As a student at UF, I know the search for the right roommates can be difficult. Your roommates often have a big impact on your college experience, so knowing how to find roommates and what to talk about before agreeing to room with someone is helpful in easing the process.
At Sweetwater, we understand the importance of feeling confident in the roommates you choose. That’s why we wrote this article full of tips and tricks for finding the perfect roommates at UF.
Tips & Tricks for Finding Roommates at UF
Step 1: Know Your Must-Haves
Before you begin your roommate search, think about what’s important to you, in terms of your living style and preferences.
Here are a few things to consider:
What budget are you working with? This is important to consider because this determines what housing you will be looking at. You’ll want to make sure you and your roommate(s) are in the same ballpark before you begin your search. But just because you don’t have identical budgets doesn’t mean it’s not a match. There are many floor plan options that offer various rental rates within the same unit. Typically rooms with attached bathrooms or with larger windows or better views cost a bit more than another bedroom in the same unit.
Do you prefer living on-campus or off-campus? Housing location is one of the most important aspects of living to consider because it could depend on your lifestyle. For example, if you don’t have a car, you might want to live closer to campus.
Read Next: Where Do UF Students Live?
How many roommates would you prefer to live with? The amount of roommates you have dictates what style of housing you can live in.
After considering these points, you can think deeper about specifics. For example, if you decide you want to live on campus, do you have a dorm preference or would you be open to any dorm? If you decide to live off campus, is there a specific area in Gainesville that you would prefer to live in?
Step 1, knowing your must-haves, is a great starting point, but it’s just the beginning. After you know what you want, and what you don’t want, you can actually begin to look for roommates.
Step 2: Ask Around!
Don’t be shy! Asking around to friends and on Facebook pages are common ways UF students look for roommates. Specifically, the UF Facebook Pages (i.e. UF Class of 2028) are popular places for incoming freshmen to look for roommates.
Facebook is an easy platform to connect with others and discuss your must-haves before fully committing to being roommates. And, there’s no shame in talking to multiple people at once so you can explore your options and find the best fit.
For sophomores and upperclassmen looking for roommates, ask around in your clubs and organizations. Many people in campus clubs and Greek life tend to live with other people in their organizations, so posting on your organization’s Facebook page, messaging in the organization’s GroupMe, and asking around during meals are common ways people find roommates.
Step 3: Utilize Your Resources
As I said before, Facebook and GroupMe are common resources students use to find roommates at UF. For incoming freshmen, the housing department often recommends using RoomSync, which is essentially the Tinder of roommate searching.
RoomSync enables you to set up a profile, list your living must-haves, and connect with other students on the app. Here, you can message other students about their living preferences, and, hopefully, find others with the same wants and needs.
Another great resource for incoming freshmen is Instagram. Each year, an account is made to highlight students who will be attending UF in the coming year (ex: @ufclassof28). Through these accounts, you can find incoming students who have similar majors or similar interests and DM them about rooming together.
Step 4: Make Sure It’s a Good Fit
One of the most important steps in finding roommates is meeting them in person before agreeing to live together.
I think we’ve all matched with someone on a dating app who seemed perfect on their profile, but was completely different in person. Meeting your potential roommate in person can help you avoid some problems that you could face in the future if you hadn’t met with them first.
When you meet with them, don’t be afraid to ask questions about your housing preferences.
Here are some questions you could ask your potential roommates:
- What time do you typically wake up and go to bed?
- How often do you clean your living space?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- How do you feel about visitors?
- What do you plan to get involved in at UF?
These questions will help you both assess how compatible your lifestyles would be. The easiest way to avoid problems in the future is to know what someone expects from you and what you expect from them.
Finally, it is important to remember that a good friend does not always translate to a good roommate. Sometimes, living with your best friends can be great, but sometimes, it can be very challenging, especially when you don’t know how to confront them about lifestyle differences.
If you’re an incoming freshman, I recommend using the resources mentioned above and searching for roommates before agreeing to live with a friend. If you ultimately decide that living with a friend is your best option, then go that route, but it never hurts to explore every option first.
If All Else Fails…
Random roommate matching is always an option! Most on- and off-campus housing options have a random roommate matching program. This includes dorms, Greek housing and student housing apartments.
Usually, when you fill out your application to live somewhere, it will ask you a few questions about your living preferences. This information is helpful in pairing you with someone else in need of a roommate, so make sure you’re honest and specific!
While everyone has heard both failure and success stories about random roommate matching, it is definitely a great option if you’re unsure of who you should live with.
We hope that this article helps you in finding roommates at UF. Contact the staff at Sweetwater if you have any questions during your housing search.