How To Find A College Roommate

Written by Sara Holsing, Class of 2020

You’ve finally accepted the offer to your dream college! Maybe you’ve acquired some cool merch with the school’s colors or picked out some dorm room decorations. But what about a roommate?

There are probably lots of questions you have surrounding roommates. Will they be a perfect match? Will they be your best friend? How do I even find one?! Although this process can be stressful because of the uncertainty underlying it, everything will come together and there are a few things to keep in mind for your search.

Know Your Own Preferences

From the beginning, it’s really important to understand what your preferences are for habits and daily routines. Do you like to go to bed early or are you more of a night owl? Is it okay to have a slightly messy space or would you rather have everything neat and tidy? Would you rather live with someone who has similar preferences to you? Knowing yourself and your preferences will help you navigate compatibility options better!

Be Open-Minded

Once you start your search, don’t set your sights too narrow. Sometimes having a roommate who isn’t necessarily your carbon copy is a great experience and you can learn a thing or two from them while navigating your own way in college. If you know deep down in your gut that “Sally or Jim is the perfect roommate for me”, then that’s great, but it’s never a bad thing to have a few options.

Use Social Media To Examine Your Options

Social media is an amazing tool and almost everyone has it! Some schools, like Etown, may offer different Facebook groups for the new incoming class once you’ve been accepted. This opens up a big pool of students who are also looking for roommates like you and is a great way to set up one-on-one discussions with your peers. This leads me to the next point...

Meet Up Or Schedule A Call

This is really important. Although it can be great to meet someone online and hit it off really well, it can be more authentic when you meet your potential roommate in person and really get to know them. Plus, it will be easier and quicker to discuss your lifestyle preferences, habits and logistics such as who is bringing what appliance.

Take Advantage Of Summer Orientation Programs

Many schools have summer orientation programs that occur before housing selection forms are due. This is a great opportunity to meet incoming students who may not live close to your hometown but have great roommate potential! Most likely, you’ll meet people in your major and have time to get to know them while also learning about what to expect for your first-semester college experience.


Overall, things will all fall into place and you will find a roommate in the end! If you don’t find your match though, don’t panic as most colleges have a random roommate selection. These surveys have been distributed and used for a long time so they’re pretty good at pairing compatible people together. Good luck with your search and your first year of college!

Elizabethtown College