The perfect match

BVNW seniors and graduates explain their methods for finding college roommates along with the advantages and disadvantages that go with each.


TJ Vore

Seniors Matt Taylor and Brett Swanson pose together in their Kansas State gear. The two will room together after being friends since elementary school.

Emma Bruce, Features Editor

With a month until graduation, seniors who plan to attend college must make many decisions about the upcoming year, including who will be their roommate. Some students choose to room with people they already know, while other students live with people they have not previously met.

Seniors Matt Taylor and Brett Swanson plan to room together at K-State next year. They said they became friends in second grade and coincidentally decided to attend K-State. They made the decision for roommates early in the school year.

“We kind of knew we were the best fit for each other,” Swanson said.

Both said they had an older sibling room with a friend when they went to college, and it inspired their decisions. Swanson’s brother, Chad Swanson, has attended K-State for two and a half years and met his roommate in middle school. Chad said though the two siblings have not discussed roommate choices, Swanson can look to Chad’s experiences when making his decision.

“[My roommate and I] both knew that we were going to K-State and we knew each other from Cross Country,” Chad said. “We wound up living together since we had similar personalities and we knew we would be fairly compatible.”

Swanson said a con to rooming with a friend can be not meeting as many new people. He said an unfamiliar roommate would be able to introduce their friends, but he said there are pros to picking a friend as a roommate too.

“You’re already comfortable with the person,” Swanson said. “I guess it just makes it easier to get [adjusted to] college and get started.”

Senior Abbie O’Grady plans to attend K-State as well, but she said she found her roommate on the website RoomSync. She said the website compiles information such as when you go to bed, what you do on weekends and other lifestyle preferences. Then, it matches people with similar answers.

“What you do (on RoomSync) is you make your profile, and it seems kind of weird at first because it’s kind of like online dating for roommates,” O’Grady said. “It’s super like online dating. Then you can message people or they can message you and find someone that works.”

O’Grady said her roommate messaged her and after texting, they chose to meet at Panera to talk in person. She said she chose her roommate because they had common interests, such as running.

“I think it’s cool that you get to meet someone totally different (on RoomSync), and we both have completely different high school experiences and there’s stuff that we can connect on,” O’Grady said.

O’Grady said she has heard horror stories about choosing a stranger as a roommate. She said it is difficult to convey one’s personality completely on the website, possibly leading to someone portraying themselves in a way that they actually are not.

“[RoomSync] just says ‘write about yourself’ and I read other people’s to see what they were saying, because it’s kind of hard to flat out write about yourself, so what they say about themselves may not actually be who they are,” O’Grady said.

Senior Piper Wiley said she tried to find a roommate through Roomsurf, a website similar to RoomSync, but began searching too late and did not connect with any of the people on the website. Instead, Wiley said she plans to use potluck to find a roommate at Washburn University in Topeka.

According to Wiley, potluck, like Roomsurf and RoomSync, matches people based on similar survey responses to questions related to sleeping schedules and social lifestyles. However, potluck occurs through the school and participants are not allowed to explore roommate options.

Wiley said most people are surprised by her decision, because it involves meeting a lot of new people. She will be going potluck to find a person to live in her room as well as the people in the connected rooms.

“I hope that I meet someone that I wouldn’t meet in the first place and that we get along super well,” Wiley said. “I don’t want us to be like best, best friends and do everything together, but someone that I wouldn’t expect to meet.”

Wiley said finding a roommate through potluck will expose her to experiences she would not have considered before.

“I think that [my roommate] could introduce me to rushing, because I have not thought about rushing at all, or just like different clubs that they’re interested in that I would never think to do,” Wiley said.

In contrast to Wiley’s hope for new experiences through her future roommate, Swanson said he decided to live with Taylor to ensure a sense of familiarity in his new life.

“I guess it’ll feel a lot more like at home,” Swanson said. “Being with someone you already know, you sort of get that awkward first meeting out of the way… It’s like you’re coming back to something you know.”