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Roommategate

Marie O’Connor

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After the seemingly endless college process, one would hope that everything is settled and done with. However, once the choice has been made, there are still hundreds of other significant decisions.

There are so many things to figure out, from the least decisive, like what school sweatshirt to get, to the most significant, like who you will share a dorm with for the first year away from home.

Finding a roommate is, unsurprisingly, a HUGE deal. Your roommate will be the first friend or enemy you make, setting up the next four years for success or total failure.

Also, the standard dorm size isn’t much bigger than a small broom closet. A roommate is the person you have to coexist with, experiencing their quirks, sharing oxygen, and smelling their dirty laundry.

I have heard horror stories about random rooming assignments, as well as stories that end with lifelong best friends. Opting for fate to decide who you will be cohabitating a tiny dorm with is risky, so I, like many others, decided to find my own roommate.

Most colleges and universities provide a way for students to get to know their future classmates through closed groups on Facebook.

The feed is filled with students from around the country posting blurbs about themselves and how they “get along with everyone!” Or they really want to find someone with whom they can workout, study, go to tailgates, and be the bestest of best friends.

Since I joined one of these groups, I have been obsessively scrolling through the page and searching for someone I could potentially room with.

I don’t even know what I am looking for at this point, each student says the exact same things: similar hobbies, same housing preferences, and other homogenous mindsets.

Even my own personal bio follows the same format as the rest, instead of distinguishing me, this type of communication and socialization is streamlining my own and my peers’ unique personalities.

Another option for freshmen looking for a roommate are websites such as roomsurf.com, where one can answer a survey about their own habits and beliefs, and what this person would want their ideal roommate to answer.

The test is actually formatted surprisingly well, including questions such as, What are your political opinions? Do you smoke? How many times a week do you shower? This quiz appears very thorough, but after getting my results, and receiving over a hundred matches I realized this method is no more helpful than the Facebook posts.

Of the matches I received, a few were from the Facebook chat, people I would never have expected to be compatible with. But here I was, told we were “a 100% match!”

This site felt like a Tinder for roommates. The limited information I was given didn’t influence my judgements so much as that person’s profile picture.

I spent about two hours scrolling through my results, at times I felt like I was online shopping, seeing who of my future peers would be a perfect fit. If these girls are anything like me, which their quiz results say they are, then their facebook pages do not truly represent their personality.

Facebook is not as popular among new college students, and many people have created a Facebook solely to find a roommate.

For me facebook is the app I use when I’ve already checked Snapchat and Instagram and I’m really bored.

Nothing on my Facebook makes me look unique, personable, or even remotely interesting.

Pictures of family vacations posted by my mom, or pictures of me at homecoming posted by someone else’s mom does not portray the person I truly am.

After realizing this I panicked and posted too many new photos with friends to make it look like I actually have a social life. I figured no one would really notice, and that I was simply updating my “SR-YR” album..

However, our good friend Max Minogue used his keen journalistic instincts to catch me in my sly attempt to look cool. Thanks Max.

In the end I figure everything will turn out for the best, or at least things will turn out. I will find a roommate, good or bad, or maybe I’ll room in a single and never make a single friend at college.

Either way, this experience has managed to make me reevaluate my presence on social media. I have always been warned about not sharing too much online, but I also realize that in this digitally dependent world, the contents of my online profiles will be my first impression for many.

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The student news site of New Trier High School.
Roommategate