How to find the right college roommate

It’s the most exciting and terrifying time of the year for seniors.

With college fast approaching and decisions needing to be made, they also need to find a roommate for college–unless they’re brave enough to select a completely random roommate. In that case I hope they don’t get paired up with a serial killer.

For underclassmen and senior procrastinators who just started looking for a roommate to live with next year, I have some advice.

First, you need to dig up that old email and password combination that you buried once high school started and re-enter the alarmingly parent-dominated world of Facebook. Once you successfully excavate that username and password, you get to stare at the embarrassing profile that hasn’t been touched since middle school. So update that profile picture. Unlike those 100 odd pages that we didn’t have any right to like in the first place. Then, go like the page that is actually important and the most up-to-date: The Official Facebook Page of Your Future College’s Graduating Class.

Once you’re there, every prospective student has three potential options:

  1. Read other prospecting students’ Facebook posts talking about who they are and what kind of roommate they’re looking for.
  2. Form your own post talking about who you are and what kind of roommate you’re looking for.
  3. Both!

Thrilling. And nerve wracking. But let’s discuss the awesome possibilities of each option.

The first option is easy but requires scrolling through each students’ posts and deciding which person you like enough to want to live with almost every day for nine months, through the good and the bad, sickness and health, ‘til summer do you part. When you find someone who shares your interests or who you think would be cool to get to know, send them a message on Facebook asking if they’re still looking for a roommate and introduce yourself.

A proper introduction doesn’t have to be formal or long. Consider including your name, where you’re from, your interests or activities you’re involved in, what you’re like as a person, or what dorm you want to live in if your college lets you choose.

It’s going to feel like you’re writing something for an online dating website, but power through, and always remember to be honest about yourself. Once a conversation begins, you can ask your potential roommate a couple of questions to get to know them better and see if rooming with them would be a good idea. Here are some examples of questions you could ask your potential roomie:

If you’d rather not scroll through hundreds of posts, you can always write your own post on the Facebook wall for everyone in the group to see and let the future roommates come find you.

When you first join the group, look at a couple of other people’s posts and see what format they followed or what kind of information they included. In my case, I read a lot of the same things from girls: “Hi my name is So-and-So and I’m really excited to go to sporting events, but studying is really important to me, too. I’m also looking for a workout buddy and someone who will motivate me to go to the gym. Can’t forget that I want to decorate my dorm room to look like it came straight out of pinterest” along with some other jazz about the sports they played in high school or the clubs they wanted to join in college. Posts like these are perfectly acceptable, but if you want to write a post that stands out amongst the others, I suggest using an attention grabber or something unique about yourself within the first or second sentence. Once you submit your post, people will like it and slide into your facebook messages wanting to get to know you better.

Seize the day and talk to as many people as you can before deciding on which roommate you want. When you make a decision, let the other people that you had been talking to know that you decided on someone else and wish them the all the best.

Finally, do a happy dance because you survived another exciting/terrifying life experience on your journey into adulthood. You go, you!