Monday, November 15, 2010

How to find a roommate, and other helpful advice

You’re going to be a freshman next year and you’ve started to pick out a room to live in. You’ve looked at all the buildings online and picked which one is just right for you. Or you’re going to be a sophomore, junior, or senior next year. You want to live on campus but you haven’t made any friends that you would ever consider living with. So how do you find a good roommate? I have had good roommates as well as bad roommates in the past. Here are some tips and advice for places to find a good roommate.

Random match up: when you register for a room UWM will try to pair you up to the best of their ability with someone you will be a good match with. Although I don’t have a roommate this semester, I do have suitemates, which means we share common space including a bathroom. I didn’t know any of them before coming to school here and we get along great with each other. I had two random roommates last year; one of them became my best friend, and one of them I did not like very much. It can be a great situation, but if you are someone who is very hard to get along with it could work to your benefit to try some of the other options listed.

Freshman Orientation: UWM has a lot of events for new incoming students. One of the events that a lot of new freshman will attend is freshman orientation. Not only do you get to pick out your classes and learn about the campus, but a lot of other new students will be doing the exact same thing too. If you think you are the only student worried about finding a roommate, you’re wrong. There are a lot of people looking for someone to share a room with; it’s just a matter of finding them. Freshman orientation is a great way to find someone your age that will most likely be considering the same options as you.

Camp-in: This program is an overnight experience for prospective students. You don’t have to be accepted to attend one of these programs either. You will be paired up with a student who attends UWM. Over the course of two days you get to go to class with them, eat in the dining hall, and participate in activities with other prospective students. It’s very easy to meet people at these programs because there is no pressure and a lot of fun activities going on. I am actually a student host for this program so if you have any questions about it feel free to ask me.

Start a discussion on facebook: Post a discussion topic on the housing website and advertise that you are looking for a roommate. You could post a little about yourself like what times you like to go to bed and get up in the morning, whether you are a clean or dirty person, your major and interests, and then ask other students to do the same. I know a lot of friends who have found their roommates this way and ended up rooming together for two or more years afterward.

Start your own facebook group: Most classes have a facebook group. For example, I am part of the “UWM class of 2013” group. It is a great way to meet people your own age that may be looking for the same things as you. Can’t find a group to fit your needs? Create it yourself!

If you are coming to campus and you plan to live with your best friend I would advise you to be very careful. I know that for some people this is a great option but it’s not always the best situation. I lived with my best friend for a year and things ended horribly between us because we never had time apart from each other to do our own thing and make new friends. One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t need to be friends with your roommate. It is always good to respect them and get along with each other but just because you live together doesn’t mean you are obligated to hang out outside of your room.

I put together a list of questions that might be helpful when looking for a roommate. Feel free to change or delete any of the questions, or add your own.

Preferred housing:
Where are you from?
Do you snore?
Do you smoke?
What time do you usually wake up and go to sleep?
Study habits:
Music preference:
Neat or messy:
Are you okay with people visiting (including significant others)?
Religion/morals/political views:
Do you talk on the phone a lot/do you mind if your roommate does?
Do you like to sleep in warm or cold?
Any daily habits (working out/naps/etc)?
Do you watch TV a lot?
Do you listen to music a lot/loudly or mind if your roommate does?
Do you shower in the morning or at night/how often?
Any strange habits your roommate should know about?

1 comment:

  1. I'd add that University Housing assigns rooms and roommates shortly after the May 1 cancellation deadline, so if you want to request a roommate for the fall semester you'll want to request it by then. You do this when you fill out your contract, or by submitting a Contract Change Form if you want to make changes to a contract you already submitted.

    Once you get your room assignment, you don't get to change it until 2 weeks after school starts, and that's on a case-by-case basis.