Point counter-point on picking your college roommate.
March 8, 2016
The online advantage
While understanding the views of people who feel finding a college roommate on social media is overhyped, I’m fully behind the social media roommate movement. Social media opens up a variety of new avenues for people who feel their personalities can best be displayed by their online profiles. Many arguments against this claim that using Facebook to find a roommate can be seen as pretentious and judgemental. When you begin your roommate search, you need to consider what type of person you see yourself living with. This person does not necessarily need to be your best friend for your entire college career; however, they need to be someone that you don’t mind sharing a room with. Using Facebook to meet your future roommate is a phenomenal way to connect with someone who might be the perfect match for you. OHS Senior Gabi Zeman decided to find her roommate on Facebook. Zeman said, “I wanted to make sure I would get along with the person I’m going to live with for a whole year.”
By opening up communication with future students, you are able to forge new relationships. These relationships are typically interest-based and have the potential to become something more. On the Class of 2020 Facebook pages, you are free to peruse the friends list, and look for people that you feel reflect a similar style to your own. Admittingly so, this can be difficult at times. Luckily, these Facebook pages offer you the ability to post a description of yourself on their timeline. These descriptions have a wide range of styles, but they all contain the same basic components; your major, studying/partying ratio, extracurricular activities and plans for future school involvement. These components are crucial for analyzing who you want to be in contact with.
OHS Senior, Karissa Hilstad, has seen her relationship with her future roommate flourish because of social media. She said, “We went from complete strangers to chatting on Facebook everyday to meeting in person at UW-Eau Claire, and I’m going to visit her hometown later this month!” If it weren’t for the social media hub Facebook, Hilstad wouldn’t have developed the flourishing relationship that she has today with her future roommate.
Using Facebook to find a roommate provides students with a terrific resource to network with potential friends, and a potential roommate. Establishing a social network at your future school will lead to social success and will also have a significant impact on your academic success.
Randomize your roommate
With March rolling in and graduation a mere three months away, another deadline is looming for many seniors. May 1 is the National Decision Day for rising college freshmen to accept their letter of admittance into the school of their dreams. But as many seniors know, there are a lot more variables to the college equation than just where they want to go. Tuition, academics, location and the toxicity of cafeteria food are all highly weighed aspects of making the final decision, but another aspect seems to be the ultimative: who will be my roommate?
Prospective students find themselves trolling their Class of 2020 Facebook pages trying to see whom they could get along with best, and let’s just say you are literally judging someone based off of their social media profile. As thousands of incoming freshmen post short (or long) bios about themselves for their future classmates to see, students start to try to see who they want as their roommate. With the relatively new phenomenon of Facebook, the idea of finding a roommate online is quite new. Before the internet, students were placed with completely random roommates using a short questionnaire. While there have been some horror stories, more often than not people were randomly paired with someone who is now their best friend or how their roommate introduced them to their spouse of 30 years. Having a random roommate is the classic college experience and is something that each student is expecting to experience. Senior Nick Raichle decided to go the route of a random roommate. Raichle said, “I want a typical college experience that includes having a random roommate.”
2015 Owatonna grad Allison Falken is currently a freshmen at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. In the fall, Falken started out the school year at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, and she found her roommate online. Falken said, “I found her on Facebook, and we talked a lot over messenger. Then, over the summer, we texted and snap chatted quite a bit, so I had high expectations going into the year that we would be super close. We ended up not talking or hanging out at all and would only eat together for like the first week. After that, we wouldn’t talk for like a week at a time.” Falken’s experience can be easily avoided by signing up for a random roommate. A random college roommate won’t set you up with any expectations of being best friends and will let you explore your own interests without anything holding you back. Take a chance, seniors, and let this part of your college experience be left to fate.