Reasons To Live With A Roommate You Don’t Know

Now that you have graduated from high school you are probably thinking about those next steps for heading off to college. You may be signing up for orientation, selecting your classes, or signing up for your housing. As you consider your housing options I would encourage you to consider living with a roommate you don’t know. For some students, this is a no brainer! You may be headed off to a college out of state where you don’t know anyone else who will be attending. However, for those of you heading to college where you do know other students, either from your high school or an activity, consider living with a random roommate.

Of course we all know that roommate selection is not perfect. Few students who are leaving for college today grew up sharing a bedroom at home and therefore issues may arise when you share a small space with another person for the first time. In addition, even with the extensive forms that some colleges have you fill out they may not be able to match you perfectly, but they usually do a pretty good job (particularly if you are honest on your form).

When I used to work in admissions I would often have incoming students tell me they planned to live with a friend of theirs that they knew from high school. They thought it would make for an easier transition to college. However, I always recommended to students to live with someone new.

Here are a few thoughts to ponder:

– When you live with someone you know you may be less likely to branch out and meet new people.

– You may miss out on finding an unexpected best friend by living with a random roommate.

-Get the opportunity to learn about someone who comes from a different background or community. This will help you grow as a person.

-Other students may feel intimidated by the fact that you already have a close friend and be less likely to reach out.

-Even though you consider yourself friends in high school, how much do you really know about one another’s living styles and habits?

-You will most likely have the opportunity after your freshman year to select your own roommates.


The choice is ultimately yours but I recommend that you, at the least, consider your options.

Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Living with someone you don’t know (well, eventually you WILL know them of course) is indeed a great opportunity to branch out, meet new people and expand your social horizon -an important part of the college experience.

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