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College Advice

What should I do if my roommate is opposite than me?

DormEssentials June 23, 2019

There are definitely colleges that spend way more time and money on their roommate survey than others to make sure your roommate is not opposite than you. For example, Pepperdine boasts that their roommate compatibility test was created by the founder of a very popular dating site, while my alma mater asked me about five to ten questions, max. I was severely lucky to end up with a roommate who had a similar upbringing, shared similar if not the same interests, and lived in the same tidiness level as I did. But what happens when my roommate is opposite than me?

Getting a roommate who makes you question every answer you put down on that survey is just as possible of an outcome. Conspiracies make their way through the dorms all the time that the school didn’t really look at those answers, they just placed by last name, or some other arbitrary fact about you. No matter how you got placed together, know that getting a switch can be difficult—and kind of rude if your roommate didn’t think there was that much off! Try to remember that we’re all unique individuals with different morals and perspectives on life, but for the most part people aren’t malicious or “so weird” that you can’t be civil with them!

If you get placed with a roommate who doesn’t have the same interests as you, that’s OK! This could give you the opportunity to learn more about another skill! Maybe seeing them crush their hobby will inspire you to take a free beginners lesson with them. Getting introduced to a different perspective will help you do things, and find new things you may like that you never thought you would!

If you get placed with a roommate who has a different major than you, that’s alright too! Even if you were to live in a dorm that was designed to place similar studies together, you’ll most likely be taking similar core classes or General Education courses, especially during your freshman year. So if you need a study partner three feet away from you, they might come in handy for that! Otherwise having a roommate who has a different major doesn’t really affect your college experience.

If you get placed with a roommate who seems to have a completely different personality, try your best to get to know them! The thing about our previous placement at schools is that it was usually done by location (how close you lived to a school) or by choice (think private schools.) In either situation, you were surrounded by people that probably weren’t that far off from the upbringing you had. With college, you’re meeting people from all walks of life, who have experienced things that may have never crossed your radar. Be open to learning about your roommate’s values such as their beliefs on work ethic, honesty, environmental issues, and so on! This might open your mind up to things you had never considered before.

If your roommate is unfortunately just “the worst” try your best to be patient. Maybe they’re moody and rude because they haven’t processed this new chapter in their life. On the flip side if they really are the worst, maybe it is time to consider asking your Resident Adviser how to be put on a list for changes.

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