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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | Last updated: 10:27am

Know the ins and outs of picking the right roommate



The Unknown
If you lived on campus as a freshman, odds are you didn’t know your roommate before the school year started. Sure, maybe you messaged them on Facebook or texted a couple times, but you wouldn’t call them a friend.

With a random roommate, you’ve got a clean slate. Since you don’t have a history, you can lay down ground rules without making it awkward.

Sometimes, it’s best to be roommates and nothing more. You’re basically strangers who happen to share a room, and you both respect each other’s privacy and space.

If you decide to live on campus again, or need an extra roomie to make rent on a nice apartment, consider rooming with a random. They’re usually not as scary as you might think.

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The “Friend”
One of the best options is rooming with a friend. Not your best friend, but maybe someone you know from back home or someone you met in a club here on campus.

You’re close enough to be able to talk, but not close enough that you spend every waking minute with each other. In this situation, you know what the person likes and doesn’t like; you try to respect that and they do the same.

It’s a great system. And if you have any issues, you still have your bestie when you need to vent for a while.

The Best Friend
This situation will either be really awesome or really, really terrible. You spend basically every minute of your life talking or hanging out with your best friend. You know everything about each other. You consider yourselves family.

The hitch is that you’re so close, you don’t respect each other’s space anymore. It might start small, like when they help themselves to your food, but it ends with a filthy bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned for weeks, but they promise they’ll “get around to it.”

Because they’re your best friend, you don’t want to offend them, but you also don’t want to be stuck cleaning up their mess. It also leaves you with no one to vent to if and when things go wrong.

Things to look out for:

The “Friend of a Friend”
If you and your friends are signing a lease and your buddy says, “Hey, I have a friend who will be perfect with us,” make sure to meet them first. Make sure that “perfect” friend isn’t actually all your pet peeves rolled into one, before you’re stuck sharing a living space with them for the next year.

Boyfriend and Girlfriend
Don’t do it. Just wait. Seriously, wait another few years. A lot of sophomores and juniors who’ve been dating someone for a few months or maybe even a year think it’s a great idea to move in together.

The permanent sleepover may be a blast at first, but if you’re prone to fighting, it leaves you no space to get away. Even worse, if you break up, you’ll either have to figure out a way to break the lease or spend an uncomfortable few months trying to pretend it’s not awkward.


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