Choose your roomate wisely

Room selection time is just around the corner and many students are frantically trying to decide roommate arrangements for next year. It’s no small decision, and it’s one that my friends and I have been trying to make for about a month already with no solution. Which friend should I room with? If it’s the one who is a CA I can’t choose my building, but he doesn’t want a random roommate. Maybe I should settle with a random one, but then what if I end up rooming with a meth addict?

If you’re reading this and saying, “I’m not having any problems at all!” then you may just be one of the lucky few who found a perfect roommate match and are keeping it that way. However, my guess is that you’re one of those who has fallen into the trap of the false security provided by rooming with a friend.

I’ve heard a lot of people try to justify rooming with a best friend from home or a previous year, with reassurances such as, “We know everything about each other!” or, “We’re promising to be completely open with each other so there are no problems.” These are both great ideas in theory, but going through with them in practice falls through more often than not. A policy of complete and total honesty is much easier said than done.

If maintaining your friendship with a particular person is very important to you, don’t room with them. Living with someone is completely different from being best friends with them; you find out so much more about a person by living with them and in almost all the circumstances I’ve experienced, very little of that is good. Annoying habits come to the forefront and grievances over conditions in the room can quickly overcome the fun of friendship.

It’s true that sometimes there is a perfect match between friends and roommates where there is a perfect understanding of each other’s tendencies, but this is rarely the case in college. Those who fall into the friend/roommate trap often meet someone at registration weekend, find some similar interests, and decide to room based on those ideas. I’ve seen this go really far south really fast, and the outcome is not pretty.

Most people make the choice based on a feeling of comfort, much rather rooming with someone who they know than a complete stranger. Think of it this way though: even though there’s a chance you get a terrible random roommate, there’s the same chance of you getting a good one. If you do get a bad roommate, you can always relocate with few repercussions. However, if you make the choice to room with a friend and things go badly, even if you do relocate, chances are the friendship will never be the same.

When making your choices for room selection, make sure to carefully consider every option before possibly jeopardizing an important friendship for the sake of “comfort.

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