College process continues as committed seniors search for potential roommates

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Photo by Jordyn Delo

Senior Jordyn Delo received a gift and a note from her future roommate at the University of Michigan. The two met through social media and are getting to know each other before they move into their dorm room this fall.

The college process is full of tough decisions, including where you want to send applications and which college or university you are going to attend.

After committing, students are faced with yet another daunting choice: Should they choose their own roommate, opt to be placed with a random roommate or live by themselves? While some schools take one option out of the equation and do not allow incoming freshmen to choose their roommate, most colleges and universities are happy to let students request a specific roommate.

Duke University is one example of a school that does not allow students to pick a specific individual to share their dorm room with, a housing protocol that began two years ago. Though they take things like sleep schedules into account, the process is almost entirely random. “We believe that you’ll enjoy the opportunity to meet someone you’ve not previously known and will have a great opportunity to explore your roommate’s history, culture and interests” reads a letter from vice president for student affairs, Larry Moneta and dean and vice provost for undergraduate education Steve Nowicki.

Finding a roommate is a strange process because you are committing to living with a stranger, but Facebook groups and social media have made it a lot easier to not only find a roommate but get to know the people who you are spending the next four years with”

— Skylar Rothman

For those who wouldn’t mind sharing a small room with a stranger, attending a school that places you randomly or opting into the random roommate selection process is a great way to check off yet another box on the long list of college decisions. For others, living with someone you don’t know at all sounds nightmarish. Students with this opinion tend to attend schools that allow roommate requests, and the journey to find someone you’re willing to share a 10×10 room with for a year begins. “Finding a roommate is a strange process because you are committing to living with a stranger, but Facebook groups and social media have made it a lot easier to not only find a roommate but get to know the people who you are spending the next four years with,” senior Skylar Rothman, who will be attending Penn State University, said.

Facebook has become one of the biggest hubs for meeting potential roommates, as admitted students can join a Facebook group and post a paragraph about their background, interests, hobbies, and anything else they deem important. “Me and my roommate Vanessa met over our college’s class of ‘25 page and added each other’s socials and immediately connected. Both of us were really hesitant at first, but the more we talked, the more we realized how much we have in common, and we are both super excited to room together and decorate since we have the same style,” senior Tamara Heller, who will be attending the University of Maryland, said.

Some basic points to touch on when talking with a potential roommate are sleep schedules, study habits and cleanliness. It is important to be honest with each other as you talk, even if that means disclosing weird sleeping habits or your inability to make it a week without clothes piling a mile high in the corner of your room. For some, these discrepancies might be deal breakers, but lying about who you are just to secure a roommate will only create problems in the end. Though it is impossible to guarantee you and your roommate will get along, being truthful with potential roommates will afford both parties the best opportunity for a positive experience.