Through the Good & Bad: Selecting the Right Off-Campus Roommates

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Alex Mendoza
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If you’re finally moving off campus after a successful first year or even moving away from home for the first time, nothing says college experience more than having roommates. With rent consistently on the rise, it is not surprising to see larger groups of students living as roommates in a small apartment. But while moving off campus is quite exciting especially if you’re moving in with friends, there is always that fear of picking the wrong roommate. Before you sign that lease, here are several tips to help you figure out whether you and your prospective roommates are going to hit it off for a full year of fun. 

Pay the rent

When submitting your application to apply for a room at an apartment complex, you want to consider the financial stability of all roommates involved. Each roommate should display either parental confirmation or bank statement proof that they comfortably have at least three months rent money saved up. This just helps in case of any distrust amongst roommates in regards to monthly rent payments. With all roommates being on the lease, you also want to consider whether you will need a co-signer. Some apartments require two co-signers as college students do not have a high enough credit score. Make sure all potential roomies have a way to pay rent or offer a cosigner. 

Get an agreement

Create a roommate contract. You want to be as specific as possible in case your roommates decide to try and act out later on. In addition, find an agreed consequence that everyone will be subject to for purposefully going against rules on a consistent basis. It may seem rather harsh right now, but without a good basis of rules, people may develop tendencies that not everyone agrees with. You could also end up with a highly inconsiderate roommate who must be firmly reminded that there are house rules that everyone shares. 

Be flexible

Understand that if you end up choosing the wrong roommate, there is unfortunately little you can do to get rid of them especially since they’re on the lease. You need to come to terms with the problems you face and also accept how they choose to live. There will be times you get stuck in situations that will require you to deal with such people. But that’s the world today. There are people who weren’t raised with the same basic respect and morals that you were. Find ways to compromise with the shared room, ignore them, or just find ways to integrate yourself into a new way of living. The whole point is to coexist for the remainder of the lease. It will be difficult, believe me, but as someone who has had an unfortunate experience, it pays just to let go of the stress and accept the situation and move on. If you let them get to you, then they have won. Look at it as an opportunity for personal growth and limit the negative effects as much as possible. 

In life you will experience many situations that don’t allow you to get exactly what you want. But that’s OK, because life is a constant growing process for you to understand how the world and the people in it work. There will be rough patches that seem to go on forever, but the main lesson to be learned is how to go through it and learn to live with it to the best of your ability. Go and be confident in your decisions, because either way, it’ll be a life lesson that you’ll carry with you forever. 


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