The College Roommate Experience
by Lauren, our college blogger
College is a chance to meet new people — and one of them will probably be your new roommate.
Sometime in the spring of your senior year in high school, you'll receive a packet by mail with a roommate form inside.
You specify what your cleaning and studying habits are, your interests, whether you are a morning or night person, among many other things. These roommate forms get shipped back to the college or university and the magic happens: the person with whom you'll share a tiny dorm room for two semesters is determined.
For many people, figuring out how to live with another person can be the biggest challenge in freshman year. Learning how to deal with living with another person is a part of the college education, but there are ways to make it easier.
Know someone going to the same college as you? Try NOT to be that person's roommate. Freshman year is an opportunity to immerse yourself in things outside of your comfort zone.
Rooming with best friends from high school can be dangerous because your best friend's personality at home can be completely different once you're in college. Having a new person in your life can open up different experiences and opinions, and it is a great chance to reinvent yourself as well.
Not every roommate will become your best friend. However, you both share a small space and need to make things work. If something is bothering you about your roommate do not be passive-aggressive. Be polite, but let your roomie know how you feel.
As long as you can agree to be respectful, you two should be able to reach an agreement. If not, let your RA (Resident Adviser) know. Roommate switches are common in the first two weeks and the start of the second semester.
Embrace the Differences
Usually college freshmen are not granted a roommate who is exactly the same as themselves. And these differences can lead to a great thing: you can bond while learning about each other's interests and social groups, among other things.
But if social habits are completely different (or maybe too different!) from yours, do not hesitate to make rules about guest policies.