Q&A: Rooming and roommates in college

With Maddy Weiss, SHS class of 2019


Maddy Weiss, SHS class of 2019 and current freshman at University of California, Berkley.

When it comes to junior and senior year, nothing seems more daunting than the word “college.” With it, comes applications, visits, the idea of a new life, and a new group of friends. Many of us can agree that some of the scariest aspects of college are the idea of roommates and the dorms. For a bunch of us, we have had the pleasure of having our own room or sharing ours with close relatives. But, what is it like to be forced to live someone you have never met before? How do you share a living space with a complete stranger? Is it really as bad as it seems? Now, what about the dorms? If you are interested in finding out the answers to these questions, read on to hear advice from a stellar 2019 graduate: Maddy Weiss.

Do you recommend rooming with someone you know or doing random rooming?

“Because I didn’t know anyone coming to my school, I decided to just go random and it honestly turned out fine. Most schools have a roommate form that you fill out to make sure that you and your roommate have similar habits and can coexist well.”

What was your first experience with your roommate? Was it awkward? 

“My first experience with my roommate after we moved in was kind of funny. We have a class together every Monday from 6-8 pm and the first time we had class I was looking around the room and realized that she wasn’t there so I had to call her. Turns out she forgot about class and was sitting in the dining hall having dinner!”

Are there any ground rules you recommend setting with your roommate? 

“Some pretty basic rules that I feel like everyone has with their roommate are to ask before using or borrowing anything that isn’t yours. Also, if you want to have someone over, especially during hours that your roommate is usually in the room, make sure you tell them that you’re having a guest. Overall, it’s just super important to communicate with your roommate, that way you’ll be sure to not get into any fights over stupid things.”

What was it like for you to move from your room at home to a new dorm room? 

I actually got pretty lucky and I’m in a double with only me and my one roommate. I have a good amount of storage and windows which is super nice. The only adjustment has been having to share space with another person, you can’t always listen to music out loud or other things like that when you have a roommate”

What’s your favorite part of your dorm and why? 

Hands down my favorite part of my dorm is the amazing view I have of the bay and San Francisco. I live at the top of campus, so every day when I walk out my door to go to class I can see the rest of Berkeley, the bay, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge.”