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I have less than 209 days left until I am completely packed up, on a plane, and heading to the complete opposite coastline to start my culinary college education. I have a lot of worries and stress right now, but one thing that has me at my wits end is ultimately this: who am I going to live with come fall semester?

I’ve heard enough roommate horror stories to know that if I end up with the wrong person, I might just lose my sanity completely. So I have started my roommate search early enough to hopefully not end up in that kind of situation and have found some helpful resources and learned some things along the way. So here are some tips I recommend when you start your own perfect roommate hunt.

1. Don’t just rely on your school’s “roommate matching” section.

Oftentimes in the housing application there will be a roommate matching part where you can check profiles of other students who had the same answers on the questionnaire as you. And as helpful as this might be in some aspects, I find it lacking in actually telling you what the person is personally like. Sure, you may have the same sleeping habits or like to listen to the same music, but if you’re a person who likes to go out and party while the other is a homebody who prefers nice and quiet environments, it might not be ideal to room together. So the search for a good match in a roommate should extend further than just that.

2. Find your college’s (and graduating class’s) Facebook page. 

Tons of people are on Facebook nowadays and chances are, all of your soon-to-be classmates are on your college’s Facebook page. Most college’s even make separate official pages for each graduating class. So it’s a great way to connect with your new classmates and search for a potential roommate among them. Most people post on the page’s Wall saying what major they are and whether they’re looking for potential roommates, so just scour through those and hopefully find someone who matches you.

3. For the shy and reserved, don’t be scared to take the initiative in friending someone!

At first, when I found my college’s Facebook page, I was so tentative about posting on there and mass friend-ing people I didn’t even really know. Thoughts like “Is it creepy if I send a friend request when we haven’t even met each other?”, “What if they reject my friend request?”, and “What if nobody comments on my wall post? Does that mean everyone already hates me?!” haunted my mind. But after calming myself down, I figured I was just being really pessimistic, took in a deep breath and then hit the “add friend” button on Facebook for a while. And then I realized that most of these people were just like me: looking for new friends and were friendly and easy going. So don’t worry about anything and have fun getting to know everyone!

4. Message potential roommates.

When you find someone you might be interested in rooming with, it’s okay to send them a message on Facebook! Something like “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m [name] and I’m looking for new roommates. I’d love to get to know you and see if we’d be a match.” is totally fine, and don’t forget to add your major and possibly where you’re thinking of rooming. Because some people like rooming with others of the same major or those who are interested in the same housing. And it also helps to add that you’re willing to chat or webcam sometime to get to know each other better.

5. Be upfront with potential roommates.

It won’t benefit you or your potential roommate if you try to be too polite or put on airs and pretend to be fine with things you’re not. Be honest about your personality, pet peeves, anything! Because then you and your potential roommate will get a better idea of each other and see if you guys actually match or not. Because it won’t be fun come three days after move in day and you find that your roommate is everything you dislike in one. So be totally honest, it’s better off for everyone.

Good luck and happy roommate hunting!

Photo courtesy of Tulane Public Relations via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).