Wednesday, June 16, 2010
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Most freshman-to-be have already completed surveys about their living habits in order to facilitate a roommate match up. If you used this survey as though it were a submission to Saturday Night Live, you should worry. John Q. a student at Harvard U decided to take the contrarian approach and fill in the opposite of his tastes and interests. No surprise, he had a really tough time with his freshman roommate. He tried to switch roommates right away but was unable to until well into the semester. The lesson here is to fill out the survey honestly and don't let your mom fill it out for you!
Colleges match roommates in a variety of ways. Some colleges such as Champlain College and the College of Wooster use the MBTI personality assesment in addition to student surveys to aid them in making good matches. Other colleges such as MIT have pre-frosh events where many people choose their roommates in person. Most colleges use a student survey to assist them and then assign the roommates in the summer.
Most college freshmen have never shared a bedroom prior to college. This can create some tensions. Contacting your roommate in the summmer before college can help to smooth the transition. You can share likes and dislikes online through Facebook. Sharing music or videos online can be a great ice-breaker. It also helps to deal with some of the practicalities, like who is bringing a refrigerator or a couch etc. Talking about if and how you plan to decorate the room can also be helpful. Shared living space can seem a little scary but most college students report that they made some of their closest friendships in the dorm freshman year.