WILMINGTON -- As colleges and universities are gearing up for the start of the school year, many incoming freshman are preparing to live with complete strangers. They're armed with more knowledge than ever before. Forget the phone -- with the help of web sites like Facebook and MySpace, students are learning all about their future roommates well before they meet them. Brad Reid is the director of housing and residence life at UNCW. He said although it hasn't been too common, he has had parents and students request roommate changes after seeing online profiles. Reid says UNCW uses a detailed housing contract to match people up, which works well most of the time. Most college students' parents say they haven't looked into their kids' roommates' online profiles. Judy Tucker is a parent of a college student. She said, "You go to college to learn to get along with other people. You never know what's going to be dealt your way in a roommate, but if you can survive your first year getting to know someone else, you're pretty much well off in the work force." Many UNCW students said Facebook plays a major role in learning all about their peers. Many parents said they have concerns about what's going on on Facebook, but they understand the importance of trusting their kids to handle real-life situations.
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