Choosing a Roommate

How to find someone you’re compatible with

When searching for a roommate, you need to look for more than just someone that you like to be around. A lot of college students are apprehensive about getting a roommate and think that they would be more comfortable living with someone they already know. Make sure you give this some serious thought. Just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean that you two will be compatible as roommates. You might end up learning a lot more about the person than you ever wanted to know. Your roommate’s dirty laundry (both figuratively and literally) could ruin your friendship. Sometimes, the best roommates turn out to be the people you never even considered living with.

Qualities to Look For

The best roommates tend to be people who are:

  • Reasonable. Good roommates are able to reach a compromise whenever conflict arises. They understand that there are two sides to every story, and they can put themselves in your shoes and empathize with your feelings.
  • Trustworthy. You should look for someone who is honest and reliable. You need to be able to trust your roommates to respect you and your belongings. If you live in an off-campus apartment, you need to feel confident that your roommates will always pay their share of the rent and utilities.
  • Friendly. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommates, but it’s inevitable that you will see a lot of each other. If you enjoy each other’s company, living together will be fun. Make sure that your friends get along with your roommates so that there aren’t any problems when you invite them over.
  • Cooperative. Make sure that your roommates will do their share of the housework. Also, you need to find people who will understand your needs (i.e. someone who doesn’t crank up his stereo when you’re trying to get some sleep).

Remember that it’s not exactly fair to ask someone else to exhibit these qualities if you don’t embody them yourself. Remember the golden rule (you know, the one that you learned back in preschool). Treat your roommate the way you want to be treated.

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