Daily Illini Opinion writers share stories

What is your No. 1 tip for finding a good roommate?

“Shared interests, good hygiene, and preferably no obsession with loud music or WoW.”- Jason Febery

“Find somebody that is gone from time to time or will be around the apartment at different hours than you. This sounds horribly anti-social, but the ol’ ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ has always rung true for me. Roommates who I interact with, maybe once a day, are roommates I get along with.” -Charles Tabb

“Be clear, specific, and honest. It is far easier to tell your prospective roommate what you expect from them before any agreement is made than after they have invited 10 drunken, shouting friends over the night before your big test.” -Joseph Vandehey

“Be brave, but not Craigslist brave. Take the plunge- go random.” -Tim Knudsen

“Compatibility tests are pointless. Go for friends that are in the same student organizations as you.” -Dave Harbin

“Live with a friend, not a best friend. So if things don’t work out you don’t lose your best friend.” -Ashley Abramowicz

“Any roommate who makes you pancakes on a regular basis is a keeper.” -Megan Graham

What’s the most important thing you look for during your apartment search?

A place that doesn’t smell like a herd of hippos stormed through, like my first apartment on move-in day. -Jason Febery

Location. Poor air-conditioning and a small bathroom can always be managed; disliking your neighborhood and your environment not as much.- Charles Tabb

A good landlord and contract. This cannot be emphasized enough: check your apartment, landlord and contract with the tenant union before you sign anything. –Joseph Vandehey

A place near all of my friends, with security to keep me safe from crime alerts. -Tim Knudsen

I’d look for what’s included: utilities, internet, etc. -Dave Harbin

“A roommate who can cook, because I seriously can’t at all.” -Ashley Abramowicz

“Something my roommates and I didn’t look into (but totally should have) was my landlord’s reputation. Make sure you have the Tenant Union look over your lease before you sign it; that way maybe you won’t be stuck in your apartment without oven racks for an entire month (like we were).” -Megan Graham

What’s your funniest roommate story?

It involves a keg, a 10×2 sheet of plywood, and a towed car. That’s all I’ll say. -Jason Febery

I once had a Russian-Israeli roommate. I spent thirty minutes trying to unclog my toilet using a plunger (pleasant, I know). Every technique- forceful, delicate, persistent- failed, so I asked my roommate to help to see if he’d have any luck. He went on to plunge VERY forcefully, and it worked. In a Schwarznegger-ian moment, he exclaimed, “As we say in Russia, what can’t be done with force, can be done with MORE FORCE!” I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or frightened.- Charles Tabb

On the very first day of college as my roommate and I were setting up our dorm, a care package he had just received as a moving day gift accidentally slammed into my forehead, leaving me with a gash and dent I still have to this day. Why so much damage? Because it was packed full of a dozen jars of thick and heavy peanut butter.–Joseph Vandehey

In my sleep talk I told my roommate I hated him-he moved out that night. -Tim Knudsen

-Rap battles gone wrong! I’m still laughing over those 2-year-old freestyles in the dorm.- Dave Harbin

“I’m a really deep sleeper, so last year my roommate and I had this game where she would do loud things to see what I could sleep through.” -Ashley Abramowicz

“The first week of my freshman year, some guy drunkenly stumbled into our room in the dorms and passed out on my roommate’s bed at about 7pm. We had no idea who he was, and we didn’t really know what to do with him, so we left him there for a while and had anyone passing in the hallway come in and try to identify him. Finally a couple guys recognized him and carried him upstairs, but not after just about everyone on our floor saw him drooling all over himself.” -Megan Graham