The Rule of Five: 5 stages of finding a college roommate


Jordan Meaker

Though one would think that social media would make it easier to find a compatible roommate, many seniors are finding that it only complicates the process even further.

This time of year, seniors are finding themselves in the midst of college acceptance season, with different schools sending out admission decisions weekly. Many seniors thought that the hard part would be over once they received their acceptance notification, but have come to find that the stress is only just beginning, all due to one factor: the roommate search. With social media being so prevalent in daily life, it’s easier than ever to connect with potential roommates, and plenty of seniors are doing just that through Facebook, GroupMe, Twitter, and Instagram, Many have made the comparison between searching for a roommate and online dating. Through my experience as well as that of my friends, it seems that there are several steps to the roommate search that everyone can relate to.

  • Step One: Scoping out the scene on social media.

Hooray! You made it into your dream school! The minute that you receive that acceptance letter, you immediately join several class of 2020 Facebook groups and GroupMe chats that expand by the hundreds daily. You’re quickly overwhelmed with the pages and pages of posts, but scroll down your Facebook feed and find several people that seem similar to you.

  • Step Two: Reaching out.

You type up a little about yourself, your likes and dislikes, your favorite Netflix shows and possible major. You take a deep breath and send it out into cyber world, and wait patiently for responses. Thankfully, some people seem to connect with what you wrote and start messaging you. Whew! There’s hope yet!

  • Step Three: Finding a match.

You find one person you really click with and start texting back and forth. You follow them on all their social media, finding out more about their personality and interests. At this point, you’re really starting to feel like you’re platonically online dating this person. If this was The Bachelor, this person would get the final rose.

  • Step Four: Meeting in person.

If you’re lucky, your potential roommate lives close to you and you both find a date where you can meet up and talk in person. You meet up at a Starbucks, Panera, or Chipotle, find out that your future roomie is for sure not a drug dealer, and have a nice time talking about college.

  • Step Five: Popping the question.

Everything’s going great, and you really think that you’d get along great with this person for the next year of your life, and you’re ready to ask them to be your roommate. You want to play it cool and not come on to strong, but you’re not sure how to pop the question. Should you send an e-card? Just start referring to them as your roommate instead of potential roommate? You decide on a casual text and, just like that, after months of prowling Facebook and Instagram, you’ve found a roommate!


Not all seniors will experience an identical scenario, as many people decide to room with high school friends or go the random-roommate route, but many will agree that in the digital age, searching for a roommate has become more complex than ever.