Strangers to bridesmaids: Facebook is fairy godmother of roommate matching

Best friends and future bridesmaids for each other, Claire Teng and Natalie Stitt spend girl time together. Photo courtesy of Natalie Stitt.

By Gillian Taylor | Staff Writer

Two strangers found their way to each other, and four years later, they will now be bridesmaids in each other’s weddings — all because of a Facebook group and two girls’ eagerness to find a roommate for freshman year.

St. Louis senior Claire Teng and Tulsa, Okla., senior Natalie Stitt found each other during their senior year of high school on the class of 2023 Facebook group while searching for roommates for freshman year.

The then-incoming freshmen said they wanted to use an alternate way to find a roommate, rather than the suggested roommates feature in the Baylor My Housing portal. Coincidentally, they both turned to the university-sponsored Facebook group.

“I felt a lot of pressure to find a roommate because I really didn’t want Baylor to assign me someone random,” Stitt said. “I wanted to get to know my roommate before I moved in and at least have one friend.”

Stitt said the only reason she created a Facebook account was to find a roommate. She said she had previously tried Baylor’s roommate matching portal, but she became overwhelmed with the questions being asked in the survey and decided she would rather choose her own roommate.

Teng said the majority of the people she met during her freshman year also found their roommates through the Facebook group. She said she met and talked to people who tried the roommate matching portal and recalled hearing they did not have a good experience.

“It would be nice if Baylor had a specific platform for finding roommates similar to the Facebook group, where people could post and give details about themselves rather than just your major and if you keep the room clean or not,” Teng said.

Teng said both she and Stitt followed each other on Instagram after viewing each other’s posts in the Facebook group. She said they began to bond over Instagram direct messages and texted back and forth until they started to FaceTime the summer before their freshman year. After realizing how much they had in common, they requested each other as roommates.

Stitt said the experience their freshman year was so great that they decided to continue living together their sophomore year. Now seniors and engaged, Stitt and Teng said they will be in each other’s weddings.

“I never would have thought the random roommate I found online [during] senior year of high school would be one of my bridesmaids,” Stitt said. “But thank you, Facebook, for giving me one of my closest friends.”