Living situations

Born on Third Base

privtriple

No doubt. A lot of people are born with caring families and comforts and plenty of valuable direction at an early age. Others, with far less.

So what?

People who go through life worrying that the guy or gal on third, that was born there and doesn’t know it, are the same people not concerned sufficiently with their own lead-off towards second. Successful people don’t worry about other people’s advantages – they focus on how to craft their own. They don’t worry about where they were born, they worry about where they want to live.

This seemingly benign statement is pregnant with negativity. If they don’t realize their “privilege” or they incorrectly think their station in life was earned, who are you to point it out or to care? Their place has no impact on your own success and to focus on it for more than an instant is to waste the gift. To waste the knowledge that you’re capable of having whatever you want in life, assuming you want it enough.

That last part is the most difficult to grasp. That you have to want it enough to do something different than what you did before, different from everyone else around you. The fact is most people DON’T want things that bad to stop doing what they’ve always done. A point of comfort is achieved and there isn’t enough magnetic push or pull to get people to do the work necessary to accomplish great success.

So, as we’re generally comfortable enough, and dissatisfied that this other person has a better: car/income/family life/office/reputation/etc… the story we’re tempted to tell ourselves is that they didn’t earn it. That it was purely luck, and they should come down a peg from all of their high horses and silver spoons. But what good does any of it do? Envy, jealousy, feelings of superiority – all evils for a reason. Not because of what they do to others, but for how they corrode us and rust over our own initiative.

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RoommateFit, LLC offers “eharmony for roommates?” Hipsters & Cowboys cheer?

This guy is doing it!

Justin Mares is attempting to sell his RoommateFit Software to College Campuses for their Housing Operations

eHarmony for College Dorms?

Justin Mares today announced his new roommate matching software “RoommateFit” which he’s pitching to college campuses to aid in their dorm room assignments. The University of Pittsburgh Business student’s system will ask 42 questions, covering 6 distinct traits, in order to better match like-minded students with one another.

I recall talking with a co-worker in 2001 while working at a large, all-inclusive, student community here in Gainesville who realized the need for exactly such software. “So wait, you mean there’s no such thing as 3rd party roommate matching software out there for college communities?”, he asked me incredulously. “Not really” I said, “most people make their own proprietary system but the whole thing takes a back seat to other business aspects of the operation.” He resolved right then and there to make the first, one-size-fits-all roommate matching software for college campuses and stand-alone communities.

It’s been a decade and I haven’t heard tell of him, or his software, yet.

And that’s probably because it’s not as easy a thing to do as one may initially think. What really matters when matching roommates? It’s not like they’re dating… they just need to do a bit better than not kill each other. So, preferred bedtimes are the big deal? Drinking? Hobbies? Majors? Affiliations like Sororities or clubs? Music choices? How’s the hipster vegan from NYC going to get along with the Agriculture major from Texas who believes Bacon isn’t just a food group but a full-blown religion?

So much more common than you think

Passive-agressive Post-it notes are a staple in student apartments - like Ramen noodles and mini-fridges.

How do you correctly weight the answers to these questions and which factors hide the buried fault lines of potential friendship or ever-lasting war? That’s the problem most campuses and Property Management groups have when it comes to finding “Martin” his new “Lewis.”

If you’re a new college student and are getting an assigned roommate I have a sobering truth for you: That ‘random roommate’ is way more RANDOM than you may actually think.

Many times, and due to the actual calamity of placing/assigning units and coordinating dates/furniture/vendors, etc… roommate matching can, and is often, done based entirely on gender alone: “I got a single guy here for a 4/4, you have a space open with three other guys?” says the Leasing Manager to the Property Manager – “Yeah, done and done. Placed in 1010B, next?”More on this exact process later…

This is where Mares’ software really becomes appealing; if you can sort people to be placed together based on similar interests, reduce immediate roommate conflicts, and speed up the process so the office staff is free to focus on preparing your unit correctly for move-in, everyone wins.

The big question remaining to be seen is this: Will Mares’ system create better matches than random assignment? Significantly better as to justify the cost of his annual service? And how do you even measure such a thing? What’s a successful placement? Is this system better than letting students find their own roommates on Facebook?

Those questions are why most groups don’t see money in attempting to ensure roommates hit it off… “random” or limited review of roommate preferences has worked thus far, therefore, why spend the money?