Along with doing laundry more than once a year and eating things other than Pop-tarts, one of the greatest challenges in going to college is living with people you don’t know. Your freshman floor will be a curious amalgam of different cultures, students hailing all the way from the northern part of New Jersey to the southern part of New Jersey, and it may be difficult to adapt.
One of the most important among these relationships is your roommate. While the quality of your freshman year isn’t contingent on your relationship with your roommate, it definitely helps to be friendly. Your room is, in effect, your home, and the less turbulent your home life, the more you can focus on other things.
Vox is going on three years of cohabitation with her roommate from freshman year, so she feels like she’s in a position to dispense a little wisdom, especially about CHARMS, or the Campus Housing Roommate Matching System. People definitely find great roommates otherwise, whether it be through GAAP weekend, Facebook, or being randomly paired up, but for the majority of you, CHARMS is the quickest and easiest way to find a compatible roommate—at least, if you do it right.
“It’s like an online dating service!” people will giggle at you, but seriously—it’s like an online dating service. And while Vox is in absolutely no position to give you dating advice, here are a few hints that will help make sure CHARMS is good for both of you: