One’s experience with their freshman year roommate usually has one of two outcomes: They walk away with a valuable friendship that may last the rest of their life, or they have great horror stories to share. 

If your case was the latter, then make sure to not end up in the same situation. Whether you plan on living on or off campus, actively seek out a roommate who will be a good fit. With the end of the spring semester approaching quickly, now is the time to begin making arrangements.

Mariam Mohamed, senior cellular and molecular biology major, waited until the last minute when searching for a roommate following her freshman year and regretted it.

“Do not procrastinate!” Mohamed said. “You really need to look into the place you’re going to live in and have clear rules with the people you’re going to share the apartment with.”

For those struggling with finding potential roommates, they should consider looking within an organization they’re involved in or consider joining one.

Sarah Benton, sophomore elementary education major, found her roommate through Color Guard at MSU.

“I recommend finding an organization you enjoy and meeting someone through there,” Benton said. “It means you have the same interests.”

Luke Scott, junior history major, agreed that joining organizations, on or off campus, and getting involved significantly helps one in finding a roommate.

“My roommates are friends I made in my fraternity,” Scott said. “It makes it easier, I think. You just have to have open communication. It’s really important. The most important thing is making sure everyone contributes to cleaning the living space.”

While most turn towards friends for their future roommates, that’s not always the best idea.

Erin Kemp, senior kinesiology major, found living with her best friends didn’t necessarily mean things went smoothly.

“I lived with three of my best friends, and they were great friends, but they were very messy,” Kemp said. “It drove me insane. It caused each of us to nitpick at each other. The biggest thing to consider is the structure of what you like your house to be like.”

Jalen Lee, senior graphic design major, thinks it’s important to distinguish between what friend groups are suitable to live with, and those that aren’t.

“Separate your friend groups,” Lee said. “If you don’t think a group would be good as far as roommates, then you have another group of friends. You can think, ‘Yeah, okay, I can room with them. I can tolerate them.’”

Mikala Meadows, junior chemistry major, agreed not all friends are equal when it comes to compatibility for a roommate. 

“You have the ones that you’re okay living with and think you could live in an apartment together,” Meadows said. “Then you have the ones where you’re friends with them, but not in a living situation.”

When it comes to deciding on potential roommates, there should be more thought involved than whether you “like” them enough or not. While liking them is an important aspect to consider, so is their level of cleanliness, willingness and ability to communicate, and their habits.

Most leases last one year. Choosing wisely can mean the difference between 12 months of bliss or 12 months of utter misery.