So you finally get accepted to college and you're frantically joining every single "Class of 202__" Facebook group to shamelessly self-promote your social media, and of course to look for roommates. The anticipation builds inside as you mindlessly scroll through each page for what seems like hours — probably because it has been. The tension rises as you soon realize each post conforms to a strict formula, of which you had no introduction to. But of course, you passed high school and are used to memorizing unimportant content last minute, and so you begin to take mental notes. This meticulous analyzing, however, is grueling both mentally and physically — it necessitates pretty rapid scrolling, which can be strenuous on the fingers — and thus I have condensed all there is to the roommate formula into the list below.
Part One: The short autobiography.
1. Emphasis on SHORT!
You will have plenty of time to construct lengthy Powerpoints and thesis papers in college; your bio isn't being graded by a panel of Nobel Prize winning professors. It's meant to appeal to your future classmates who would much rather watch a movie than read about your top five favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors or your collection of antique harmonicas — we get it, you're quirky.
2. Be real.
Maybe you volunteered at a soup kitchen once in ninth grade to fullfill your community service hours, but if service isn't central to your character, and you're only including it in your bio to find an overly kind roommate to manipulate, you're only playing yourself. Try to include the activities that make you happy, even if it's just seeing music with friends (include band names and artists for personalization) or playing guitar; there are bound to be others who relate.
3. Add some humor.
Even if jokes aren't your thing, everyone will appreciate a corny dad joke or a bad pun, especially when they're scrolling through a sea of homogenous posts littered with cliches. Bonus points if you include a school-specific pun; the easiest way to do this is by using the school's mascot.
4. Be original!
If your post includes any of the following phrases, you're basic.
"I'm a work hard play hard type of gal."
"I live for spontaneous outings."
"Party animal, but always down for quiet nights in."
It's college; a large selection of your peers will also be "night owls" who enjoy partying as well as hanging out. Try to be specific about activities you enjoy doing while hanging out, or types of party scenes you're into (music festivals, raves, jazz shows, etc.)
5. Include your other social media handles.
This is especially important for those whose Facebook pages are flooded with "baking with grandma!" pictures; people are multi-faceted and various platforms expose their different sides.
Part Two: Pictures to include.
1. The Party Picture
While this picture shouldn't explicitly show any illicit activities, it should indicate that you know how to have a good time. This photo can be anything from a picture of you frolicking in the grass at a festival to you table-dancing at a club with your friends. It's vital that your post is not overrun by this image type as you want to avoid characterizing yourself as solely a party animal off the bat.
2. The Selfie
This is pretty self explanatory; just aim to include only one selfie in your post to avoid coming off as overly narcissistic. It's also a tad concerning if you are the only person pictured, and begs the question as to if you have friends.
3. The Travel Picture
Whether it's a picture at the beach a state over, or atop a mountain in the Swiss Alps, travel pictures help depict your adventurous side. This picture is also the perfect opportunity to showcase an aspect of your culture, and can serve to attract others who share similar roots.
4. The Innocent Picture
This image can take various forms, and is mainly intended to balance out the party pictures and show genuine well-roundedness. This might be a photo with your siblings, your cute puppy (everyone loves puppies) or baking with friends!
5. The Group Picture
The most overused of the image types, the group picture serves to prove to others that you are not a sociopathic lunatic, as you do indeed have friends.
At the end of the day, your roommate does not have to be your best friend. Getting along is of course preferable, but if they don't share your passion for skateboarding or reject your invitation to work out in favor of binge watching Grey's Anatomy, the earth will not implode. You'll have plenty of opportunities to make friends through classes, Greek life, extracurricular activities and social gatherings/parties; just be yourself and all will work out.
Lead Image Credit: Unsplash