the shaft
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Spectrum will be producing content on The Shaft from now until housing selection ends in early April. If at any time you have questions about The Shaft or about housing selection at Barnumbia, let us know and we’ll do our best to answer them.

It’s a difficult feat—finding the perfect suitemates. Even if the people you live with don’t end up being the perfect fit (though hopefully you wouldn’t end up wanting to transfer schools because of them), you’ve got to fill that suite somehow, and you may feel unsure as to how to find people. These few suggestions may help you out and hopefully mitigate any potential panic attacks or unnecessary stress.

Be friendly

You never know who you could end up vibing well with in a suite. Talking even to mere acquaintances about housing obviously opens up opportunities you might not have considered before. The truth is, most people are like you at this point: scrambling to find suite fillers. They don’t have to be your best friend in order to live with you, so even people you’ve just said a passing “hello” to will likely let you into their group if they have the room and you fit their profile.

In my experience, everyone here is pretty receptive if only you make an effort to reach out, so don’t be embarrassed if you’re asking around a lot—it’s what’s expected this time of year.

Facebook

This is probably the most effective method, tbh. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there on social media—you may be pleasantly surprised. No one will notice or care that you posted in your class Facebook page looking for suitemates, because they’re all doing it too.

Mutual friends

Ask your friends whether they know any individuals or groups looking to fill their suites. You’re guaranteed to find a few options this way, and if you have mutual friends, they’ll be more likely to pick you over some rando if it comes down to it (every bit helps).

The art of negotiation

The only bad thing about being on the suitemate hunt: you’ll probably be forced to negotiate, especially if you ask to join someone else’s group (as opposed to having people come to you).

When you’re looking for your new frands, whether on Facebook or via connections, you need to be honest, or else you’re going to end up living somewhere you hate. If you’re a singles-only person, make sure you say it—don’t join a group looking only for people seeking pairs.

Group-searching etiquette:

  • If you’re an underclassman joining an upperclassmen group, expect to make some sacrifices. If they’re looking to fill a suite with singles and doubles, you’ll be getting the double.
  • If you contact a group that’s looking to fill one more double, make sure you have a person in mind to fill it with you—that way the host group won’t have to find that one random straggler, and you’ll live with someone you actually know.

Housing doesn’t have to be as stressful as everyone insists it is. Everything falls into place eventually, and even if things don’t work out exactly as you want them to, chances are you’ll be just fine. We hope these suggestions help you find the right people and some peace of mind.

Having trouble finding people to fill your group? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Tina Watson is a Spectrum trainee and a Columbia College junior. She realized that being friendly is actually surprisingly useful. Who woulda thunk!? Reach her at tina.watson@columbiaspectator.com.

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