The Purbalite

Social media helps and complicates the college roommate search

Mandi Bruni, Design Editor

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Everyone always cautions seniors in high school about the stress of applying to potential colleges, but they never warn students about the stress of finding a roommate.

For many seniors, this will be their first time experiencing what it’s like to share a room with another human who is not a family member, and the pressure to find a good match is very real.

It was common for parents and even some older siblings to not even get to meet their college roommate until move-in day arrived. Fast forward to 2018 and it turns out that social media platforms aren’t just for dating and finding a spouse, but for picking future college roommates also.

As a concept, this seems incredibly beneficial, as seniors can text, call and FaceTime virtually anybody who might be that ideal roommate. In reality, all of these tech advances also make the search for a roomie even more stressful.

One thing that becomes apparent while filing through various selfies and Snapchats from a potential roomie’s day is that people only want to show the best parts of themselves online. In other words, just seeing the social media feed of someone who looks literally picture perfect is not enough to judge that person’s character, or to determine compatibility.

Some characteristics about potential roommates won’t show up on social media, such as what they consider a good temperature to keep the room at, or whether they are early birds or night owls, or how good their hygiene is. Other factors to consider are: what kind of music they like to listen to, how loud they like to keep the volume, if they share similar interests or hobbies, or if like to binge the same Netflix series.  

These are typically good places to start in looking for a future roommate and signs of whether or not your sense of style and humor will be compatible.

Despite all the stress, it is oddly comforting to know that if the roomie search ends up being a failure, seniors can tell themselves that they have joined a tale as old as time, and that like earlier generations, they too will have stories to tell of crazy, mismatched roommates.

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Social media helps and complicates the college roommate search