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Here’s How to Find a College Roommate

Posted on September 12, 2016 by Justin Maynard

how to find a college roommate

For new freshman and returning students, ‘tis the season to go roommate hunting. That is, unless you want to leave it all up to chance and let the university match you with a random roommate. But most students don’t want to take that chance.

Roommates can become lifelong friends or lifelong enemies, depending on how it goes, so some care should be taken when making the decision about who to room with.

Here are some tips on finding the right one:

Do a Self-Analysis

Before you even start the process of choosing a roommate, take some time to think about what’s important to you.

  • What are your sleeping habits? Is a 9pm curfew sacred for you to get your beauty rest? Do you have difficulty falling asleep and need a quiet environment? Or do you fall asleep easily? Do you like to stay up late?
  • How do you like to study- in the library or in your room? Do you prefer that the room be used for socializing or quiet study?
  • How do you feel about having visitors over to the room?
  • How important is cleanliness to you? Are your roommate’s dirty socks going to drive you bonkers or are you the one who’s going to be leaving the dirty socks on the floor?

Be honest with yourself. Don’t think about how you would like to be. What are your usual habits?

Room With a Friend

If you’re heading off to college this fall with some friends, you might be tempted to room with them. It feels safe and comfortable to share space with someone you already know and can be intimidating to face the idea of sharing such intimate quarters with a stranger. Before you nail your names to your dorm room, however, you might want to consider a few things first:

Just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean you’ll make great roommates. Are you a morning person and she’s a night owl? Are you into sports and she chain smokes? These differences might seem insignificant but they can start to take a toll on your living situation and even cause conflict over time. It might be smarter to risk rooming with someone you have more in common with rather than spoil a friendship because you weren’t good roommates.

Check out Facebook

Your college’s Facebook page allows you to check out other students from your class. As you scroll through their newsfeed, check out their likes and start chatting with them, you’ll soon start find out which ones would make good roommate material and which ones wouldn’t. It might be a little bit awkward at first to start chatting with strangers and asking them questions about their study habits, but remember, everyone else is looking for roommates too, so it’s cool.

Sign up on Roomsurf

Roomsurf has matched nearly a million roommates. Their form asks you questions about your habits and interests and asks which of these interests you would prefer your roommate to share. Their compatibility algorithm chooses a list of potential matches and if you choose each other, then you’re all set.


Roomsync helps connect students who are looking for roommates for both campus housing and off-campus housing. Members fill out questionnaires and receive reports on the students they matched with.

Leave It to Chance

If you don’t want to spend the time and energy to find the perfect roommate match, you could always leave it up to chance and wait to see what roommate your school matched you with like in the old days. Who knows- you could end up with someone you never would have chosen but who ends up being a good fit.

As you set out to find someone to share your college dorm with, make sure you’ve done a thorough evaluation of your ideal roommate situation, including being honest about your own habits. Then you’ll be ready to check out the different sites available for college roommate matching and find a truly compatible person to share the school year with.

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