When I was accepted into college as a high school senior, I didn’t think twice about having a roommate who was female. However, this LA Times article has shed light on a fascinating new development: mixed-gender dorm rooms are gradually rising in popularity and being offered at multiple colleges across the nation.
To date, over 50 schools in the U.S. offer co-ed housing. However, a very low percentage of students at these schools actually choose a roommate of the opposite gender. There are a number of obvious reasons why we might not want to live with a guy: they have different hygiene routines, physical features, gender habits, etc. Plus, it would be disastrous if we became attracted to our own roommate–whoops!

Rose DeLeon Foote, who is a senior at UC Berkeley (a school that offers co-ed housing), discounted the fact that gender-neutral housing could promote romantic or physical relationships. Instead, she noted in the article, “the opposite is true when roommates see each other ‘all gnarly in the morning.’ ”

While the college I attend (USC) doesn’t allow co-ed roommates in university-owned housing, I know a bunch of friends that live with their guy friends in off-campus apartments. They tell me that as long as you don’t live with guys that you are romantically involved with, you can genuinely enjoy living with the opposite gender.

As my friend good-naturedly told me, “Probably the worst thing is that they’re pretty messy and don’t wash the dishes, or they walk around in their boxers—but I’m used to it by now.”

Conservatives will continue to balk at the idea of coed housing, but I personally don’t find it to be a huge deal. The most important factors you should consider when choosing a roommate is that they are compatible, easy to get along with, and someone you could see yourself living with for an extended period of time–and if that person just so happens to be a guy, gender shouldn’t have to be an enormous issue.

Photo from College Candy