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Don't let housing become a nightmare

By Olivia Mercer
On November 1, 2011

Benson Management.  Three Sixty Realty.  Pine Tree Housing.  Do any of those companies sound relatively familiar to you?  Have you seen their promotional signs around campus or staked out in lawns?  For those of you choosing to stay on campus for another year, these companies do not affect  your everyday life.  

For those of you frantically still searching for appropriate off campus housing, these companies hold your stress in the palm of their hand.  Although many stressors occur from the inability to find off campus housing, finding who you want to live with next fall can be just as stressful.  

Freshman, by far, carry the most stress upon their shoulders.  In order to find affordable housing near campus, students need to begin searching for housing in early October.  This allows freshman one month to get close enough acquainted with a few individuals they could potentially live with the following school year.

 Though some of your friends may seem like excellent roommates, as the school year continues many come to realize their potential roommates are actually people you do not want to live with.  This sheds negative light upon the upcoming school year impacting your willingness to be optimistic about the next school year.  

In many ways, on campus housing is the perfect solution.  Stopping by a group of freshman girls, I asked their housing plans for next year.  After a shrug and a few glances back and forth, they said, "I think we're going to stay on campus.  It's just easier that way."

  Students will not be asked to identify their on campus housing choice or roommates until mid spring semester.  By choosing to stay on campus for the following school year, you allow yourself extra time to get to know your friends and thus, determine who exactly you want as your roommate(s) for the following year.

But, let's just say on campus housing is not for you.  In fact, it's already causing you emotional harm and stress.  But, you're afraid to make an irrational decision on roommates for the following school year.  The simplest way to determining your best "roommate" fit is by being up front with your personality and the personalities in that will conflict with yours.  Sit down with your potential roommates and discuss one another.  Be open about cleanliness, how much you will be willing to pay for rent, how you handle stress, party throwing and sleeping hours.  Cleanliness, for example, needs to be similar.  If you are a neat freak or a cleaner, be sure to make that known.  You may be choosing to live with individuals who find it appropriate to leave dirty socks and dishes on your living room floor for months.  This conflicting personality trait has potential to cause future distress on your household.  

Do not make an irrational decision on future roommates or on particular housing.  This choice pays large effect upon your sophomore, junior, or senior year experience.  

Do not feel obligated to continue living with the same group of people, especially if you are unhappy.  Rather than causing yourself stress and upsetting your household, avoid all future outbursts of anger by choosing to remove yourself from the household and find roommates that better suit your lifestyle.  That is, however, not saying your roommates are unfit friends or individuals.  Your lifestyles are simply not compatible.

 Don't be afraid to say, "I love you all, and it's nothing against you.  I think I'm gonna go on my own and find a different living situation for next year."  

Be rational about housing and roommate situations for the following year.  Don't hesitate to take your time, even if it means staying on campus for another year.  It could be saving you an entire year of hostility and regret.  

What do you think?

Do friends make good roommates?

Tale the poll at


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