Finding roommates differs among colleges and students

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Nicole DeBlasi, Web Managing Editor

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Once students get into a college, the first order of business is usually to check out the college Facebook group, where students post bios about themselves hoping to attract potential roommates. For those who have been accepted in the rolling, Early Action, or Early Decision pools, some students have already begun searching, through the help of friends or social media, to find their roommates for next year.

Jackie Abrams ’15, who will be attending Syracuse University starting this fall, has already started the roommate process and decided she wants to pick her roommate for next year.

“Going to Syracuse which is a pretty mid slash big-size school, there’s like a lot of people that I know through mutual friends so I’d be more comfortable meeting someone before and knowing whom I’m going to room with rather than just picking a random person to room with, “ Abrams said.

Some colleges offer a variety of different ways to pick your roommate, and the process for finding a roommate usually begins when the student puts a deposit down or after May 1st. For example, at the University of Miami, there is a Roommate Finder, which they describe on their website as “a complimentary service designed for students to find suitable roommates based on a ‘matching system’ of posted profiles of potential roommates.” Others, Like Gettysburg College, have students fill out a form to help the Residential and First-Year programs staff match roommates, with questions geared towards “sleep and study preferences.”

However, some colleges, like Amherst College, eschew the “matching system” and Amherst College told Boston.com that the system “fails to encourage first-year students to step outside their comfort zones and learn to live with someone who may be completely different.”

Eliza Llewellyn, who graduated in 2014 and currently attends Harvard, did not have the option to pick a roommate and instead had to fill out a questionnaire and prefers that option.

“I think judging living compatibility is completely different from [seeing] someone who may share some hobbies or seems nice over Facebook – so I don’t think choosing a roommate would increase your chance of compatibility that much,” Llewellyn said over a Facebook interview.

Leslie Hammer, a guidance counselor at Staples, said that although she doesn’t know much about the college rooming process, she thinks that there are some drawbacks to picking a roommate.

“I think that part of the advantage of, you know, sort of taking your chances and going with the school’s matching system would be that you might actually meet somebody you wouldn’t have necessarily have come in contact with and they may end up a friend or if not at least you’ll learn a lot living closely with them,” Hammer said.

Even though the roommate process might be stressful, Abrams has some advice.

“Everyone finds a roommate and everyone finds a place that’s like perfect for them,” she said.

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