Choosing Your First College Roommate

January 12, 2017

(Photo Credit: Gabby Acardi) A good roommate can influence the whole freshman experience for the better

Credit: Gabby Accardi

(Photo Credit: Gabby Acardi) A good roommate can influence the whole freshman experience for the better

The spring of senior year is the most thrilling part of high school for many students. It’s filled with committing to a college, going to prom, graduating and, for most, choosing a roommate to live with for the next whole year. Finding a roommate can be exciting and scary all at the same time, but with the right tips, finding a roommate is simple.

Mutual Friends

Some find it extremely helpful to room with someone they already know from high school or to find someone through a mutual friend. This can be an extremely comforting option especially when moving in an entirely new environment, but can leave out the possibility of meeting new people. Depending on the situation, knowing that a friend is on campus can be enough for a smooth transition from high school to college.

Katherine Garcia says, “Picking a roommate was easy for me because I chose someone from high school that I had already known which I think will make it easier once it comes time to adjust in the new environment of college.”



Roomsurf is a great option for finding a roommate. When joining the site, there is a short survey about living habits along with an option for inserting personal information. Roomsurf then takes the information and matches it with potential roommates who share similar qualities. After receiving suggestions for the best matches, there is an option to see their profiles on Facebook, to chat or arrange to meet the prospective roommate. Roomsurf can break the ice in those awkward first conversations.



Finding a roommate over Facebook can feel similar to speed dating. Each college creates a “Class of 2021” page where rising freshman are invited to join. Incoming students can then write posts describing themselves, which makes it easier to find people who could be interested in the same clubs and activities. Once a good match is found on the page, and after some Facebook stalking, most people chat in order to see if they are a true match for a roommate. 

Rachel McKenna says, “When I was admitted to DePaul, I looked a lot on the Facebook page to see who would be fitting as a roommate. Even though I haven’t picked one yet, it definitely has helped me see roommate options.”


Each conversation with a potential roommate can be completely different, but some things are important to keep in mind when talking to your roommate for the first time:

1. Study Habits. Does your roommate like to study in his or her room? And if so, does it need to be silent? This may cause a problem later on if the other roommate is blasting music all the time.

2. Visitors. If your friends from high school would want to visit, would the other roommate be upset? In general, is the roommate comfortable hosting people who do not live in the room?  It’s better to question upfront rather than when it’s too late.

3. Sorority Involvement. Are you planning on joining a sorority in which you are very busy the first few weeks of school? It may be nice to find a roommate who is going through the same thing for scheduling purposes.

4. Sleeping Habits. You definitely don’t want to have a roommate who goes to bed hours before you if you are a night owl.


Although challenging at first finding the perfect roommate, it makes it all worth it when having a great freshman experience. Good luck on finding the best and most fitting roommate!


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