College Roommate Questionnaire: Finding the Best Match
Finding the perfect college roommate is a lot of pressure. How are you supposed to live with someone you’ve possibly never even met? On top of that, you’ve probably heard horror stories from family members and friends that have you feeling pretty stressed. But don’t worry. With a few simple tips and tricks, it’s easy to find a roommate you’ll love.
Where to Start
- Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations - Not all roommates are going to be best friends, and that’s OK. The important thing is to find someone who will respect your living space. Just relax, and don’t begin with the expectation that you’re looking for your new lifelong best friend.
- Figure Out Your Own Preferences - Most likely, you’ll be talking with potential roommates and posting a short bio about yourself. It’s important to think about what you want in a living space and share your must-haves with a potential roommate. Even if she seems really cool, you don’t want to concede to living preferences that are important to you and regret it later.
- Consider Living with Someone You Don’t Already Know - Rooming with friends can be great, but make sure your living preferences coincide BEFORE you start. It’s easy to say you don’t mind that your best friend stays up late talking on the phone before you’ve lived with her! While it may seem scary, you can set boundaries right away when living with someone you don’t know.
- Join a Facebook Group - Nowadays, most roommate searches are conducted through Facebook and social channels. Check to see if your university has a “Class of ____” page on Facebook. Once on the page, post a short bio about yourself. People will comment once interested, and then you can friend them and start messaging to see if you’re a good match.
Organize a college night at your school with a sign up. SAMPLE
The Basic Questions
- Where Do You Want to Live on Campus? - It’s no use finding the perfect roommate if they want to live on a different side of campus! Ask this question early.
- Do You Like to Keep Your Space Clean? - This is very important. People tend to downplay their tendencies at BOTH ends of the spectrum. If a roommate says, “I’m a little messy,” they are probably messier than they are letting on. Similarly, if they say, “I prefer things to be clean,” it most likely means they will be very neat. Know yourself and what end of the spectrum you need! Cleanliness is one of the biggest issues between roommates.
- When Do You Plan on Going to Sleep? - Make sure you and your potential roommate are on the same page here. Though you will probably stay up a little later than usual in college, don’t write off that your potential roommate likes to go to bed around 3 a.m. If you’re an early riser, it will end up hurting both of you.
- Do You Plan on Studying in the Room or on Campus? - Check how much time your roommate plans on spending in the room. If one of you wants to study in the room every day, the other shouldn’t be planning on having friends over or napping regularly.
- Do You Plan on Having Guests Over? - If a roommate is in a long-distance relationship or just plans on having family and friends stay over for some weekends in the month, it can have a big impact on how you live and your sleep schedule. Clarify this before rooming.
- When Do You Plan on Having Classes? - If you’re planning on having morning classes, you don’t want it to be hard to get up without waking your roommate. Similarly, if you want afternoons, you don’t want to be the one getting woken up!
- Have You Ever Shared a Room with Someone Before? - This is good to know, even if it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. A roommate who is used to sharing a room is more likely to know how to communicate and cohabitate well.
The Uncomfortable (But Necessary) Questions
- Do You Practice a Religion? - If religion is important to you, finding someone with similar beliefs can be a great comfort. You’ll be able to attend religious services with them and have the same lifestyle.
- Do You Struggle with Mental Health Issues? - This is a very personal question, and you may not ask it, but regardless it’s something to think about. You don’t want to be put in a serious situation that you were unprepared for. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety often worsen in college and you don’t want something to happen because you were unequipped.
- Are You Planning on Going Out/Partying in College? - This can be an uncomfortable question to ask, but it’s important. It’s best that you room with someone who is on the same page about drinking. While you can’t predict everyone’s behavior in the shift to college life, you can try to minimize the fallout by asking your potential roommate about lifestyle choices early.
Head off to campus with this printable college packing list.
The Fun Questions
- Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert? - This can help you determine more about your potential roommate’s personality, as well as help you better understand them and how they like to interact.
- What are Your Pet Peeves? - Do they hate snoring? Can’t stand when people hum? These are good to know to avoid future arguments!
- What are You Looking for in a Roommate? - Figure out what qualities and habits they’d like you to have. This is a great way to see if you are a good fit with your potential roommate.
- What TV Shows/Books/Bands Do You Like? - If you’re scrambling for something to talk about, these topics are a good way to find common ground. You can see if you have the same kind of humor or musical taste.
- What is the Most Fun You’ve Ever Had? - This is a fun question and can also tell you a lot about your potential roommate. Does the memory sound fun to you as well? Would you enjoy living with a person who enjoys that kind of activity?
- What are Your Favorite Snacks? - If you do decide to room together, you can surprise your future roommate with a little snack basket to start the year off right!
Schedule alumni interviews with a sign up. SAMPLE
- Try Meeting Up - Talking over the Internet can only tell you so much! Try meeting up in person for a meal to talk about the next year and what you hope college will be like.
- Check Them Out on Your Own - Even though we’d like to think so, no roommate is going to be completely honest. We all like to think we are a great person to live with, but that’s not necessarily true. Though social media is not always genuine, looking at your potential roommate’s social accounts can be helpful. If there are red flags, don’t room with them!
- Relax - No matter how much you try, you’ll never be able to completely predict what it will be like to live with someone. Everyone will most likely end up with a bad roommate at some point in his life, and it’s not the end of the world. (There’s always next year.)
With all these genius tips and tricks, finding a good roommate is simple. Enjoy the process!
Kayla Rutledge is a college student who spends most of her time writing, singing for her church and eating quesadillas.