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To Pick or Not to Pick Your College Roommate

September 15, 2008 By: Category: Campus Life, Housing

You and your best friend just got accepted to the same college. You’re so excited because it’s the dream school you’ve been waiting for and then, your best friend asks you the obvious question, “Want to be roommates?” Choosing whether to pick or not to pick your college roommate is difficult because there’s pros and cons to both choices. Do you take the safe route and pick the person who you’ve known all through high school but jeopardize your chances at gaining the true “roommate experience”? Or do you risk it all and end up with the smelly kid that blasts music in your room until 3 a.m.?


 Photo by mereshadow

To narrow down your choices, you will want to make a list before you pick, or don’t pick, a roommate. After all, this will be the person you’re living, eating and breathing with for the entirety of your freshman year of college… it would help to be able to tolerate them!

Pros to Picking a Roommate

  1. They are someone you know and trust.
  2. You will already have one friend to help you meet new people and get involved on campus.
  3. They are someone you already feel comfortable talking to and sharing personal space with.
  4. Your parents will feel safer because they already know the person.

Cons to Picking a Roommate

  1. Since you already have a roommate, you may feel obligated to stay at their side and not gain personal independence.
  2. Your roommate might hold you back from meeting others that could potentially become your good friends.
  3. You may realize that living together was not the best decision and it could negatively affect the relationship you’ve already established.

On the other hand, the “safe route” might not be the path for you. The other option is to take the big leap and be paired with someone you’ve never met in your life! Someone that may come from a different state, or have a different accent, or even come from a completely different background than you’re normally used to. This can be exciting and intimidating at the same time.

Pros to Not Picking a Roommate

  1. Meeting someone new and making a friend!
  2. Being able to learn from one another
  3. Joining a club or organization together
  4. Experiencing the ups and downs of Freshman year together
  5. Building a relationship for years to come
  6. Having someone to live with the rest of the time you’re at college

Cons to Not Picking a Roommate

  1. Being paired with someone you just don’t get along with
  2. Different living styles may cause confrontation between the two roommates.
  3. It may be scary to live with someone you don’t know and need time to build trust with.
  4. Roommate confrontation can lead to an uncomfortable living situation for the remainder of freshman year.

The decision is definitely not a simple one but it also depends on your personality and living styles. Do you trust easily? Do you mind if your roommate borrows your scissors but never gives them back? Is it okay when your roommate eats all your Oreos? If your answer is “No” you may want to consider rooming with someone who is similar to yourself. You can either find someone you already know or even chat with some people online before you go to college and request to be their roommate. The decision to pick, or not to pick, is in your hands… and I’m still talking about roommates, not your nose!