HHS seniors are finding their college roommates for fall 2020

Olivia Bratton, Editor in Chief

The transition into college is an exciting and nerve-racking time for many high school seniors. Following their big decision of which school to attend, incoming college freshmen still have many decisions to make regarding their first year of college, including picking a suitable roommate. 

There are multiple different ways that incoming freshmen can approach the roommate search, all of which have their own benefits. The first option is to room with someone that they are familiar with from highschool or childhood. This makes the process less nerve-racking, and it appears to have less of a risk because the incoming freshman will already know the personality of their roommate.

Hershey High School (HHS) Senior Abby Wilson will be attending Penn State University (PSU) and rooming with a home-town friend since elementary school. Although Wilson has known her roommate from many years of playing soccer together, she predicts that they will become even closer at PSU.

“It’s nice to know that we get along already, and we have each other’s backs” Wilson said. “Since we have known each other for so many years, we know what kind of roommate to expect. I also have a built in best friend to talk to whenever I need!” 

Apart from rooming with a close friend, there is another similar option for finding a roommate that lives nearby. Allie Grenoble, an incoming freshman at PSU, is rooming with a mutual friend from a surrounding school district. 

Grenoble had reached out and met at a Starbucks with the mutual friend before deciding to make their rooming official. Now, Grenoble says they communicate daily on Snapchat. 

“The positives of rooming with a mutual friend is that we are from the same area, so we like a lot of the same things, and it makes traveling home so easy,” said Grenoble. “I really wanted to live with someone I had never met before, so it works out really well!”

For students looking to branch out from their familiar areas, many universities have systems in place where students can either take a roommate survey to be matched, apply for a random roommate, or join a Facebook group chat. 

The Facebook group chats, either overseen by the university or a member of the student body, are opportunities to get to know other incoming freshmen. When taking part in the Facebook roommate selection process, it is typical for an incoming freshman to make a post that includes pictures of them, their major, and other information regarding their personality and interests. 

Once the incoming freshmen make their posts, the journey to finding the right fit begins. Many people reach out to prospective roommates through various forms of social media to get to know eachother better.

Two HHS Seniors, Elijah Duck and Sarah O’Shea, chose to find their roommates through their universities’ facebook pages, and now they both keep in touch with their roommates on a daily basis.

Duck had made his decision to attend PSU in December, so he had plenty of time to enjoy the process. 

“Overall, the process of finding a roommate was exciting and easy. I enjoyed reaching out to people, because even if we did not fit as roommates, I made a connection with a new friend that will be joining me at State College this Fall,” said Duck.

Duck eventually decided on his roommate based on his search for a friend who enjoyed sports, appeared to be social, and was devoted to their academics. 

O’Shea found the process to be exciting as well, however, it can become stressful at times. Using Facetime with her roommate in order to create a more realistic connection was helpful for O’Shea. 

“I would say it is a difficult process because it’s so unfamiliar, and we are thrown into a new environment,” said O’Shea. “You want to make sure you get along with your roommate, and it is challenging to get to know someone only from social media.”