What if you could pick your own college roommate freshman year? You know, someone that was exactly like you right down to your love of all things Gossip Girl, passion for recycling, and Urban Outfitters aesthetic. Well, thanks to modern social networking, you too can find the perfect carbon copy of yourself with just a click of a mouse.
Meet URoomSurf.com, the new Facebook for frosh who want the experience of having a roomie (minus the drama). Profiled in a recent New York Timesarticle, the social media site lets users create a profile of their likes, dislikes, passions, and pet peeves, and then sets out to match you with someone on your campus with a similar background for just $5-10 dollars.
"I really didn’t want to leave it to chance,” explains Maddi Gilje, an 18-year-old NYU college freshman profiled in the article. “My sister woke up her first night of college and drunk people were poking her, asking where her roommate was. That’s when I realized I’m not going through that.”
Gilje used the site to find her new roommate, and was pleased to discover that she was able to connect with a match that not only shared her musical interests, but also her eating habits (vegetarian), sleeping schedule, AND decorating ideas.
Stats for the site indicate that it skews heavily towards females (seventy-percent as of late), and that most users are very happy with the results — a feeling that's not exactly shared with every college educator. While many schools allow you the option of self-selecting a roommate, some administrators frown on the idea of circumventing what has become a basic right of passage for most college freshman – discovering more about yourself and others via the "getting to know you process" presented by a new roommate and a dorm full of strangers.
"We want students to learn from this experience,” notes Nancy R. Thompson, the dean of students at Hamilton College in New York. “And sometimes that involves negotiating differences.”