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Roommates: what's the best way to approach it!?

kevelyn18kevelyn18 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited January 2013 in University of Wisconsin
I was just accepted to Madison Jan. 15 and I'm so exited to go here. I'm currently filling out housing contract/info and it got me thinking...I'm going to have a roommate next year! However, I'm not into the party scene, and I usually get paired with weird people when it comes to needing partners of some sort...any suggestions on finding potential roommates? Thanks!
Post edited by kevelyn18 on

Replies to: Roommates: what's the best way to approach it!?

  • luvsgelatoluvsgelato Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    Join the Facebook group for your new freshman class. My daughter found her roommate this way last year and it's worked out beautifully. They both posted a pretty detailed "profile" of what they are like and what they wanted and didn't want in a roommate. They found each other because both listed that they loved English literature (Jane Eyre being both their favorite book) and tv shows like Downton Abbey and movies like Pride and Prejudice. They were both honest about sleeping hours, how clean they wanted to keep the room, guests and partying. Quite a few of their friends found roommates this way and for the majority it's worked out fine.
  • kevelyn18kevelyn18 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I joined a Madison class of 2017 group, but there seems to be more upperclassman? It's really confusing...and not many people are in the group (157 maybe). There is very little activity...do you think I should be the first underclassman to post something about looking for a roommate?
  • Madison85Madison85 Registered User Posts: 10,630 Senior Member
    Make sure you didn't join Madison College Class of 2017 (that's a community college in Madison).
  • Rousse54Rousse54 Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    Just another view from a parent's perspective. Both of my sons just got randomly assigned roommates and have done fine with that. Did they become best friends with their roommates? No. But they got along fine with them because they, and their roommates, were respectful, considerate, and thoughtful of one another. From their perspective, they felt like they could adapt to anyone if they both respected one another as individuals. It has worked out well for them.
  • luvsgelatoluvsgelato Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    It is VERY early in the process. Things start picking up after March when all the decisions are in.
  • kevelyn18kevelyn18 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    So would you suggest random roommate? If so, how do I know they won't smoke...is there a survey they use?

    PS yes, the group is UW Madison. (:
  • hopefulbadger18hopefulbadger18 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Hello, I'm a college freshmen (posting in the UW section because I'm trying to transfer here) so I'll try to give some advice from what I've seen this year.

    As for random, this can go either way and it's a lot of 'luck of the draw,' but I have seen most of the people on my floor and do really well with a random. As for the smoking thing, I go to UW-Whitewater and there was an option to say you prefer a nonsmoking roommate. Ive never seen Madison's but I imagine they're quite similar because it's the same college system.
    I'm not a big advocate of living with a high school friend, I know a few people who did that and most of them switched at semester or aren't too great of friend anymore...spending almost all your time with your best friend can cause lots of tension.
    And as for Facebook group type things...I did that and it ended in me looking for a new roommate. I'm not saying this is a bad idea, in fact I think it's te best option, but learn from my mistakes and REALLY REALLY get to know them. Talk on Facebook, call or Skype with them and even meet them if you can before you commit! (just don't go alone of course) mine turned out to be a lot different then I had thought based off a few text message and Facebook chat conversations. Be totally honest about your sleep, study and cleaning habits and request that they do the same.

    And best of luck. I'm sure you've heard lots of stories of terrible roommates, and even though I can't exactly attest to this because I didn't get along with mine, the majority of the time it works out just fine. You might not find a life long friend, but chances are you'll find someone you can peacefully coexist with. :)
  • Rousse54Rousse54 Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    kevelyn18: It is up to what you feel most comfortable with, going with random roommate selection or picking your own. When I was at college many years ago, there was no Facebook and randomly selected roommates were the norm rather than the exception. In general it worked out well for most people, with a few exceptions. What I have seen happen sometimes, and this is only human nature,is that when one uses Facebook, phone chats, IM to meet a potential roommate, one thinks one knows them and what kind of person they are. So when they finally meet up in person, and maybe discover the person is not who or what they thought, it can be very disappointing. Where, when you just go with a random roommate assignment, you have lower expectations, and so therefore you are more willing to accept that person for who they are. Because you know nothing about them and they are an open slate. In my case, my freshman year roommate was someone who in high school I would never have befriended. We were completely different, in completely different fields, but we became close friends and still speak to one another today, even though we live 3000 miles away from one another. Don't fret too much about it. Everyone else is in the same situation. It will work out fine no matter which way you go. I do agree with hopefulbadger18 not to live with a current friend. College is a time to branch out and meet different people.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,727 Senior Member
    Parent of freshman at UW -- a few thoughts.

    First, it IS really early to be thinking about roommates, so I would suggest putting it in the back of your mind until March or so.

    Second, UW does not "match" roommates for dorms, there is no questionnaire or other form submitted for the University to identify compatible students -- it is totally random. The UW Class of 2017 group on FB will become more active over the next couple months, and by March will consist almost entirely of eharmony type posts looking for roommate matches. Most of the posts all identify whether the student drinks, smoke tobacco or smokes weed, as well as favorite movies, sports, teams, tv shows, music, preferred dorm neighborhood etc. Then students will message each other to see if they might be a good fit.

    For what it is worth, yes, my son found his roommate on the FB group. They like each other, are great roommates, and get along well.

    Relax, enjoy your admitted status, and prepare to ace your APs etc so you can maybe take care of some gened requirements taken care of.

    Good luck.
  • kevelyn18kevelyn18 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Well thanks everyone. (: your expertise is appreciated. I'll definitely keep what everyone said in mind.
  • hopefulbadger18hopefulbadger18 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Hmmm, due to what midwestmomofboys said about the housing app, if having a nonsmoker is very importent I'd try Facebook. Whitewater did that, but then again whitewater has a tiny fraction of people living in housing compared to UW
  • justwaiting1justwaiting1 Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    There are many pluses and minus with roommates in general. I am from Connecticut my son wanted very little to do with people from the northeast. In fact he makes fun of the ones that live in the northeast dorms, I taught my kids not to showoff our wealth. I think you are better off with your opposite.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,727 Senior Member
    On the smoking, there may be a place to disclose allergies or health concerns so I don't mean to suggest health concerns would be ignored.

    On the FB groups, I think most students are looking for people with similar views on what is their "party" of choice, so basically whether they drink or smoke pot. My sense is few kids are actual smokers, more about pot.
  • kevelyn18kevelyn18 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    My dad is a narcotics investigator. Pot is a no no
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,727 Senior Member
    Which is how all us parents want kids to approach it. But, when it comes time to "meet" prospective roommates on FB in a couple of months, just be clear that it is not something you are interested in. There will be plenty of people who share your views.

    Again, congrats.
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