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Weigh the pros and cons of random roommates

Students+study+in+Illinois+Street+Residence+Hall.+Whether+or+not+your+random+roommate+experience+is+positive%2C+living+with+someone+you+don%27t+already+know+can+help+you+meet+new+people.+
Students study in Illinois Street Residence Hall. Whether or not your random roommate experience is positive, living with someone you don't already know can help you meet new people.

Students study in Illinois Street Residence Hall. Whether or not your random roommate experience is positive, living with someone you don't already know can help you meet new people.

Ryan Fang

Ryan Fang

Students study in Illinois Street Residence Hall. Whether or not your random roommate experience is positive, living with someone you don't already know can help you meet new people.

By Nora Halleran, Supplements writer

Choosing a roommate is a daunting task. Living with another person can be challenging and awkward, so picking the person you live with is an important decision. You can choose to live with a friend from high school, mutual friend or someone you meet on Facebook. The most interesting, but risky, choice is completely random.

We’ve all heard the random roommate horror stories; they bring a strange exotic pet, they leave month-old leftovers in the fridge, they watch you sleep, they take your things. But, not all random roommates turn out to be psychopaths. Having a random roommate can be a great opportunity to do something different and step out of your comfort zone. Here are a few pros and cons of choosing to live with someone you’ve never met before:

Pros

Your random roommate could turn out to be a great lifelong friend. You two could share lots in common, from your favorite Netflix shows to favorite foods, and hit it off right away. A roommate is different than your average friend. You spend countless hours together doing menial housework and can still have to manage to have tons of fun.

When you live with a random roommate you not only get to become friends with them, but also you get to know their friends. It’s a great way to expand your social circle and meet new people. Meeting new people is one of the best opportunities going to a big university offers, so take advantage of it.

Many people don’t take into consideration how difficult it may be to live with someone you already know. Living with someone is very different from being someone’s friend,  so sometimes it can be better to have conflict with a person you don’t have history with.

Cons

It may turn out you just don’t click with your random roommate, and since they are random, it can be hard to know this before move-in day. You two may not have many similarities and not get along. Then, things like taking out the trash and doing dishes could lead to passive aggressive fights and uncomfortable interactions.

Sometimes, people’s personalities do not mesh well. It’s obviously best to find a roommate who is accommodating and respectful of your stuff, but many people are rude. It’s important to have a roommate who is understanding about your schoolwork and personal life. Yes, going out and having people over is fun on the weekends or nights that you don’t have a lot going on, but when you’re studying for a huge midterm or writing a paper, you do not want a roommate who will distract you. You want someone to be motivational and to share a similar schedule, but it is unlikely that someone you don’t know will bring this to the table.

When living with someone random, it is possible that you will dislike their friends. Also, the fact that they are always in your space may irritate you.

You know if you would feel comfortable or not living with a stranger, so make your roommate decision with that in mind. College is a great time to try new things and meet people. A random roommate may be a risk, but it could lead to some great outcomes. You’ll either make a friend or have some interesting stories and memories to share.

Nora is a sophomore in LAS.

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