Wow, it’s finally over. The long all-nighters ’till our brains were fried, the mind-numbing AP courses, the terrifying process of completing The Common Application. At long last, the acceptance and rejection letters have hit everyone’s in-box and the long-and-winding road to college is at an end. Whew.
But just as we breathe a collective sigh of relief, a new terror has confronted us . . . Roommate Roulette!
This great unknown can twist our stomach into knots. Out there somewhere, right at this very moment, is an unidentified person who may randomly be selected by the fates to be my proverbial ‘college roommate.’ Yikes! Who knows what kind of mixed bag of personality quirks and character flaws awaits me come September?
My friend, Amanda Piccolino ’12, knows I have an aversion to dealing with the unknown, so she recommended a new website, Roomsurf.com, that is designed to demystify the process of finding a roommate at your new alma mater.
I gave Roomsurf.com a whirl. After a few hours on the site, I’m pleased to report that it is an essential tool in searching for the ever-elusive compatible roommate for freshman year. As you might expect, however, you may have to search a lot of haystacks to find the perfect golden needle . . .
My initial experience with Roomsurf.com actually taught me a little bit more about how I myself would come across as a potential roommate to another person(!). Much like that dating service eHarmony, I had to answer 20 questions about myself. It was actually kind of fun. When I finished, I hit the return key, anxiously anticipating my potential matches.
Roomsurf.com took about 2/10ths of a second to spit out the results: wow, 24 matches that met most of my criteria! Roomsurf ranks compatibility on a scale of 1 to 100%. The results kicked out 81% as my most compatible roomie and 35% as least compatible. The criteria that they judged us on included: smoking, sexual activity, religion, cleanliness (and God knows what else).
I contacted Candidate #1 by chat. She texted me: “Oh, Nicolette, you sound like the perfect roommate for me.”
So far, so good.
Candidate #1 then typed: ”Because you seem so nice, I’m sure you don’t mind. My high school boyfriend didn’t get in to college, so as he looks for a job, he’d like to sleep on the floor of our dorm room (only from time to time, haha : ) !) . It’s all cool, you’ll like him, he’s a lot of fun!!! And he is kind of an entrepreneur when it comes to certain ‘herbal remedies.’ Plenty of ‘free samples,’ if you know what I mean. Haha! Anyway, so excited. Let me know!”
Next up, Candidate #2. “Hey Chik lette! You seem like you’d be a really fun roommate!”
True that! Great, someone who likes fun. I’m intrigued.
“So, you would totally understand me having a fun pet that other people really don’t get,” she typed. “Look I know that people say that tarantulas are dangerous to humans, but let me set the record straight, they are really so much fun! So I’d like to bring my family of these amazing arachnids! When they run around the room, it’s a blast!!! We will be the talk of the campus and everyone will want to party with us. P.S., I know what you’re gonna say, but don’t worry, my dad’s a doctor and has given us the antidote so we’re cool. Peace out —Emily.”
Arachnids?! Um, Emily? GTFO — you and your brood of scary, hairy creatures.
Candidate #3 was upbeat. Frighteningly so. “Hi Nicolette! I think you’re probably my ideal roommate. But just so we’re cool on this, it’s very important to me that you are what some people call ‘perfect’ –haha! Some people call me a neat freak and no worries, that’s not an insult. Others can try to get mean and call it OCD, but I just laugh and say ‘I just like to have things in order! What’s wrong with that?’ So Nicolette, do YOU like to have things in perfect order like me? Don’t worry, I can teach you to be perfect, Nicolette. Being perfect is awesome. Do you want to be perfect? Let me know. Perfectly yours, Felicia.”
No thanks, Felicia. We’d be a perfect failure as roomies.
Finally, I connected with whom I thought just might be a great fit for me as my freshman roommate. *Psyched!*
I made the first move, typing excitedly.
Me: “ heyy! You’re going to ‘Nova too?”
Candidate #4: “hey! Ya I’m so excited! I just sent in my deposit, what are you majoring in?”
Me: “Political science, what about you?”
Candidate #4: “Communications. Political science sounds so cool! That’s what my parents wanted me to major in.”
We went back and forth for a couple of days, when The Most Awesome Roommate Ever typed: ‘Hey! Are we roommates or what?’ and I said, ‘ya, it looks that way haha’, and she goes ‘great, oh and hey, knowing you just thru these chats, I’m sure the answer is yes, but you do agree, don’t you — and c’mon, who wouldn’t? — that George W. Bush was our greatest President ever?”
Um . . . #speechless. And so the search goes on . . .
But you know what? Maybe the first year of college is not mostly about finding a perfect roommate. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here, but maybe it’s better that, come September, we all find ourselves with an absolutely imperfect, incompatible roomie. One with a multitude of flaws and even some form of personality disorder.
After all, the most important thing a college student could experience is a plethora of eclectic, multi-cultural perspectives. Isn’t higher education all about being pushed outside of our comfort zones?
Gosh. I certainly hope so.
Shoutout to RoomSurf: