The Roommate Debate

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The Roommate Debate

College is a life altering experience. It is a place where you leave anything and everything you have ever known, to come to a place where nothing is familiar. The summer before your freshman year of college can be a nerve racking experience. You anxiously wait for the day when the mailman will bring you that envelope that holds your fate. Enclosed in this envelope is the name of your roommate. Your roommate can have the biggest influence on your freshmen year. They can turn into your best friend or your worst enemy. You anticipate the day when you actually get to meet the person you will be living with for the whole year. At Penn State there are no guarantees that you will have anything in common with your roommate at all, and that is a scary thing.

As the Housing Administration of Penn State, I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of the incoming freshmen. As a freshman, you hope for a roommate you can relate to and spend your time with. But at Penn State the chances of you getting along with your roommate are slim to none. I know so many people who cannot stand living with their roommates. Two of my friends actually switched at the semester because they could not deal with their living situation. At Penn State we are placed together by major. Two people with the same major are not guaranteed to have any of the same habits, interests, or goals. I feel that this is not an effective way of matching people up.

I researched other colleges to see how roommates were paired. The colleges I researched were: Albright, Bucknell, Virginia Tech, Saint Joseph’s University, Millersville, and University of Pittsburgh. At Albright, Bucknell, and University of Pittsburgh the housing administration requires incoming freshmen to fill out a survey that asks about their sleep patterns (early bird/ night owl), taste in music, if they smoke, their qualities of an ideal roommate, pet peeves, and major. This enables the housing administration to effectively match up freshmen that would be compatible with each other. My friend Maureen, who attends Bucknell, said, “My roommate and I have become best friends and I am so thankful that we were matched together. I think that all colleges should use surveys to match up freshmen. The summer before my freshmen year, I was less nervous about meeting my roommate, because I knew that even if we were not the best of friends, I knew we would be compatible enough to live together.
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