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College Housing: Living With Friends vs. Random Roommates

College Housing: Living With Friends vs. Random Roommates

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While you could pay more or find that housing option on campus that allows you to have your own room or a studio apartment, you will most likely end up with a roommate or two. However, you do have options: you can live with friends or end up with random roommates, also known as assigned roommates or “potluck roommates” in some places. If you are debating between the two when moving into a new place, below are some pros and cons of each.


It’s a 24/7 Hang Out
You get to hang out all the time without the extra effort of making time to make the trek to their dorm room or apartment. It’s like having a constant sleepover with your friends.

You Know Them
You don’t have to suffer through the “getting to know you” stage – you can go comfortably in your living situation and focus on raising that GPA.

You’re Committed to Making It Work
Your friendship is at stake so you’re both committed to making your relationship as roomies work.


It’s Hard to Tell Them When You Don’t Like Something
Say that your friend doesn’t like doing her dishes- they pile up high, attracting flies, and you’re tired of cleaning up after them. However, you don’t want to say anything because you’re afraid that it might start a fight. Unfortunately, the only way to really solve this problem is to have that tough conversation.

It’s Hard to Establish the “House Rules”
You may feel like if you say you don’t want strangers partying in your apartment or create a chore list, your friends will think you’re uncool or uptight.

Your Friendship Will Be Tested
When you’re stuck in a confined space with your friends for hours on end, you may find that you’re fighting more often and not as close after you move out.

Random Roommates

It’s a Clean Slate
This person has never met you before, so there’s no reason to be afraid of being yourself. First impressions can be fun.

It’s Easier to Establish “Rules of the Room”
Neither of you know or have lived with each other so, therefore, it’s a little easier to do a bit of give and take when it comes to negotiating your “house rules”.

You Have a Potential Best Friend
Just because it’s random, doesn’t always mean that you won’t get along. In fact, some people have met their very best friends through random assignment.


You Have No Idea How They Live
They may not have ever lived with another person and, therefore, could be extremely inconsiderate. They could also be the sweetest person in the world, but you have no idea what to expect.

Your Personalities May Not Be Compatible
You could be the type of person who prefers to be alone and they could be extremely outgoing, bringing people back to the apartment for parties and hang outs during your study time. You may not get along.

Whether your living situation was a complete nightmare or a total daydream, it’s an experience that you will be able to carry with you for the rest of your life. Think of your first college roommates as an extreme “Intro to People” seminar – not everyone was born and raised like you.

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