When it comes to college roommate living, is it better to live with a random roommate, or someone you already know?

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Answered by: Justine, An Expert in the Life On Campus Category
We've all heard horror stories about college roommates. They're people who steal your clothes, poach your food, and play Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" at volume level 67 at 4 in the morning, right? Not necessarily!

Whether it's your first time living in a dorm, or you've decided to live in an off-campus house or apartment, the prospect of living in such close quarters with new people can be pretty daunting. The unfiltered truth is that we all have our own unique living habits, and it's inevitable that there will be a certain amount of clashing. The question is, do you have a better chance getting along with someone you already know, like a friend from high school, or subjecting yourself to the dreaded RANDOM ROOMMATE?

Surprisingly, the answer can rest easily on either side of the fence. At your family cookout this summer, Aunt Karen said, "Whatever you do, don't live with your best friend! You'll end up hating each other". But of course, how could you forget your older sister's random roommate, who liked to browse through porn on your sister's laptop while dropping crumbs of chocolate cake all over the keyboard?

The best thing you can do in any college roommate living situation is be as respectfully honest as possible, and encourage your roommate to do the same. Sometimes good friends will go into a living situation with the impression that there are little to no boundaries, i.e. "We're best friends, so he won't care if I drink his orange juice". If you're the kind of person who needs distinct boundaries, try to be vocal about your expectations without being rude.

College is full of party nights and drinking as well, so it's also important to talk with your roommate about your habits in this arena. Some people only go out drinking on weekends, some people go out almost every night, and some people don't go out at all. In all honesty, the most successful roommate match-ups are people with similar habits in this category. If you never go out, your roommate who regularly comes home at 3 o'clock on Tuesday morning, and tries to make macaroni and cheese with your cream cheese instead of butter, is going to infuriate you. If you both enjoy sober activities, or you both like going out, the chances of harmonious living are much better!

College is a time full of changes and surprises, so keep an open mind about your roommate, whether you already know the person or not. You and your friend might become even better friends! Your random roommate could end up being the best man in your wedding! In the worst case scenario, you can tell your horrible roommate story at the next family cookout.

When it comes to college roommate living, be honest without being rude, be respectful of your roommate's living habits, and get ready for an interesting life experience! Oh, and don't forget to go to class. That's part of college too.

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