Pros + Cons of Having a Random Roommate in College

Hey yall!

I will tell you from my own experience that as soon as my best friend and I found out we were both accepted to the same college we immediately decided to room together. I didn’t even think about going random at all. Rooming with my best friend was awesome because well obviously we were best friends and we got along good and we had a lot of fun together. We didn’t need to meet someone new and we already knew how each other worked so living together was going to be smooth sailing.

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But I will also tell you that by rooming with my best friend I rarely went out to meet people on my floor or in my building to make friends. Why? Because I already had my best friend right there with me of course. We also had 2 other people from our high school living in the same building as us so we all kinda just stuck together and stayed friends and hung out. Is that a bad thing? No. But looking back on it I realized that I didn’t make very many friends my first year because I stuck with my group of friends I already had because that is what was comfortable for me. For some people that is okay, they aren’t looking to make a whole new friend group, but some people are. So take that into account.

I am now going random my second year and I am very nervous for it because by your second year most people have found their clique of friends and aren’t looking to make very  many new ones. So I am hoping I will get someone in the same boat as me and wants to have that awesome random roommate experience where yall become BFFs and do everything together, that whole cliche thing that actually happens.

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If you are looking for that awesome experience of meeting someone new and getting with a new group of friends and just adventuring with new people then I definitely recommend going random. If you room with your best friend or someone you already know you might not branch out to meet new people because you already have someone in your comfort zone in your room.

One thing I must advise if you’re going random is: fill out the roommate questionnaire as truthfully as possible, and even to be safe a little over exaggerated. If it asks you how clean you are based on a 1-10 scale and you think you’re a 5 then put a 6 or 7 because then they will match you with someone who scores in the 5-9 range around your chosen number and you will get someone that is clean like you. I am not saying lie on every question, but choose the most important questions to you that you are most concerned about and answer a little above your natural response because that is more important to you and you will more than likely get placed with someone that matches you better in your range instead of someone below your score.

If you are choosing to room with someone you know already then I suggest you join a student organization, get a job, join a rec. sport, or leave your dorm door open so people will walk by and be more likely to interact with you. Go out and meet people in your building and go to events that are being held in your building so you aren’t limited to only your roommate. College is all about venturing outside of your comfort zone, so take a chance and meet new people while you’re here! Networking is the most important thing to do in college, you’ll be surprised how far it will get you.

While deciding weather or not to go random think about:

  • how clean you are
  • how much time you will be spending on studying
  • are you going to be going out a lot and coming home late?
  • do you have a boyfriend that will be coming over a lot?
  • are you in a sport that causes you to wake up super early?
  • what’s your major?
  • how you do cooperating with other people?
  • are you a neat and control freak?

That is no where near everything you should think about but ask yourself those questions and see how the person you might want to room with answers. If yall answer close enough than rooming together will be a piece of cake. If not, then you might hit some rough patches.

As soon as you move in with someone everything changes I can promise you that. You may think you know how someone is and you may think you can handle how they are and their living habits but it isn’t real until you are really living with them. My roommate and I ended up having a good experience but we did hit a couple rough patches because we both thought we knew out each other was but then once we moved in together it was crazy at times because we worked differently on many different levels.

So if you have someone in mind that you wouldn’t mind living with go through some personality questions and figure out how yall might do together in a dorm room.

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Those of you who are in sports that cause you to wake up at 5am every morning it may be a good idea to room with one of your teammates because then yall are on the same schedule and can encourage each other to practice and get better together. You don’t have to know this teammate already. You can still go random technically with someone you haven’t met yet while choosing a teammate that will understand your life and schedule.

I hope my experiences and advice can be of help to some of you who are contemplating going random or not.

If you went random this year-yay for taking chances-next step is figuring out How To: Reach Out to Your New Roommate! Gotta make a good first impression! Check out my tips to a successful first interaction with the person you’ll be living with here soon enough!



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