December 11 2015

Finding Your Freshman Year Roommate by Megan Graves

Early Decision and Early Action are out or on their way.  Facebook groups, meet ups and other fun but stress inducing events involving the strangers with whom you will be spending the next four years won’t be far behind.  Over the coming months, we’ll be offering some advice on how to navigate this part of your life:

As a sophomore in college, I look back on my my high school days with the utmost respect for seniors. Between college applications, keeping up with school work, SATs/ACTs, subject tests, and crafting a balanced résumé with impressive extracurriculars, it’s a tough year! But, even after the college process is over and you’ve officially transitioned into “senioritis” mode, the next stress appears: the roommate search.

Screenshot 2015-12-11 16.12.54In the spring of my senior year, I found myself constantly worrying about my potential roommate for my freshman year of college. After all, that’s what everyone asked me after I chose my school: “So, are you going to choose a roommate, or are you going random?” The thought of “random” honestly scared me immensely–I had heard so many horror stories of crazy roommates, girl drama, and a rocky start to their freshman years because people had a “bad roommate.” With this information haunting me, I searched my class’s Facebook group for hours each night trying to find the “perfect” roommate. My school even had a girls’ group dedicated to matching people up based on similar interests, majors, etc. Honestly, the process of posting a personal bio and messaging different girls made me feel like I was participating in some sort of dating website, and whoever I chose in the end would determine whether or not I would enjoy my freshman year of college. After feeling pretty hopeless, I received a Facebook message from someone who shared a lot of the same interests as I did. We immediately hit it off and texted each other incessantly, so I finally decided to just go for it and to list her as my roommate!

bestfriendsgiphySince Facebook allowed us to talk over the summer, I felt as if I already knew my roommate when I showed up on move-in day. We hit it off really fast and it felt so nice to have someone to go to orientation with and go to my first dinner with. Fortunately, by the end of the year, my roommate became my best friend and we did almost everything together. Now, in the middle of my sophomore year, we are still friends and plan to live together for all four years. I think a lot of our success as roommates was due to the fact that we got to “meet” each other over Facebook, and had the chance to get to know each other before moving in. The first few days of college were really overwhelming, so it was nice to feel like I already knew the person I was sharing a room with right off the bat.

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But, sometimes social media can be deceiving, and while you might think you and another person could really hit it off, it might not always work out so perfectly in real life as you imagined. I’ve seen many Facebook pairs hit it off in the beginning of the semester, but ultimately not end up being best friends. And trust me, this is NORMAL. Despite the hype, your roommate does not have to be your long-lost BFF. On the other hand, I’ve seen amazing successes from people going random–it ultimately just depends on how well you and the other person live together. Sometimes, roommates can go in being best friends, but they just don’t live well together. It’s important to be flexible with whatever happens and to not put too much pressure on the process! Trust me, you learn a lot about yourself (including your strange and particular pet peeves–make sure to note these to your potential roommate).

cruelsoundsgiphyAfter my experience and seeing my friends’ different roommate situations play out over the course of our freshman year, I’ve decided on my one piece of advice to all incoming freshmen: your roommate is NOT responsible for determining your happiness or your success your freshman year–that’s up to you! There’s an overwhelming amount of stress for choosing your roommate as if she has to be your best friend, but if she isn’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t make friends elsewhere! Joining clubs on campus, meeting people on your hall, joining a sorority, and so much more are great ways to meet people and to know while meeting them if you would get along–because it’s way easier to tell if you get along with someone by talking to them face-to-face! If you ask seniors in college about their freshman year roommates, more often than not, they’ll say they were civil, but not friends today–and these people still had a wonderful and happy four years at college! So go random or choose beforehand, either way your college experience is NOT dependent on someone else: it’s up to what you bring to the table and what you want to make out of it!

P.S just make sure you find that very special person who always answers “yes” when you ask if you should order Dominoes 🙂

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Read more great articles by Megan:

Welcome to Zoodles

The Confident Girl’s Guide to Binge Watching

Birkenstock or Birken-not?

Meet Megan:

unnamed-1I’m Megan Graves—a sophomore at Elon University studying Developmental Psychology, Spanish, and Early Childhood Education. I’m a proud native of the DC, Maryland, Virginia area, but I’m in my happy place when as far away from cities as possible. I love camping, peanut butter, being active, babies, and healthy eats! Did we just become best friends?


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