For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jul 12 2017
by Amelia Lytle

The 6 Stages of Roommate Selection in the Age of Social Media

By Amelia Lytle - Jul 12 2017

You got into college! Congrats! Now it's time to figure out the nitty gritty details, like who your roommate will be for freshman year. Traditionally, most people would choose a random roommate and hope they weren't mortal enemies, or you could room with a friend from home. Now, thanks to social media, there's a third option! Finding a roommate through Facebook is becoming more and more common among soon-to-be freshman. There is a very specific way the whole process works, and as someone who went through it a few months ago, I'm here to walk you through it and lend a few tips. 

1. Making a post in the Facebook group.

This first step is quite possibly the scariest of them all because this post will be seen by hundreds of future classmates. This post includes a selection of your best pictures that shows you are chill but also like to have fun and are unique. The written section goes a little something like this: “Hi, I’m Suzie and I'm so excited to be headed to ____ next year! I love to go out and have fun but also take my classes seriously. I’m planning on rushing next year and want a roommate who will work out with me. Message me if we sound like a good match!” I came across at least 40 posts with an almost word for word caption like this in my school Facebook group, and eventually it became impossible to remember who was who. One tip is to make your post as unique as possible so you really show off your personality!

2. Selecting people to message.

It's incredibly hard to tell if you will like someone by a few pictures and a short generic summary, but it’s best to reach out to lots of people! Everyone is trying to make friends and meet people so it doesn't hurt to message lots of people online. Choose people who seem like they have similar interests or lifestyles, and those will most likely be the people you connect with the best.

3. Messaging potential roommates.

Sending your first message to a complete stranger can also be daunting. Will they respond? Will they like you as well? Will you become BFFs? After running all these possibilities through your mind and clicking send, the waiting game begins. One outcome is that they never respond, and that just means you weren't meant to be roommates. Another outcome is they respond and are just as interested in you as you are to them! This starts the game of 20 questions...

4. Playing 20 questions with strangers.

Now starts the rapid fire questions including when you go to bed, if you like to go out, information about your major, hometown, favorite TV shows, neatness and many many more topics. One of the most challenging parts of this step is to remember who is who and all the information about that stranger, because you are most likely talking to more than one potential roommate. This is usually the point when you begin to tell if you can be compatible with these people. One telltale sign that rooming just won't work out is if you both go to sleep and wake up at wildly different times.

5. Breaking up with potential roomies that won't work.

There are always people you won't get along with in the world, and some of them might be people you talked to about rooming together. They might be ready to ask you to room, while you're thinking of cutting all ties and never speaking again. In situations like these, it's best to be honest early on so they don't get the wrong idea. Some good excuses are that you found another person to room with or that you decided to go random (even though you might not have) or even that you want to keep your options open and keep talking to other people. The last thing you want is to be stuck with someone you know you aren't compatible with going into your first day of college.

6. Popping the roommate question.

It's finally time to pop the question: “Do you want to room together?” It's difficult to tell what time is the right time to ask, because you don't want to ask too early and sound overly eager, but you also don't want miss your opportunity. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to be asked the question, in which case you have no stress. Once you ask the big question, you will hopefully be met with an enthusiastic reply! If not, don’t worry: There are more fish in the sea!

The age of social media has brought with it a new way to turn complete strangers into roommates! It does feel strangely similar to online dating, but it also makes the daunting world of college slightly less scary if you have someone you already know to face the first day with.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Amelia Lytle - Syracuse University

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