As I’ve mentioned in a previous post of mine, coming to UMass was a completely new start for me. Having not known a single person here, I was unsure of how to go about choosing my roommate. I knew a lot of incoming students who were in a similar position found their roommates through the UMass Facebook page, where people post about themselves in order to find someone to live with or just meet people to befriend. This is a super easy way to meet new people and find a potential roommate, but I was intimidated by the idea using Facebook to find the person who I’d live with. In the end, I decided to “go in random" for my roommate.
When you apply for housing at UMass, you fill out a housing profile about yourself. The questionnaire asks about your living patterns — how messy you are, if you care about other people using your stuff, etc. It is so important not to lie on the profile. I know everyone wants to look super easy-going about everything, but if you have a problem with people touching your stuff, be sure to mention it! If you’re really organized and don't like messes on your floor, mention it! The school uses your answers to pair you with someone whose answers are similar to yours.
From my experience, UMass does a really good job on pairing people who choose a random roommate. The girl I lived with in my freshman year (who was chosen randomly) and I got along really well and, more importantly, were amazing roommates. We coexisted perfectly, and even if we were in different friend groups, I consider her one of my closest friends here. A common expectation is that you will be best friends with your roommate and spend every second with him/her. From my experience, I liked living with someone who had other friends and interests, and we were respectful of each others belongings and space. What matters the most about your roommate, whether you request him/her, is that you two get along and can live together well. I have no complaints about going in random at UMass. The administration did a really good job pairing me, and I would not change anything about my living situation from freshman year. However, if for any reason you end up unhappy with your assigned living situation — whether you go in random or request a roommate — the residential life staff is very accommodating and will do its best to change your living situation.