When students log on to TopNet to pick their roommates for the upcoming fall semester, some might consider having a random roommate assigned to them instead of choosing their own.

Random roommates have their ups and downs, but they can give students a chance to reinvent themselves and make the most out of college life.

“You get to make new friends who don’t know about all the embarrassing stuff from grade school,” Lexington sophomore Hayley VanMeter said.

Coming to WKU, VanMeter didn’t know anyone and was worried her roommate would be “super strange.”

After meeting her roommate on move-in day and suffering through all the awkwardness of meeting a new person, VanMeter began to find they had a lot of things in common.

“She was really great,” VanMeter said. “I don’t know if I could have made it through freshman year without her.”

VanMeter said she was one of the lucky ones. She chose a random roommate and ended up with a lifelong friend.

There can be some downsides to having a random roommate. Tamara Warren, Frankfort sophomore, experienced this downside head-on when she lived with her random roommate.

You get to make new friends who don’t know about all the embarrassing stuff from grade school.

Warren said she knew it was going to be bad when she walked into her room for the first time, saw paw print stickers on her wall and was asked if she wanted to see her new roommate’s card collection.

Warren said her roommate crossed a few boundaries when “she tried to summon the devil” and would go through Warren’s things without permission.

“It was just an all-around bad experience,” Warren said.

Freshman Jack Johnson of Bardstown, also a Herald columnist, said his experience wasn’t great either. Johnson said he and his roommate were complete opposites, “way too different” to get along well.

“Consider all the facts,” Johnson said about getting a random roommate. “If you’re not okay with certain things, you essentially just have to get over it.”

Not all random roommates end up being as perfect as VanMeter and her roommate were, but they aren’t all awful either. Hayley Moss, a sophomore from Campbellsville, said she and her random roommate got along okay.

They had fun at first and enjoyed each other’s company, but after a while their personalities started to clash.

“She was just so nice, it started to get annoying,” Moss said.

Moss said her roommate left her candy sometimes and that the gesture always made her happy, but Moss never had much time to herself.

“Some roommates might not give you a lot of alone time, so you need to be prepared for that,” Moss said.

Random roommates can have many different outcomes, but they aren’t all bad.

“At least you’ll have a story to tell no matter what the outcome is,” Warren said.