By Michelle Tian

When I was in high school, I would constantly fantasize about the memories my future roommate and I would make together. Whether that be deep conversations at 2 a.m. or gossiping about that boy you really want to ask out, I was ecstatic to realize each and every experience. 

Having a good roommate is crucial to your college experience, but a lot of us completely overlook the process. When we’re getting to know our roommates, sometimes we forget to ask the questions that truly matter.

I have a handful of friends who complain about their roommate all the time. While I’m trying to help them solve their problems, I’m secretly thinking, That’s a big oof.

I love my roommate so much that she and I practically made a promise that we would stay roommates for the entirety of college. I know some people aren’t as lucky as I am, but here are a few tips for before you select your roommate to find your perfect match.

  1. Ask questions

I cannot stress how important this is. Sure, it might be weird if you’re asking them how loud they are and if they snore, but all of this really matters once you’re living together. I mean, you’re sharing a room with this person. Maybe they’re messy and you’re a germaphobe or maybe they like country music and you think it’s horrible. Saying things like “omg your hair is to die for” is nice, but ultimately useless when you’re trying to figure out if this person could be a roommate match.

  1. Know their likes and dislikes

They don’t necessarily have to be your best friend (although it would be great if they were), but in order to live together, you have to tolerate them and get along. My roommate and I have our differences, but there are still lots of ways we can bond. 

My roommate was actually a friend from high school, so we love to sit and talk about our past memories, but this also means she has a very similar background as me. In most cases, however, your roommate will be from a completely different part of the country or world, but this doesn’t mean you can’t bond just the same. 

  1. Set up traditions

My roommate and I are both huge movie geeks and also are ones to do absolutely nothing productive on Friday nights. So, we decided to make Friday nights movie night. By setting up these small traditions, both you and your roommate have something to look forward to together. 

  1. And lastly, understand they’re just like you

They will have their flaws and you will learn them, but you have to remember there are probably some aspects of your personality that they’re not the biggest fan of, either. As long as it’s not something that seriously bothers you, just put it aside.

Nobody has the exact same habits as you, and when you’re living with someone, that really comes into light. It’s a college thing. You’ll get used to it. 

Your roommate really is your Day One. Even if you aren’t friends, they’re with you a lot of the time (like literally with you). Try to form a bond with them, because I promise you, roommates will be your other half in college. 

Personally, my roommate and I have helped each other with homework, reminisced about high school and gone out during weekends for a day trip or a girls’ night out. Your roommate dynamic can make or break your college experience, especially during your freshman year. 

So go ahead, reach out, ask those weird questions, bother them 24/7 like you would if you were living together. It might be frustrating now, but I promise it’ll be worth it.