Can a Freshman Room with a Sophomore BFF from Home?

Question: My best friend just started college, and I’m still a senior in high school. I am very interested in attending her college next year. Can we be roommates if she’s a sophomore and I’m a freshman?

Yet again it’s time for The Dean’s least favorite (but perhaps most frequent) answer … “It depends.”

You may not be able to room with your friend if the college has freshman-only dorms and no dorms where sophomores and freshmen mix or if the college makes all housing assignments and does not allow the freshmen request a roommate. Many schools, however, do have some multi-class dorms and will honor roommate requests whenever possible.

BUT … as a college advisor, as a parent, and as someone who went to college myself (albeit many moons ago), I urge you to reconsider your plan. College is a great time to expand horizons. While I admit that there are some benefits to having a comfortable and probably predictable living situation as you adjust to all the changes of college life, you could miss out on a chance to meet new people if you settle in right away with your BFF from home. In particular, since all of her friends will be sophomores (or older), you might be depriving yourself of the opportunity to spend time with other freshmen who are going through the same new experiences that you are. So, if you do end up at your friend’s college next fall, you should consider sharing a dorm with her (if available) but not a room.

Finally, keep in mind that, despite the tearful goodbyes that you and your bestie may have just endured, she will presumably be making other friends at school. While The Dean isn’t saying that they will promptly replace you on her “Favorites” list, you do have to be aware that your friend may want to live with one or more of her classmates next year. So don’t take it personally if she does, because she will probably be doing both of you a favor.

(posted 8/31/2017)