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What to Consider When Picking a Roommate

If you have the option to pick your roommate in college, you may want to think twice before bunking with your best friend. Take time to think through your decision and don’t feel pressured into anything. Remember, you will be living with this person for at least one semester, if not more.


Rooming with your best friend seems like common sense, right? You may find that living with a best friend is just too much. You may not want to be around them all the time or they may have little habits that get on your nerves. Consider these things before you jump into living together. You don’t want to ruin a solid friendship. It will benefit you to begin making new friends in college as well, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.


Are you clean or messy? Loud or quiet? A night owl or an early bird? Try to find someone who is on the same pages as you to make sharing your space more enjoyable. If you are always picking up after someone, or your home is never quiet, it could negatively impact your grades and your future.

College Goals

Before selecting a roommate, be sure that you share some common goals. If they are only in college to party, and you have set high academic standards for yourself, living together will probably not work well. Try to find someone who can successfully balance school and a healthy social life.

Common Interests

Do you enjoy working out, volunteering, spending time outdoors? If your roommate enjoys these things, you will have someone to share your interests with. This may help make your adjustment to college life a little easier. You can find activities to do together and may develop similar social circles.


If you plan to live off campus or anywhere that your rent is not paid up front for the semester, be sure that your roommate has a stable income or money from other sources, such as grants and loans, to pay their rent. Before you move in, discuss how you would divide paying for items that you may both use, e.g. electric and cable. If you’re not comfortable with their financial situation, do not move in with them.


If you are sharing a living space with someone, you need to be able to trust them. You should discuss rules regarding visitors and potential quiet hours if needed. You should also discuss personal space. If you do not want your roommate in your room, discuss that beforehand and be sure they understand. Ask them about visitors. For example, if they are in a relationship, will their significant other be around all the time?

Conflict Resolution

No matter who you decide to live with, there’s always a chance that you will disagree on something. Try to determine if your potential roommate is the kind to handle conflicts politely with words, instead of screaming or giving you the silent treatment. You should be living with someone who can function as an adult and work through any issues in the same manner.

Using the above tips will help you determine what is most important to you when deciding who to live with. If you learn that your roommate isn’t the best fit, use what you’ve learned to make a better decision the next chance you have. Your home environment plays an important role in your overall college experience.