The Stress of Searching for a Roommate


While some may think that the search for the right college may be the most stressful thing, searching for a roommate is actually the hardest part of the college experience.

While many people view college applications as a stressful process, the real stress kicks in when you decide on a school and look for a roommate. If you find your perfect roomie, you are one of the luckiest people in the application pool. 

Yes, the process of applying to a dozen different colleges is definitely overwhelming. College applications undeniably take the most preparation, as students build their resume over the course of four years. It does take a lot of time and stress to get your applications in by the deadline and make your decision on where to attend. 

However, for girls, the experience of finding a roommate in college takes extensive amounts of texting and unnecessary stress as you scurry to get a spot in the dorm you want. The hectic process of roommate searching took more of my energy than applying to 11 colleges did.

In the girl world, the second you decide on a school and put down your deposit, the race for finding your next “best friend” begins. Whether you follow your school’s class of 2027 instagram page or join a facebook group, everyone begins the never-ending text conversations. As opposed to some of my guy friends, as they reach out to a couple guys and decide to room together after three simple texts. 

The process for everyone can go two different ways: reach out or be posted. Some people decide to submit their best pictures to the account or group they want to be posted on and watch as the messages roll in. The amount of messages you actually receive definitely depends on when in the year you post, as people who decide earlier are more rarely seen. 

Others are the ones to reach out, as they begin to mindlessly swipe through the photos of strangers and decide on a roommate through a caption consisting of four sentences. 

“Hi guys, my name is Anastasia Simonenko and I am from Northern Virginia!! I am 100% committed to Virginia Tech and planning to study Multimedia journalism and work closely with VT sports. I love to hang out with friends and am always down for a spontaneous adventure. I am looking for a roommate so please feel free to reach out!” 

The same repeated “bio” was repeated three times for me, as I began the roommate search for three different schools when narrowing down my options on where to go to college. From just one post, you gain tens of followers that start reaching out.

The message always starts up the same: “Hey girl!! I saw your profile on the bios page and thought you looked really cool!! I wanted to reach out to be friends and maybe see if we were a good roommate match!!” This same exact message would be copy and pasted to every girl I found to somehow resonate with based off of five pictures. Note, that the double exclamation points are essential in the girl world, the ones that don’t use the fake over enthusiastic tone are more frowned upon. 

The chances of actually getting a response are also very low. As teenagers today really won’t communicate with you if your instagram is not to their standards.

As someone that got posted and reached out to other girls in search of a roommate, I texted about 30-40 girls before actually finding my roommate. It took hours of mindless conversations and trying to keep a topic alive. Most people I reached out to hit me with the “yes tbh,” “I feel you,” and “omg rly?” as responses to what I wanted to make of my life after college. 

Where are you from? Are you a morning person or a night person? Would you say you’re clean or messy? 

The same repetitive questions are asked to everyone you reach out to, so the process gets very boring, very fast. It took so much energy to put on an overly friendly persona when in reality I was exhausted from moving my fingers without actually getting to know a person. 

Once I finally clicked with a girl that seemed to share a lot of the same interests as me and was genuinely interested in continuing a conversation, we realized we live relatively close to each other and decided to meet in the middle for lunch to meet face-to-face. On the way to lunch I thought of every possible way this lunch could go wrong and I would be stuck with someone I didn’t like. 

Fortunately for me, the girl I met had the same energy as me and we were able to learn a lot about each other, wrapping up our meal by deciding to be roommates. However, for a lot of other people I know, they are going on endless lunches with potential roommates and end up not clicking with them. For many, the potential match may live out of state so they don’t get the chance to even meet in real life before making a decision. 

So for a lot of incoming freshmen, the deciding factor of who they will live with comes down to what types of emojis they use. As the year also moves along, the time for finding a roommate gets shorter and more pressure gets those thumbs moving a little faster.

So to the stressed juniors that are wrapping up their hardest year, the worst is yet to come.