Going into the whole college experience, I figured I'd do it as old school as possible and not pick a roommate. Being matched with someone completely random seemed like a wonderfully quaint way to do things, and there is nothing I want more out of college than a traditional experience. Yes, I saw The Roommate, but, despite not sleeping for a night or two, I was undeterred. I wanted to make this as much like the old-timey college experience as I possibly could.
When I got into the University of Florida, the Department of Housing sent me a link to a roommate-matching site called RoomBug. RoomBug runs as a Facebook application. It pulls your information and allows others to view you based on your privacy settings. Out of pure curiosity, I opened the link and created a profile.
Here's how it works: On a 1 to 5 scale, you rate the importance of a few key roommate qualities, including how late you like to stay up, how often you'd like to have friends over, the volume you like to maintain in your dorm, and even the temperature you like your room to be. Then you can insert a blurb summing yourself up (in mine, I included my major, term I would be attending, and my dorm room preference). Then, you search for profiles similar to yours.
Let's just say, it took some persistence to find someone I clicked with. I went through my fair share of psychos, one whom I've labeled CMG (Crazy Math Girl): a mathematics major/Stage 5 Clinger. I scoured the site for about two weeks to no avail and practically gave up.
Then I found Brittany. We had so much in common. We both dance, love the ocean and have Jack Russell terriers. We messaged back and forth on Facebook and finally exchanged student numbers and officially listed each other as roommates. Since then, we've become nearly inseparable, though our relationship is bound to our phones since she lives outside of Orlando. We've set up a date to finally meet and I've even invited her to my grad party.
Moral to the story? Online roommate searching may feel slightly like eHarmony for college kids. My verdict? Give it a chance. I met some awesome girls (and some weirdos) and have really gotten a feel for the kind of students I'll be around when I go to UF on June 22.
If you don't find someone right away, be persistent and talk to as many people as possible. If nothing else, you'll get to scope out some of the guys who'll be going to school with you. Believe me, that part alone makes it all worth it.