Check out The Roommate Rundown, Part 1. NSCS Intern, Alissa Sheehan, provides advice about living with your best friend.
Okay, so you can’t live with your best friend. If you cannot find someone else to live with, you can try the Internet. My university has a housing website where students can post a message asking for roommates or places to live. Check to see if your school has something similar. Since I had 2 roommates already, we wanted to find a 4th. I posted a message and 3 transfer students responded. I asked each of them a few basic questions, and looked at (okay… stalked) their Facebook pages.
My roommates and I decided to go with the girl whose favorite movie is The Lion King. I mean, really, how bad could she be? It’s the The Lion King! Please do not take this approach. In hindsight, I should have asked more questions. I should have known more about her before we agreed to move in together. I should not have let one common interest be the deciding factor. When you are looking for places to live, you want to turn on all the faucets to make sure they work. The same goes for looking for roommates. You want to ask detailed personality questions. Don’t settle for, “everything on Facebook is telling me that he/she is a nice person.”Everything was okay at the beginning, but we quickly found out that she was not going to last.
We could have avoided the drama if we would have been more thorough in our screening process. The bottom line is that we were lazy and naïve. Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions. This is someone who you will share an intimate living space with, so you have to look out for yourself. No question should be too simple or too weird to ask.
I am not against finding someone via the Internet. We actually found a replacement roommate on Craigslist, and he was the best roommate I have ever had. Just make sure you know them before making a decision. I wish I had at least gotten coffee with the other 3 people who responded. Regretfully, I didn’t give them a chance…
Look out for The Roommate Rundown, Part 3 when I talk about roommate disagreements and confrontations!
Alissa Sheehan is a Member Outreach Intern at NSCS and senior Global Affairs major at George Mason University. When she isn’t interning or studying, you can find her coaching volleyball or playing with her roommate’s dog and cat. Follow her on Twitter at @alissasheehan.