A typical college dorm will be stocked with a bed, desk, and dresser. Coordinate with roommates to ensure you maximize this limited space!

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A typical college dorm will be stocked with a bed, desk, and dresser. Coordinate with roommates to ensure you maximize this limited space!

Seniors are in the homestretch: college decisions are rolling in, graduation is approaching, and those of us on our way to college are searching for roommates. A true college conundrum, many seniors are wondering whether they will match with a roommate who becomes a lifelong friend, or a lifelong enemy. So here’s What Chelsea Would Do to ensure the best possible roommate outcome. 

Most colleges offer some type of social media platform for prospective students to communicate with other accepted students. The first step to ensuring roommate success will be to figure out what this platform is and become involved in conversation. Most likely, the school’s platform will have some type of subsection for roommates, often divided into further sections of men, women and gender neutral. Here, prospective students can connect with other people who have similar interests and are in the same searching situation.

So what makes a good roommate? Of course, there is the standard roommate matching survey which asks general questions like “Are you neat or messy?” and “Are you an early bird or a night owl?” While these are both important questions, it just scratches the surface of what you might want to consider before moving into a very small space with a stranger. If you are fortunate enough to find a roommate via school social media, some other questions to consider asking are:

How are you expecting your daily routine to look? Remember it will likely be different in college than it is now!

What conditions do you need to sleep: silence, darkness, noise, etc.?

What are your feelings about having friends overnight in the room?

Are you someone who likes to share, or would you rather keep all of your belongings separate?

How would you describe yourself as a roommate?

Hopefully, these questions will segue into a meaningful discussion and or an opportunity to make a new friend. Even if you don’t decide to live together, it will certainly be a positive to know someone else when you get to campus. 

However, in the event that you end up with a roommate whom you know nothing about, or a roommate that you are not meshing with, there are plenty of solutions to this dilemma, too. The first line of defense should be an honest effort to get to know your roommate and to give them a fair chance. If this fails, most colleges have a designated person to help facilitate any roommate calamities, often the Community Advisor or the Resident Advisor. If conflict is unable to be solved, you can usually request to switch roommates after the first semester. 

Hopefully, this coming fall will be full of roommate success stories and lifelong friendships. Best of luck to all college-bound Seniors from Chelsea!