Finding the perfect college roommate


Photo by Photo used with permission of Callie Kleinke

In the recent years, colleges are allowing students to choose their roommates, adding stress and excitement for the future. Callie Kleinke, senior, was searching for a roommate she could bond well with and preferred to choose her roommate rather than allowing her college to pick out her roommate.

College can be the new step into a future career, long-lasting relationships, and new opportunities. With the grip of parent protection lessening, the door to a newfound freedom opens. In recent years, colleges have made the transition to allow students to choose their roommates and the search for the perfect roommate began. With different rules and different options of living, college is a vast space with new people and varieties of where to live.

While living with friends may be more appealing than living with a stranger, the assumptions of an entertaining time turned into a mess for Molly McDonough, English teacher, who lived off campus with her friend. McDonough expected living with her friend would be interesting and easy. Instead, her expectations were crushed as she was faced with new responsibilities and strained tensions between her friend.

“I thought it was going to be amazing. I’m not in my house, I don’t live with my family anymore, it’s going to be so much fun. I thought it was going to be the time of my life. Then once I started living with them, there was definitely more than that, like responsibilities and making sure that you’re doing what you have to. One friendship that I had was completely destroyed because we lived together,” McDonough said.

With a new lifestyle, new responsibilities arise. McDonough realizes that keeping friendships are equally as important as establishing them. She mentions her lost friendship due to the different living styles of her roommates.

“Positives are people there to share the responsibilities that needs to get done, like cleaning, taking out the trash, things like that. If you have a good relationship with your roommates, you can create a good friendship out of them,” McDonough said. “Negatives is that you should really get to know the person a little bit better because when you’re living with someone, it’s different than just being friends with them. You get to see them all times of the day and get to know more about their personality and who they are as a person.”

Students finding their roommates are also searching for a potential friend who possess the same values that they have. Preparing to attend Ohio State University, Callie Kleinke, senior, was searching for a roommate who she could bond well with and who would not get up extremely early in the morning.

“[My university] let us choose our roommates and I prefer that because that way we can choose someone who we think is similar to us in that we could be really good friends with or have the same living style as us, like how early we get up and how clean we are,” Kleinke said.

Kleinke is part of the scholars program and finding a roommate was not as easy as Kleinke thought. Scrolling through Facebook, she found her roommate on the posts and messages uploaded by her peers.

“I did think it was stressful because I had less people to choose from, so I was nervous that I wasn’t going to find a roommate that I was going to like, but I ended up finding one and it was all good,” Kleinke said.

With high expectations for both college and for her roommate, Kleinke believes it will be easier to live with a roommate she is already familiar with.

“My expectations for college is that my roommate are going to be really fun and I think my roommate and I are going to get along, since I already know what she likes to do and how she is. I think that’ll be a lot easier than if I was going random because I know that we have same values,” Kleinke said.

For Taylor Schwab, senior, she also preferred colleges to allow her to choose her roommate because it helped add a sense of security for her. Schwab wanted to carefully choose her roommate after hearing the horror stories they had for her.

“I would say I definitely feel better choosing my own roommates just because my cousins had horror stories of random roommates [with] whom they were chosen with. I think it adds a sense of security. You know who your own roommate is so you can get to know them more personally and you can choose them,” Schwab said.

For McDonough, who has experienced college, believes it is important to live with new people and branch out. Living with a friend may appear like the best choice from a simple glance, but it resulted in the breakup of a friendship McDonough had.

“I think that it’s good to have the opportunity to meet new people, especially if you’re going to a new area of a country or going to a big school,” McDonough said. “It’s good to meet new people and where a school can choose that for you randomly, that will help you to branch out and maybe meet new people that you’ve never spoken to before. I think it’s a good learning experience learning to communicate what you’re expecting of that in a relationship.”