So next fall you are moving away from your hometown, your parents, your bedroom. And in case that wasn’t surreal enough, your new college room will be shared with another person – who you have never met! Oh, and you have to wear sandals in the shower. Although it is definitely strange and even intimidating to think about, living in a dorm with a new person is one of the most valuable experiences that you will have in college. Not only will you learn more about another person’s lifestyle and behavior, but you will also learn a ton about yourself along the way.
Marist, like many other colleges, has a random roommate assignment process. However, incoming freshmen can make some choices about where they may end up living for their first year at Marist. In the summer, housing selection forms will be available to fill out, which allow each incoming student to submit which residence hall they would prefer to live in. Marist’s four freshmen halls are Champagnat Hall, Leo Hall, Sheahan Hall, and Marian Hall. You can click on the links to read a little bit more about each residence hall.
The Housing Office also provides each incoming freshman with a roommate preference form that will be online, too. This form asks basic questions about your lifestyle. For example, it will ask you to answer the time of night when you normally go to bed, and when you normally wake up in the morning. This way, the Housing Office can try to match you with a night owl if you are a night person or with an early bird if you are an early riser.
In early August, the housing assignments are released to all incoming students. You can access your room assignment here or by logging into your MyMarist account and clicking on the MyHousing link. Your room assignment will list your building, room number, and roommate(s). Beside your roommate’s name will be his/her phone number and Foxmail email address. Most often, the number next to your future roomie’s name is his/her home phone number, not cell phone number. Also, several incoming freshmen will not regularly be checking their Foxmail accounts, so if you send your roommate an email, it may not be read it right away.
So the most common way that freshmen meet their roommates is through Facebook. Even this can be problematic because some people do not go by their given names (i.e. nicknames, middle names, etc). A solution that some members of the class of 2017 found was posting their roommate’s full name on the Class of 2017 Facebook group asking if anyone knew him/her, and almost every post was answered by someone else in the Facebook group successfully.
Through Facebook, you can begin getting to know a little bit more about each other and start coordinating your future room together. Chances are your roommate and you will have many similarities and many differences. Maybe you two come from completely different sides of the country. But you may like the same band, obsess over the same TV show, cheer for the same sports team, or have the same major. However, the most important similarity is that you will both be brand new Marist students in the fall and will have some nerves about moving away from home and starting the next chapter of your lives in college.
As a current freshman, my whole roommate selection process is still fresh in my mind. Looking back at the experience I have had with my roommates, I have some tips for incoming freshmen about what to expect.
- Start off on the right foot
When you first meet your roommate through Facebook, calling, email, texting, or whatever, keep an open mind. It is very likely that your roommate and you will be different in one way or another. These differences can be one of the most interesting parts about your relationship with each other, and you will probably learn just as much about them as you will about yourself in your first year living away from home. Going into move-in day with a bad attitude will only ensure that your relationship with your roommate will be dysfunctional.
- Respect each other’s space and stuff
Most likely, your roommate and you have both lived in your own rooms for most of your lives. Sharing a dorm room is something that both of you have never experienced, and this will cause some tension if not approached the right way. Be mindful of your roommate’s space and belongings. Bottom line- Always ask before you use or borrow something that is not yours.
- Branch out
One of the nicest things about having a roommate is that they will automatically be one friend that you will have the first week of school. They will be right beside you for your first few meals on campus and go with you to all of your orientation and dorm meetings. However, it is really important that you do not become dependent on your relationship with your roommate the first few weeks. Meeting new people will be easy for some; harder for others. Either way, branching out is an important part of college that everyone needs to experience.
- Confront problems directly
Living in a small space with another person will cause pretty much anyone to become irritated at some point. One of the easiest ways to avoid conflicts is to talk with your roommate at the beginning of the year about some basic rules about the room. It is important for you both to understand the other’s expectations about guests in the room, borrowing things, when the lights should go out at night, playing music without headphones, etc. Having a little talk about rules at the beginning of the year can help prevent many problems in the future. However, if you are feeling frustrated with your roommate, make sure to let them know. Your roommate will not know you well enough to detect your dislike for something that they are doing. Be honest with each other and you will have fewer problems, guaranteed.
- Be open to change
College is all about new experiences. Go into this new chapter of your life with an open mind. Meeting new people is one of the most interesting and fun parts about living away from home. Being flexible and easy-going is key to getting along with your roommate as well as the rest of your floor. You will only be a freshman once, so enjoy it while it lasts!
For more information about Housing at Marist, check out these FAQs. If you still have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 575-3307.