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How to Choose Your Roommates

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Summer’s just started, but when you’re headed to college in the fall, it can feel like a lot of decisions are begging to be made now. And one of the biggest ones to start considering? Who your roommates are going to be.

Your roommates can make or break your experience, especially if you end up in close living quarters, so take the time to think through the kind of people you would get along well with and what your preferences might be depending on your own study and social activities.

Consider these four things when saying yea or nay to who you will be living with.

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Familiarity

When you’re thrown into a new city, new school, new home, and new lifestyle of independent groundbreaking, it can feel like it’s all a bit too much. At those times, the comfort of a familiar face or two can go a long way.

Linking up with your best friends or someone else from your hometown experiencing the same fish-out-of-water situation can give you a nice foundation for the college life you plan to build.

And when things get tough? You already have each other as a support system.

But don’t be fooled by a friendly face. Many people have found that the friends and family they thought would be their best roommates end up creating a lot more conflict and stress. Close ties definitely mean that it’s easier to get on each other’s nerves and intentionally push one another’s buttons.

Similarly, having that history can also confine both of you to your past living habits rather than expanding your experience with new ways of doing things and challenging you to grow alongside new people.

Age Difference

Another aspect of your roommates that can affect your college experience is a difference or similarity in age or maturity.

As a freshman, it can be great to room with other freshmen, giving you a pool of friends to go out and explore new parties and clubs with. With programs like those at a BYU-Idaho freshman housing complex, it can be easier to navigate the new college life. If your housemates are further along in school, a few years older, or simply have had more life experience, you might find that they aren’t up for hitting the top hot spots that seem fun and new to you.

But having roommates with varying ages can also bring a great dynamic of growth and support. Those who have been at university longer can pass along helpful tips, like when to avoid the library or little-known places to get away from the crowds, and those who are new can continue to bring energy and different perspectives to the group.

Think about the type of dynamic you like and keep an eye out for roommates in that age- or maturity-range.

Schedules

Something people can often forget to take into account is how their schedule aligns and overlaps with the person living in the next room over.

Pros and cons come with this no matter how your schedules are organized, so it’s good to determine which is most ideal for you, and even what isn’t great but you could still live with.

Roommates who wake up, head to campus, and go to sleep at similar times to your own timeline can be a huge benefit when it comes to sleeping and other activities.

Chances are you’ll be studying, being social, and heading to bed without fear of being too loud for each other; however, similar schedules mean trying to use the bathroom, kitchen, and study spaces at the same time, which may cause issues, especially when you’re running late.

On the other hand, having a roommate with the opposite schedule of your own would give you free rein over the house when you needed it, as your roommate would be likely out and about. But there might be the issue of waking each other up at odd hours as well.

Interests

While the three points we’ve hit can make a huge difference, the ultimate measuring stick for choosing your roommates has got to be what kind of similarity in interests you have. This can cover things from sports to music to food, and even your chosen majors.

In much the same way that familiarity can provide a support system, shared interests and personality traits can help you to bond as roommates.

While many people like this setup, it also isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to have a melting pot right in their home, bringing new perspectives, ideas, and activities that they might not have entertained on their own. You may begin your roommate search with a perfect list of the ideal living companion for you, but don’t forget that what works in theory doesn’t necessarily work out in practice.

So get a good idea of those preferences, but also stay open to the different choices that might come your way, because every person will bring a unique spin to whatever you choose.

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