Roommate horror stories make most freshmen tremble. Sharing your living space with a stranger is bound to cause anxiety — especially when living in a dorm room that’s about 200 square-feet. When our parents went to college, they certainly did not have the resources we do today.
Luckily, with the help of the internet, we are able to hand pick who we live with, usually based on their Facebook profile. To those that take the risk of having a random roommate, kudos to you. But most incoming students decide to pair up with roommates before even stepping foot on campus, partly as a safety measure.
Looking for a roommate felt like dating to me. You exchange interests, browse through their photos and posts and discuss habits in order to find your perfect match. It felt silly considering the fact that I hadn’t met any of these people and the only sure thing I knew about them was their Instagram username. But it turns out that uncomfortable process really worked!
Is it possible to form a friendship solely through social media? Sure!
Before arriving at Drexel, I made more friends over the internet than I made in person during high school. Attending a university with more than 14,000 undergraduate students provided a platform to find peers with shared interests and that one unique friend who would have to deal with my quirks for an entire school year.
In fact, using social media to branch out to peers before even meeting them is a step every incoming college student should take. Once you get to campus, there are millions of other things to worry about. Social media is open to everyone and we should use it to our advantage. Branching out to peers before getting to Drexel is ideal, but maintaining contact with your newly made friends is just as important.
After keeping in touch with my preferred roommate over the summer, I was hoping that we would still tolerate each other in person. After having dozens of conversations and adding over a hundred new Facebook friends, move-in day arrived. When I met my roommate I was relieved to find out she was a real person, not just an online profile. More importantly, we got along just as well as we expected.
Although it could certainly be interesting to live with a randomly assigned roommate, I’m glad I didn’t go that route. The internet gives us a convenient way to connect with students that share similar interests. Using it as a resource gives us one less thing to worry about in the transition to our new fast-paced environment. When given the opportunity to plan ahead, it should be our first instinct to utilize it.
Hopefully this school year will be filled with flourishing friendships between roommates and peers. If not, at least we can all stay Facebook friends.