Campus Life

Male + Female Roommates?

I always enjoy working with Stanford University applicants. One of Stanford’s essay prompts says, “Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – know you better.” Aside from the fact that this prompt is a bit tricky (many respondents write their “note” like a term paper, way too stilted and formal), it raises an interesting gambit.

I have always wanted to advise a male writer to include the phrase, “I assume that you’re a guy,” and for females, “I assume that you’re a female.” The issue of mixed-sex roommates is, naturally, controversial. For example, observe some comments from the College Confidential discussion forum about this topic:

– If you are the kind of guy that manages friendships with girls very well, and they manage friendships with guys, it could be fun. At times I agree there may be too much estrogen but if you’re a laid back kind of guy you can probably handle it, and maybe you’ll take the edge off the situation.

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