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Articles / Admissions / I’m Freaking out Because I Can’t Find A Roommate!

April 28, 2020

I’m Freaking out Because I Can’t Find A Roommate!

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I am starting to freak out. I need to apply for housing soon and I don't have a roommate yet. I asked a friend from high school if she wants to room with me at college but she said no because she's living on the honors floor. Then I tried to find some people through an online group but they all fell through. What can I do if I don't find one?

It's hard for “The Dean" answer this question because you've left out some key information. Are you about to be a freshman? (I'm inferring yes.) Do you plan to live on campus (yes again, I think).


If I've guessed correctly about your situation, then I'm also guessing that your college or university provides a “Random" option that allows students to register for a dormitory room without having selected a roommate, and then the housing office will assign one. Does your school offer this arrangement? If so, it's not as scary as it may sound.

Many students who choose this approach are just as happy with their outcomes as those who opted to live with a high school friend or who found a roommate through Facebook or via another online group. So if you're willing to take “pot luck," call the housing office to ask how this works at your school. You might even be able to submit a questionnaire that will help the housing folks match you with someone who shares your preferences on such issues as smoking, partying or bedtime. And if your college doesn't offer an official “Random" protocol, it's likely that the housing office maintains a list of names of other students who, like you, are still unpaired and on the hunt for a roomie.

If you can't take the Random route at your college and if the housing office refuses to assist you, write back, and I'll suggest some other avenues to explore. But as freaked out as you may feel, you should take solace in realizing that there are probably dozens (or even hundreds) of others in your shoes, and your college officials will probably be able to help you all to solve this puzzle soon.

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Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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