Looking for a roommate is like online dating; there are plenty of options but it takes a lot to find the right person. You have to do some snooping on their social media, check to see if you have mutual friends (and maybe see what those friends have to say about this person), get to know the person, and then decide if you want to pursue them further. Finding the right roommate is a big deal because you’ll be living in the same room as this person for an entire year, if not longer.
Check out these tips and strategies to begin the search for your new roomie!
1. Utilize Facebook.
If you haven’t used Facebook much in high school, now is a good time to start. Most colleges create a Facebook group for the incoming freshman class where you can ask questions and get to know the people you’ll be going to school with. These groups are a great place to find a roommate. Don’t hesitate to make a post in search for one — remember, everyone’s in the same boat as you. Just don’t write a novel!
2. Slide in the DMs.
As awkward as it may seem, direct messaging people is a great way to make connections, and maybe even find a roommate right off the bat. Skim through the members of your incoming freshmen Facebook group and friend request some people that might catch your interest. Then, just shoot them a message! Look for people with mutual friends because you’ll instantly have something in common, which is a great conversation starter.
3. Check out your school’s Roommate Portal.
Almost all schools have portals or online systems that serve as a great tool to help you find a roommate. Typically, the portals allow you to add information about yourself, and it will use keywords to find people you might be compatible with. If your school’s roommate portal has a search bar, try searching things that you may not have put in your biography, such as your favorite singer or sports team, so that you can find more people with the same interests as you. Get as specific as you want – you never know who might have the same weird hobbies or interests as you!
4. Do your research.
While you may hit it off with someone through direct message, be sure to take a look at their social media as well. While a person’s social media doesn’t fully define them as an individual, you can still get a feel for what they’re like and what they like to do. With that being said, make sure your social media is updated just in case someone else is checking you out too.
5. Ask around.
It’s a small world. You never know who may know someone going to school with you. Many parents are connected with their college or childhood friends, and it’s common for their kids to be around the same age as you. Ask your parents or friends to do some research as well! Sometimes, mutual friends are the best at forming connections because they know both of you and can tell whether or not you’ll be compatible.
6. Ask questions.
Don’t fully trust someone’s personal description on the roommate portal or in a Facebook post — people often exaggerate. If you’re super organized, make sure you know for sure that your potential roommate is organized instead of just assuming based on their profile. If you like to go out, make sure you ask if they do too. It’s better to have a roommate who goes to bed around the same time as you so that if you come home late, you don’t disrupt their sleeping schedule or vice versa.
Have any other tips on finding the right roommate? Let us know!
*Written by Emily Binder, Tulane University.