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Alisha D'souza's picture

I found a roommate.. Now What?

Most students at the University of Minnesota do not live alone. On campus housing does have some single room options, but these are generally more expensive. Besides, it's good to get out of your comfort zone and live with a complete stranger- whether this means sharing the same room or even different rooms within a larger apartment. 

Step 1: Finding a roommate

Once you are accepted to the University, you will most likely be added to a Facebook group with all the students in your year. This is a great place to find a roommate. A lot of people just post short paragraphs about themselves and what they are looking for in an ideal roommate. If you see someone you think might be a good fit, don't be afraid to comment on their post or send them a message.

For me personally, I did not find anyone online which might have been due to the fact that I started looking for a roommate super late, so most people had already decided. I therefore agreed to have a randomly assigned roommate. I was a little intimidated at the thought of a completely random roommate, but I did indicate all the qualities I was looking for in a roommate when I signed up for housing. All that was left to do was to hope for the best. As it turns out, I was worried for no reason! My randomly assigned roommate, Sally, is now my best friend! We got along immediately, and have continued to live together for all our years here.

Step 2: Set a few ground rules

Whether or not you and your roommate get along, it will be helpful for both of you to set a few ground rules. It may be awkward, but it is essential to sit down with your new roommate within the first few days of living together (or even before that) and talk about setting up a few simple rules. For instance, if you're open to sharing, let them know. If you would much rather not share your food or supplies, let them know that as well. Let them know what your preferences are with respect to noise levels, especially when you need to study or when it's late at night. Also establish some rules regarding significant others. Your room should be a comfortable space for both of you, so make sure to respect any requests your roommate asks of you as well. Finally, make sure this discussion is friendly. It should not seem like you're putting down a list of demands for your roommate to follow. Rather, it should be a shared mutual agreement out of respect for each other's space and comfort.

Step 3: Bond!

There is no guarantee that you and your roommate will become good friends. That doesn't mean you have to shut them out entirely! Suggest a few activities that would help you bond, such as going to Welcome Week events together, going to see a movie, going to a concert, exploring Minneapolis, etc. You're going to be living together for almost a year, so make an effort to get to know them a little better. Who knows, they might be the first close friend you make at college!


Sally and I on the first day of Welcome Week, 2016


Playing in the snow, 2018