Students should reconsider the roommate search; maybe random isn’t so bad after all

Once+individuals+decide+where+they+are+going+to+college%2C+they+can+join+a+facebook+group+and+post+a+bit+about+themselves+in+order+to+find+people+in+common.+In+most+cases+there+are+actual+photos+of+the+person+and+their+friends+rather+than+logos+or+images+of+things+they+like.%0A%0A

Graphic by Tori Wilson ’22

Once individuals decide where they are going to college, they can join a facebook group and post a bit about themselves in order to find people in common. In most cases there are actual photos of the person and their friends rather than logos or images of things they like.

As seniors decide where they are going to college, the vast majority’s next step is joining numerous Facebook groups, changing their Instagram bios and having their friends post about their acceptance in hopes of making connections. This seems like a whole lot of work, to find a roommate who seems “cool” but you know not much about. Social media posts can be very misleading since a couple of photos can make someone’s lifestyle appear different than it truly is. 

Over time, some colleges have changed their policies. Rather than getting a random roommate, students have the opportunity to find a roommate and list them on their housing applications. Most students are in favor of this new change since it results in a better college experience. 

Some choose to opt-out of the social media roommate finding frenzy, however. 

At Staples, it seems that the majority of students choose to participate in the social media search. Even though this process is a great way of finding a roommate, there are tons of stigmas behind it. Personally, I will be participating in the Facebook search but I do wish there could be more trust in the random process. 

Some colleges have Instagram and Facebook pages for the incoming class in which students can post photos of themselves with bios in order to find people of similar interests. Most bios are the same claiming “I love going out but also soooo down for a night in” or “I can’t wait to go to sports games and I will def be rushing a sorority.” Since most of the bios are the same they aren’t actually effective in helping to narrow down which roommate will actually be best for you. What people actually find most helpful is the photos associated with each post. 

As kids, we learn to not judge a book by a cover, however this lesson is completely opposed by the college roommate search. Perceptions of different roommates are affected by the photos posted and I find this is the main reason people are hesitant to post themselves.

As kids, we learn to not judge a book by a cover, however this lesson is completely opposed by the college roommate search. Perceptions of different roommates are affected by the photos posted.”

— Tori Wilson ’22

On Facebook, individuals can like and comment on certain posts. If a senior girl happens to be scrolling through the Penn State Class of 2026 page, they may be too lazy to read the bios and will simply look at photos and like the posts that have people who appear to have appealing lifestyles.

The college process is already stressful enough since there is tons of competition among schools. It is important we as a senior class attempt to eliminate the negative stigma behind posting in order to decrease just a little bit of stress. Even though the social media process is better than a random search for some people, it is not effective if all people base their opinions on photos. People should rather post honest, non-filtered  photos in order for people to match with others with similar interests, not just good looks.