How to Pick a College Roommate (A Good One)

Once you get settled in with the fact that you are going to college, you’re going to have a bunch of things to think about. You will be thinking about what your dorm room is going to look like, what type of clothes you’re going to need, all of the books and materials you need.

The most important thing you need to consider is what kind of roommate are you going to have at school. If you think about it, it’s kind of exciting to think of having a roommate. Just in case you were worried about getting a roommate here is a couple of pointers.

Use Social Media to Pick

Lucky for us we have social media platforms to help us find the people that were looking for and we don’t have to go random on getting a roommate. Now, obviously if you really want to you can go random and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Students successfully find random roommates they get along with. However, I would say the most popular way to go about finding a roommate would definitely be by using Facebook groups that are grouped by the incoming classes at universities.

These groups are primarily used for finding roommates.

Most of the time what people do is post a few of their favorite pictures of themselves doing things that they enjoy and give a brief explanation about what kind of person they are and what they enjoy to do.

It is honestly a pretty good system. You can connect with them to see their social media and have access to other social media accounts to see what they do in their daily lives.

You can pretty much tell if you’re going to somewhat like someone or not. You obviously can’t tell if they’re going to be messy or not take the trash out, or stay up until three, or go out every night, but you can at least tell if you think you would somewhat get along.

How students use social media to find a roommate

  • Sometimes people may go through and see if they can find someone who is in a similar major to them.
  • Other times people may go through and find someone who has very similar interests with them.
  • Maybe you want to find someone that lived in the same area to room with at school.
  • You might play the same sports so you pick a roommate based on that.

This part definitely just depends on your own personality. If you want someone who’s going to be in all of your classes or maybe someone with your same major.

However, if you’re just looking for a roommate and best friend you can focus more on the external interests and personality. Your roommates can be simply just that, a roommate and nothing more. Yet, they can also turn into somebody who is a long-lasting friend.

All of this is up to you and obviously the person you choose. Something else that may happen is people could actually end up messaging you which means that they picked you as someone they could see themselves getting along with a roommate.

Apps and Websites to Pick a Roommate

Many schools will still match you up randomly with a roommate, many more are letting college students choose. The statistic is 70% of colleges now let students pick their own roommate thanks to social media and the internet.

Many students are using Roomsync to find their college roommate. Using Roomsync colleges have seen a 67% reduction in roommate transfer requests.

Another popular resource to use to find a roommate is RoomSurf. You just need to create a profile, answer some questions and then you review roommate matches.

If you decide with a match that it will work then you send the request to be roommates to the college.

There have been around 400,000 students who have used RoomSurf since 2010.

Lifestyle Pick

You may want to lean towards someone who has a similar lifestyle as you. This is because most of the issues roommates end up having has to do with lifestyle. If you are someone who goes to bed early and takes your classwork very seriously, then you may not want to choose a roommate who goes out every night.

Little things like when someone wakes up or goes to sleep really will affect you when you are living in the same room.

Cleanliness is also a huge factor.

If you are an orderly person who keeps your things tidy, having a roommate who is always an absolute disaster is going to drive you insane.

Obviously, it is hard to tell all of these things about a person when you are first talking to them or when you first meet them, but you can try to pick out little hints that lead towards what kind of lifestyle they live.

If you are looking to find a way to figure these types of things out, you can start by asking about the types of things they participated in high school or what kind of student they were.

Most likely, they will keep the same habits and lifestyle that they did in high school. Plus, this is the first time you both will be living without your parents so however, they were in high school will be affected by the obvious lack of parental rules.

Sometimes people that you get along with super well and end up being great friends, aren’t always the best roommates. Living with someone and just being friends with someone are two completely different things.

Although my roommate went to high school with me and we worked well as roommates, it was still a lot different for us to room together. Being together that much and dealing with each other’s idiosyncrasy is a lot different than just hanging out and being friends.

It is kind of similar to when people make comments about moving in with your boyfriend/girlfriend, this is just dealing with friendships instead of relationships.

You have to be able to tell your roommate when they are bothering you or when you want them to change their actions.

Once you got a roommate you also need a bunch of new friends so check out how to make friends in college.

Go-Getter Roommate

It sounds cliche, but it is kind of true: who you surround yourself with has a huge impact on your character. The people that you surround yourself with in your life can really encourage what type of student you are.

Obviously, in the end, everything that you do as a student is up to you. You are the only person who can get good grades and get yourself a degree.

However, having friends who are go-getters and hard workers can really encourage you to be a better student and be more involved.

I am in a scholars program with a bunch of students who are in STEM fields. This means that they may be pre-med or going for engineering. Because they work so hard at school and are great students, it really motivates me to work hard my freshman year.

It doesn’t determine what kind of student you are, it just helps.

If I had friends who were always going out to eat and going out to party every single night, I could have gotten persuaded into taking too much time away from my studies. My friends and I still had fun but they really put me in check when it comes to school work and I am very thankful for that.

Just be aware of this and know how to handle things that come up with roommates or friends. If you are someone who never wants to miss out on the action, maybe aim for a roommate who you know is at least a little more focused on studies than the social aspect of being in college.

In the end, you just want the best for you and your education.

Roommates with Boyfriends and Girlfriends

Whatever kind of relationship your roommate is in is also going to affect you.

  • You may have roommate has a boyfriend/girlfriend who lives down the hall, you may have another person in your room or your roommate may never actually be in the room.
  • If they have a significant other who comes to visit a lot, you may constantly have someone staying on the weekends.
  • Getting a roommate who talks to a lot of different people, you may have a different stranger in your room every weekend.

This is the type of thing that you may want to ask a potential roommate about. Just so that you have a heads up on what they have in their life that might affect you. You want to pick the best roommate for yourself and this is some questions to ask.

Some college students don’t get bothered by these kinds of things and others get furious.

Know what is important to you and what bothers you because you are going to be living in a small place very close to this person. It is all of these little things that really add up and make a difference when it comes to choosing a roommate that is right for you.

This is why some people get along great with past friends from high school and others do not. It all depends on the little things and your own personal preferences.


Overall, there are many different deciding factors that go into choosing a roommate.

It depends on your own personal wants and needs. This is something that you should give yourself plenty of time to think about. Start looking at the beginning of the summer before your freshman year or even sooner if you can.

In the end, it is only a year and everything will be okay no matter what happens. However, you are already making a big change in your life and you don’t want your roommate to be another bother in the mix.

Try your best, but things happen and many people end up in weird roommate situations that they will have forgotten about by their senior year. Don’t worry or stress too much because everything will work out in the end. If you don’t get along you can just spend most of your time with the new friends you will be making.

Sources: CollegeChoice

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