Once you have been accepted to college, you may start wondering about some of the logistics of enrollment, including class selection, tuition, and orientation. While all of these things are very important to consider, another very important factor in the college enrollment process is housing and roommate selection. You are responsible for many different aspects of the housing/roommate process. Some of these things include deposits, picking your dorm, choosing your roommate (or not), and figuring out what items are allowed in your dorm when you get there. Allow us to give you an overview of how this process works and some first hand tips on how to make this process easier.
When going off to college, the thought of having a roommate can be quite daunting especially if you’ve never had one. Most colleges have a randomized system of selecting your future roommate but there are some that will let you pick your own roommate. It is tempting to automatically want to room with someone who you went to high school with or your best friend but college is a time for you to meet people who are not like you and have new experiences. You never know whether that random roommate could be your next lifelong friend. There are always these horror stories of people who room with someone and their living habits are not compatible.
Our friends from USA Today talk about four important topics to mention when speaking to your roommate for the first time:
1. Study habits. Does your potential roommate like to study in his or her room? If so, does it need to be silent? This may pose a problem if you plan on blasting music in the room at all times.
2.Visitors. If your friends from high school want to visit and stay in your dorm, will your roommate be upset? It would definitely be a better idea to answer this question now, rather than later.
3. Sleeping habits. You definitely don’t want to be up and about in the room at 3 in the morning if your roommate goes to bed at 11 or 12 each night.
4. Common interests. You’re going to be living with this person for at least a year, so you want to make sure that you share some interests! This could be anything from going to the gym together or watching a TV show together every week.
With any living arrangement there are bound to be disagreements and when this happens your RA, residential adviser, is there to be a mediator. RA’s or residential advisers are there to not only help if you are having roommate issues but they are there to help make your transition to college a little bit easier. The RA, who will be an upperclassmen living on your hall, is there to check in on you and ensure that you have everything you need in your new home away from home. This person is a really good resource for you and could be that person you need to ask about anything. As a part of making you feel comfortable these RA’s host various programs. These programs which are FREE normally always have free giveaways ranging from food to T-Shirts. These events will be based on so many different things from academic tips to movie nights. This allows students to connect and bond with their peers and gain a home away from home while pursuing their academic studies.Becoming involved with housing not only makes your college experience better but it also allows you an opportunity to get involved. There are various committees you can join through housing to help begin your network. If you stick with it there may be an opportunity for you to work as a Residential Adviser in the future where you could end up living where you work.
College is about learning and becoming and dorm life is a big part of that experience. Take advantage of all the resources at hand while living on campus whether it is free food, guidance from your RA, or friendship from your roommate. Be sure to read up on rules and regulations on your institution’s housing website and be aware of your move in date and guidelines. Pack wisely and best of luck from all of us advisers!