From strangers to roomies

by Selene Lam

As the next school year approaches, many students are scrambling to find roommates for a dorm or an apartment. With the staggering tuition fees students have to pay each quarter, having roommates is helpful to share the financial burden of room and board. Roommates also play a role in reducing feelings of loneliness, since they are sharing their intimate and private space with you. Perks of having a roommate are endless if you all get along well. Yet the downsides to having roommates can be overwhelming when you are not paired with someone who has similar living habits as you do.

There are quite a few problems that may arise when you are not paired with a compatible roommate. Common issues, such as having different lifestyles and lack of communication, can potentially ruin your rooming experience. For example, if one roommate is loud and extroverted while the other one is timid and introverted, conflicts might arise in their social lives. Their contrasting personalities could lead to a disturbed sleeping schedule, as one roommate might invite friends over late at night while the other one goes to bed early. Different cleaning habits may also lead to one roommate doing all the chores while the other slacks off.

Embed from Getty Images

Students should avoid the situations mentioned above. To find a compatible roommate, many students are posting their personal profiles on social media pages that specialize in “roommate searching.” There are Instagram accounts and Facebook group pages that offer platforms for students to state a brief biography about themselves and what they look for in a roommate. This process might be difficult to navigate at first, so here is a quick list of points people post in their biographies:

— Major

— Where you are from and why you chose to attend UCLA

— Interests: clubs you joined in high school, what you like to do in your free time

— Entertainment: favorite TV shows, favorite music artists

— Future plans at UCLA: future career plans, one thing you look forward to in Westwood

— Roommate expectations: living habits, what you are looking for in a roommate

— Photos: Attach photos that convey your personality!

In my experience of posting my biography on a Facebook page, I received five to six conversation requests from students who were interested in rooming with me. Reaching out to other people’s profiles is also a proactive way to find a roommate.

Embed from Getty Images

In order to choose a roommate who is most compatible with your interests, I recommend talking to all of them over the phone to gauge their rooming preferences. Some topics you might want to discuss with a potential roommate are:

— Drug/sex/party habits and boundaries

— How fast they respond to texts (to see how well they communicate)

— Typical class schedule

— Daily schedules: what times they typically study, eat, shower and sleep

— Introvert versus extrovert

— Cleanliness habits

— Split room necessity costs

— Political and/or world views

— Allergies

Here is a final piece of advice: Everything takes time to come to fruition, so do not rush the roommate process as you will eventually find the right person.

Overall, finding a roommate can be an extremely stressful process. However, as long as you find a roommate who can be respectful and communicative of duties in your room, you can look forward to a school year with minimal roommate quarrels.

You may also like