Students planning to live in Austin next year are facing difficulties finding roommates, citing inability to meet new people and uncertainty about the future of the pandemic.
Some students, particularly freshmen who have had a virtual first semester, have turned to social media sites such as Facebook to search for roommates. As of Monday, over 30 students have posted messages in the UT class of 2024 Facebook group looking for roommates since the start of November.
Psychology freshman Justin Tran said he currently lives in West Campus, but is searching for new roommates for next school year. He said the process would be easier if more of the student body was on campus.
“I feel like without COVID, I would know so much more people through face-to-face interaction,” Tran said. “My ideal roommate would not just be a random person, I want to have someone know them or know them myself.”
Undeclared freshman Josselyn De Leon stayed home this semester due to financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic but plans to come back to campus in the spring. So far, she said she has not been able to find a roommate for the spring semester.
“It's hard because some of them don't call back or don't text back,” De Leon said. “I've posted everywhere to try and find someone.”
De Leon said living on campus would help her mental health.
“If I could go (to campus), my mental state could be better because it's hard to stay home and in the same room since you were younger,” De Leon said.
Business freshman Katelyn Ware is looking for multiple roommates to live in an apartment next year but believes the uncertainty of the virus will cause difficulty.
“We have no idea how next year will play out, if COVID gets worse or it gets better,” Ware said. “I feel like it will be hard, because now I'm trying to convince someone to sign an official lease for 12 months.”
COVID-19 safety levels have created another aspect to consider when choosing a roommate, Ware said.
“It is hard to find people that you know you can trust when they are going out and being safe because whatever they do or wherever they go, they're bringing it back to you,” Ware said. “You have to have an extra layer of trust with that person that you're trying to room with.”