How to find a perfect roommate: 3 options, 7 approaches

Living with a roommate isn’t the same as living with family. I’m tempted to say “it’s easier”, but I can’t speak for everyone. Just remember, there’s a good chance you’re going to love it.

Let’s assume you’re already done with your pros and cons of living with a roommate, and all you want to know right now is “how do I find my perfect roommate?”

There's a number of ways, and If you’re anywhere from 16 to 30 years old, your cohabitation situation can be roughly divided into three options: dorm, hostel and apartment.

Let's look into each one of them.

Option 1: College Dorm

You’re a freshman, loaded with three suitcases, stepping on the ground of student residence. All you know is that your college doesn’t have single dorm rooms and that you’ll have to live with another person, or maybe even two.

So, what’s your next step in ensuring you'll be living with people you're actually going to like?

  1. What’s your college's dorm policy? Find out whether your college allows choosing roommates or not. If it doesn’t, talk to your newly assigned roommate, figure out what kind of person you're dealing with, and act accordingly. Watch out for peer pressure! Avoid causing it or falling victim to it.
  2. When you get to choose. If your college does allow you to choose a roommate, make sure to meet up in person before making any decisions. Having a real-life conversation - rather than an online one -  gives you a good idea on how well you're going to get along. In addition, make sure that your biorhythms coincide. I can’t emphasize this enough, really. If your roommate thinks you’re a lazy slob for sleeping in, and you’re getting a splitting headache everytime you hear their alarm go off at exactly 6 am, you’re not off to a good start. Or end. Or middle. You don’t realize how important these little everyday things are until you’ve lived with someone who constantly steps on your pet peeve.
  3. Best Friends Forever, fixed or ruined. Think twice before sharing a room with a close friend. There’s a 50% chance that you’ll have the time of your life, and another 50% that you’ll become sworn enemies after your hundredth fight over one of those little everyday things.

This is how your new roommate should look like

Option 2: Hotel/Hostel/Airbnb/Couchsurfing

Looking for a cheap place to spend a night or two? Fear not, hostels have come to your rescue. The prices are reasonable, but you won't be sleeping in that room by yourself.

  1. Google it! When you're looking for a place to stay overnight, reviews are everything. Checking the feedback from people who've stayed there will give you a better idea of what kind of facility it is and what kind of people stay there. You still won’t know precisely who you’re going to share a room with, but you can get a pretty good idea of who you're most likely to run into.
  2. Your Safe Side. Travel with someone you know. Captain obvious, I know, but it solves so many problems.

a room of a roommate

Option 3: Sharing an apartment with a roommate

Renting an apartment together is as close to living at home as a student can get on a tight budget. Just as in the previous scenario's, the price is low because there are other people involved. The tricky part is that now, you will have to find the right people!

  1. I’ll find you! Let's talk about strategy. According to Reddit, traditionally, flatmate search is carried out using three different channels: FB housing groups, Craigslist and friends. Additionally, be sure to check out Roomsurf and don’t miss out on the deals from College Life Housing.
  2. Get to know each other. As mentioned before, talking through messenger is never enough, when you're looking for the perfect roommate. You’ve got to catch the vibe and what better way to do that than having a chat face to face - preferably accompanied by an ice-cold beer. Besides, that other person should feel comfortable around you too.


A desk in a shared room space for a roommate

Now that you've read these tips and tricks, you can continue your search for the perfect roommate and start enjoying the student life. I bet you're going to love it.

A classic studentenkamer in amsterdamNew skills in a group