A guide to deciding how to choose a roommate and the pros and cons of random selection vs. rooming with someone you already know.
They’re your best friend, but should you live together in res?
Maybe you have a friend, a cousin, or someone you’ve connected with online who is also heading to McMaster and you are considering rooming with them in residence. When applying for residence at McMaster, you have the option to submit a guaranteed roommate request form that lets Residence Admissions know that you’re interested in living with a particular roommate. This is a big decision and as many people will tell you, being friends with somebody and living with somebody are two very different things.
Having trouble deciding between these two options? Keep reading to further understand both sides of the decision.
Living with a Friend or Someone You Know
This is perhaps the obvious choice of the two, no guessing involved, you know who will be greeting you on move-in day. The benefits of living with a friend or someone you know is that you are already acquainted. This, however, may change while living in close quarters and jeopardizing a friendship is one of the biggest risks of choosing a friend as a roommate.
There can be many things you do not know about your friends living habits which will become clear when living together, and often times confronting someone is much harder when they are your friend. Another aspect of living in residence and going to University is to make new friends and create new connections. Rooming with a friend can sometimes make meeting new people around campus more difficult and you may fall into the routine of only spending time with your roommate.
Living with Someone You Did Not Know Previously
Choosing to have a computer assigned roommate can seem daunting at first, however opting for the system to select your roommate in residence may lead to a new friendship and a world of new opportunities. McMaster Residence Admissions using a roommate matching program that selects your roommate based on a survey you complete in your residence application. While it is not guaranteed that you two will get along, living with someone you have never met before can teach you the importance of learning to share a living space and provide you with lifelong skills.
Leaving your roommate assignment up to the lottery process does run the risk of you being unhappy with your roommate assignment, but understanding each other’s habits and personal lifestyles can lead to a good roommate relationship and many times, a friendship. With a computer-selected roommate, the lack of history and prior friendship can be beneficial when solving conflicts and if you two do not end up getting along, there can be no hard feelings or guilt.
Made your decision? Click here to begin your residence application and follow the instructions to create a roommate request (or not!)