyfriend while you are watching your favorite TV show. Be polite and go watch TV in the lounge until they have talked their problems through. Your roommate will appreciate your flexibility and the fact that you are giving her some space.
    • Respect each other. If you don't respect whom you live with, there will definitely be problems. You will not always agree with your roommate, but be sure to give him the respect that he deserves. Don't degrade your roommate if he does something in which you don't approve. Remember that your roommate may not agree with everything that you do either.

    Having a roommate can be difficult at times no matter if you live with your best friend or a stranger. You don't want any of your years spent at college to be complicated because of your living situation, so it is crucial for you to make the effort to get along with your roomie. If you seriously try to get along with him/her but are still miserable, then talk to your dorm RA (resident assistant) about your situation. For more information about living with a roommate, check out Qualities To Look For In a Roommate and How To Break the Ice With Your New College Roommate.


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