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My Roommate Matching Process

Jack writes about how his random Freshman year roommates became some of his closest friends!    

Jack writes about how his random Freshman year roommates became some of his closest friends!    

Getting placed with a roommate during your first year at college can be daunting. I remember having all the classic worries float through my head beforehand. Will we be friends? Will our sleep schedules coincide? Will he snore? Funnily enough, the answer to all of these questions was yes. Nocturnal disruptions aside, my freshman year roommates have turned out to be some of my closest friends, and I’m more than grateful to know these two really amazing guys before going into my senior year. Read on to learn more about my roommate success story. Dream big, this could be you!

How Does It Work?

For all incoming freshmen, Carleton uses a housing and roommate questionnaire to find the best fit living partner(s) for you. You address all of the important considerations, such as bedtime, sociability in the room, cleanliness, and more. Once complete, the form is electronically sent to our Residential Life office, where it is then reviewed by our staff. They will then analyze other questionnaires to determine your best match. The goal is to place you with someone who isn’t your carbon copy, but who will, above all else, complement your living styles. For example, varsity athletes on the same team will rarely be paired together, since they will establish a strong team community by playing together. The primary emphasis is finding someone who you will mesh well with in a living space.

The majority of freshmen will be placed into a double, meaning they have one roommate. Some will be placed into triples, like me. If you’re interested in obtaining your own dorm room (a “single”) as a freshman, check out our Office of Accessibility Resources. Freshmen will not automatically be placed into these living arrangements, but if you need one due to a medical reason for needing that space, your request will be fulfilled. This is only a first year activity — students can live in singles in subsequent years without requesting an accommodation.

Carleton is one of the few remaining institutions to match roommates by hand, rather than using an AI software. As you might have gathered by my opening paragraph, this system often works pretty well!

My Matches

Jack's door
The door decorations outside of my freshman year room, with my roommates’ names and mine.

I was matched with two roommates as a freshman. Evan was the first one I met. He’s a Statistics major from the Twin Cities area. He and I immediately clicked over our similar senses of humor and interests in math. On campus, you’ll find Evan supporting me at Quizbowl practices or getting active in one of our aerobics classes (we’ve taken two together).

Soon after, I met Andras. He is a Physics major from Appleton, Wisconsin. Andras wowed me when I found out he spoke three languages. He occasionally plays with our badminton club and also works in our campus Makerspace. We broke a lamp while rearranging furniture on move-in day, and he designed and 3D printed a new one within weeks!

I was extremely fortunate to be placed with two very compatible people during my freshman year, especially considering that I was starting college in the middle of a pandemic. It was somewhat difficult to find community, but I’m lucky to have gotten off to a great start with my roommates. I have our awesome Residential Life staff to thank for a successful start to my time at Carleton. Even better, Evan, Andras, and I will be living in a suite together (along with a few others) this fall as we start our senior year. This all goes to show that your college roommates can truly become some of your closest friends.

Jack's roommates
From left to right: Evan, Marjorie (a future suitemate), me, and Andras.

One of Jack’s (he/him/his) primary extracurricular activities is as a mentor and event volunteer for Project Friendship. Project Friendship is a community partnership matching local elementary and middle school students with mentors, like Jack, at Carleton and St. Olaf colleges. You can also find Jack spending time at the Oak Grove in the Lower Arb, working on his social dance skills, and serving as the treasurer for the Academic Quiz Team!