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May 11 2016
by Catherine Cheng

10 Things to Consider When Roommate Seeking

By Catherine Cheng - May 11 2016
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As you frantically browse Facebook groups in hopes of catching the perfect roommate, here are a list of things to consider before committing. Of course, if you don’t end up finding the ideal roommate, remember that playing the random lottery is always an exciting option.

1. Sleep Habits

Sleep is vital to both your health and your mental stability and unfortunately, everyone has slightly different sleep habits. If staying up past midnight saps all of your strength, it might not be the best idea to room with a night owl who never sleeps until dawn. On the other hand, if you’re a night owl, being forced to turn off the sound and lights at ten might be incredibly depressing.

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2. Exercise Routines

If you’re someone who can’t be bothered to go the gym or even talk a walk outside, rooming with a bubbly, fit, exercise-is-for-me type of person might be bothersome. Disagreements over what’s healthy and what’s not ensues.

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3. Major

Ask yourself if you’d like a study buddy or a second perspective. Maybe you’d like your dorm to be an escape from stressful classes – in that case, find a roommate who has a different major. Or maybe you need someone to remind you when tests are coming up and explain what the heck that one professor meant – in that case, definitely seek someone with the same or similar major.

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4. Tidiness and Cleanliness

Well, someone’s going to have to clean the bathroom and if you want your room to be spotless, rooming with someone who can’t be bothered to do laundry is probably not the best idea. That being said, if you’re fine with having a dorm room where no patch of floor is empty, rooming with someone who is always nagging you will certainly be irritating.

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5. Outgoingness

We all have days where we just want to put on headphones and ignore the world around us, but some of us have those days more often than others. If you’re not the type to want a super conversational roommate, don’t look for the talkative type. On the flip side, if you’re all about the parties and need someone to drag to the scene, the quiet one might not be your cup of tea.

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6. Passions and Hobbies

There are two types of people in the world: those who love congregating and those who prefer solitude. If you enjoy having a unique passion, look for someone with interests in different areas to compliment but not overshadow you. If you enjoy doing the thing you love with others, by all means, finding a roommate who is passionate about your favorite activities is everything!

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7. Music Tastes

Music is the language of the soul for some and important for a vast majority of us. Many of us also tend to have very particular preferences. If you only enjoy classical music, rooming with Taylor Swift’s biggest fan is definitely not ideal. At the same time, keep in mind when you enjoy listening to music. For example, are you the type who hates sound when studying or are you the type who falls asleep unless there is music playing? If you and your roommate have polar opposite opinions on when music should play in the dorm, see if you can find someone else.

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8. Political Views

If you have a strong passion for politics, you should definitely investigate your roommate’s political views. For example, if you have strong feminist beliefs, rooming with an anti-feminist might promise you a semester of headache. Likewise, vocal liberals and vocal conservatives are sure to clash. Of course, if political debate is what you’re looking for, seek your opposites.

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9. Religious Preferences

Ultimately, we all have varying religious beliefs and opinions about sharing our religious preferences. If you do not believe in a greater force, you might want to avoid rooming with someone who loves sharing their religion. If you want to avoid rooming with someone who counters your own beliefs, be sure to ask your potential roommate what they believe in and how strongly they believe in it. Don’t be offensive though!

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10. Expectations

Lastly and most importantly, consider what role you would like your roommate to play in your life. Are you seeking a best friend or just someone to share a room with? If your roommate doesn’t want a new best friend, but you want your roommate to be a big part of your college life, things might become sour. Know when and where to set boundaries and you are sure to have lots of fun and laughs along the way.

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Lead Image Credit: FOX

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Catherine Cheng - The University of Texas at Austin

Catherine Cheng is a freshman at the University of Texas – Austin majoring in Business and hopefully picking up a certificate in Computer Science. She enjoys casually binge watching TV shows, drinking iced tea, and overusing Sriracha. In her free time, she can be found writing prose and musing about contemporary poetry books.

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