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3 Important Things to Know about Getting a Roommate

By Paige Holmes

Living on campus is a huge part of the college experience. Many students experience fear or nervousness over dorm life, though: living away from their families for the first time, being in a building with a bunch of strangers, and sharing their rooms with someone they don't know. Here are a few quick tips that can help ease the anxiety about your rooming situation before you ever step foot on campus for move-in day.

1. Your Roommate Doesn't Have to be a Stranger

If you have know someone who's about to go to the same college as you, you can request that specific person as your roommate. It's not 100% guaranteed that you'll be allowed to room with them, but the earlier you ask about it, the more likely you guys will be approved to room together. This was how I got one of my high school friends to be my roommate my freshman year, and even if you two are a year or so apart in college, you can still request to room with them. Give it a try!

2. You Might Have More than One

Some college dorm arrangements are suite-style, meaning that your dorm could consist of more than just one bedroom. Suite-style dorms usually house three or four people, so be prepared for the possibility of having more than one roommate. If you're unsure of your dorm setup, most colleges will have the details of their dorm layouts on their website. Or, if you visit your college, you'll probably get a tour of the dorms, and you can inquire about how many roommates you'll have.

3. What if You Don't Get Along with Your Roommate?

Roommates are typically viewed as your best friend in college, but sometimes that's not the case. If, for whatever reason, you and your roommate don't get along very well, it's not the end of the world. You can talk to your RA about it; they're meant to be a listening ear, and they can talk things through with you and your roommate. You're not required to have the same roommate for all four years of college, so once the school year is over, you can find someone new to live with next year. Moreover, if your roommate is truly impossible to live with, you could send in a request to move out early! Before you go to drastic measures, however, make sure to communicate with your roommate about what's bothering you and listen to what they have to say. Maybe you can fix your problems and avoid the hassle of moving to a new room.

Paige Holmes