Your time in college is full of important decisions, and choosing a roommate that’s perfect for you is one of them. Your roommate can impact your college life in an incredible way-whether through fun and friendship or frustration and distraction. Here, we’ll consider how you can find a roommate that works for you.
Know what you want in a roommate. Before looking for a roommate, be sure that you have a clear idea of the person you’re looking for. Do you want them to be male, or female, or does it matter? A smoker? A partier? Be sure that your desires for a roommate match up with the person you’re looking for.
Ask your landlord for help. Your landlord may know of someone who is interested in living in your apartment or neighborhood, so check with them to see if they have any input to offer.
Check your college newspaper. Almost every college has a campus paper. Pick one up and take a look in the classifieds section. You will almost certainly see listings for people who have a room to offer, or who are in search of one.
Take a look at social media. Let your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace know that you’re on the hunt for a roommate. They may be in search of one as well, or know someone who is.
Choose carefully. If you find a roommate through friends or someone you know, like your landlord, do a little pre-qualifying. Ask them about the person before you consider them as a roommate, and be sure you know what you’re getting into.
Ask for references. If you truly do not know this person, ask them to share references from previous roommates and landlords. This will help give you an idea of what it’s like to live with them.
Set expectations early. Before moving in together, talk to your roommate about your shared expectations. Think about how you’ll split costs, deal with common use stuff like milk and detergent, and how you will share big pieces like furniture and appliances.
In addition to financial and property considerations, you also need to discuss what each of you expects for social time. Are you comfortable with having people over at all hours, or would you prefer to keep your home quiet and party elsewhere? Will drugs be allowed? Make sure that you are both on the same page to avoid running into conflicts later.
By paying attention to details in your search, you can ensure that your college roommate experience will be a good one. Use these tips to enjoy the friendship and financial benefits of having a roommate without worry.