Pros and Cons of Random Roommates at UMD

By Morgan Caplan
Staff Writer

The roommate selection process is easily the most nerve-wracking process for new and current students at the University of Maryland. Finding “the perfect roommate” can mean different things for students. Whether he or she is clean, outgoing or studious, the ideal roommate is necessary to survive your college years.

“I chose random because I was afraid if I picked a person through Facebook and ended up not liking them, I put myself in that situation,” Jaleh Montazer, a freshman letters and sciences major, said. “We didn’t get to know each other before school, which I think you need if you are going to live in close quarters.”

Many questions arise for students after receiving the name of the person they potentially live with for a full year. “How do we coordinate?” or “Is she a crazy psychopath?” are just a few questions that might concern students. Freshmen in particular who have not experienced the college lifestyle have to adapt to a new living environment and adjust to sharing a room with a complete stranger.

keeping-it-cleanLiving with a roommate is a commitment, so losing that control of who you dorm with can be daunting. Another disadvantage students have found is the lack of comfortability among the roommates or suitemates. In larger complexes, such as on-campus suites, apartments, or townhouses, chores need to be assigned and rules need to be set.

Sophomore business student Madi Rajhel found her randomly assigned suitemate to be difficult to actively communicate with. When problems arise in the suite, like loud music, multiple guests at late hours, or skipping out on designated chores, Rajhel struggles with
addressing the issue.

“I feel like I have to walk on eggshells,” Rajhel said.  “I can easily text my friends and not sound rude but with a random [person] it might come off negative.”

While there are some negative aspects to getting assigned a random roommate, there can also be positive aspects compared to personally choosing the perfect match.

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Photo by Nathan Rennich

“I was able to meet someone completely different from me,” sophomore material science and engineering major Robert Hodges said. “It forced me ou of my comfort zone not knowing what he was like until move-in day.”

Breaking the ice between the roommates is the first step to a healthy living situation. By introducing yourselves and telling your roommate your pet peeves and interests, you can break that awkward barrier. Discussing ground rules and clearly communicating when situations arise helps to create a strong foundation to build upon the rest of the year.


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