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How to Pick a Good College Roommate

April 8, 2013

Are you planning to move into a new dorm in the fall or maybe an apartment for this summer? Well, picking the right roommate is just as important as picking the right dorm or apartment. We’ve all heard horror stories of roommate situations gone horribly wrong. Don’t let that happen to you! Know what to look for in a roommate, and find one who is most compatible with you. Follow these important tips on how to pick a good college roommate.

*A best friend is not always a best roommate
You need a roommate, your best friend needs a roommate—you might think that rooming with them is the obvious answer. However, you should be warned that just because you click as friends, does not mean you will click as roomies. In fact, friendships are often ruined by becoming roommates. Don’t just take it as a given that you’ll room with your friend; take some time to consider if you’ll actually be compatible as roommates.

*Be honest
Throughout your search for a roommate, make sure to be completely honest, even if it means admitting to some of your bad habits. You expect people to give you honest answers, so definitely do the same in return so that it doesn’t create any problems for the future.

*Consider social habits
Are you a social butterfly, an introvert, or something in between? Think about your social habits, and then think about what you’d want your living situation to be like. Would you be okay with your roommate bringing guests over all the time? Do either of you have a significant other who would want to stay over a lot? What about throwing parties? Figure out the answers to these questions by discussing social habits with any potential roommates.

*Discuss cleanliness
Some people can get pretty upset if they’re cleaning habits don’t match up with their roommates. Try to find someone who’s at about the same level that you are on the cleanliness chart. It wouldn’t be fair if a neat freak or germaphobe has to live with a slob. Chores should be divided up, and you should know each others’ expectations on how tidy you want to keep your place on a regular basis. Figure this out before you decide to room together.

*Match sleep schedules
It might not be the best idea for a night owl to room with a morning person. If you’re a light sleeper, definitely make sure your roommate operates on a similar sleep schedule as you. You don’t want them to be blaring music or talking on the phone when you’re trying to sleep or study before bed. If you’re the night owl, just imagine being woken up at 7am by an early bird roommate getting ready in the morning. Sleep is not trivial, so make sure the two of you are on the same page.

No matter who you end up rooming with, remember that communication is the key to getting along. Always speak up when something is bothering you, and plan out a system for things like doing chores so that you each know your responsibilities. Living with another person can be tough, but not if you make sure to take the right steps when picking your roommate.

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