Plan For College

Friday, June 22, 2012

Freshman Year College Roommates: 5 Reasons to Live With Someone You Don't Know

Female College RoommatesYour freshman year roommate can make a big impact on your overall college experience. Although we haven’t discussed roommates yet on the College Planning Group, deciding how to go about the process is important. Today, we’re going to make an argument that a random roommate could enhance your college experience – socially and beyond. Remember, there is no right answer here, this is just about showing the positives of one option:

1. You'll meet people from different backgrounds

Until this point, you’ve most likely been around the same group of people. Since you just graduated high school, you and your classmates were all from the same town or area and most likely a similar background. Opting to go with a random selection could introduce you to a person outside of your comfort zone. Meeting and living with a person at the same college but from a different place will help expand your horizons.

2. Your group of friends will expand

All four years of college are about meeting new people and friends, but the process is especially intense early during freshman year. If you choose to live with a friend from home, the two of you will be less motivated to go out and meet new people because of the comfort level you have with one another. If you choose to live with someone you do not know, it’ll put you in a situation to form a friendship and then meet new people together.

3. Your high school friend may not be a good living match

Having a friendship and living together are two very different relationships. Although you may have a best friend from high school who is attending the same college, living together could be risky business. You most likely do not know the habits of your friend while at home, and some of them could get under your skin. Be careful in thinking a friendship leads to a good roommate relationship.

4. If it goes poorly, a friendship isn't lost

Picking up where we left off at #3, things could go sour. Let’s say some of your friend’s living habits get under your skin and your relationship deteriorates. Then, not only will you lose a roommate but also a close friendship could jeopardized. That is something you may not want to risk, just to live together. You’ll be seeing each other anyway. 

5. You'll be able to grow and change more easily

People change a good amount from high school to college and beyond. Living with a friend from high school could inhibit your growth because you most likely have a consistent role or personality within your group of high school friends. As you meet new people and experience new things in college, you’ll change and grow. However, a high school friend as a roommate may hold you back because of the dynamic you formed years ago.

Remember, going with a random freshman roommate vs. a friend is up for debate. Today, we simply wanted to call your attention to the positives of living with a person you won’t know until orientation or the first day of living together. Talk to you parents and older friends: what do they recommend?


  1. Great arguments for rooming with someone you don't know. I'd add that sometimes rooming with friends can strain (or destroy) a relationship. Most high school students are used to getting a break from friends at home and sometimes spending 24/7 with a friend is too much. Room with someone new and you can maintain your current friendships.

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