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Don't Room With Your Best Friend
The "Who Should I Live With?" Question:
In my freshman year in college, I had three roommates in my dorm. I became really close friends with one of them by the end of the year and we felt that rooming together the next year would be fun. I mean we liked each other, we have the same interests, and we already know each other. Who wants to live with someone different? I remember my cousin telling me that from her experience in college was to never room with your best friend. I decided to not listen to her, thinking that we would be different.
We Were Not Different.
It wasn’t until the second month of living together, passing the honeymoon stage of coming back to school and catching up what happened over the summer, that we started having problems. I had made other friends during my freshman year and wanted to hang out with them. She didn’t like them and wouldn’t come along, but claimed I was ditching her. She began to be demanding that I stay at the dorm so we could hang out, but all she did was nap because “she was bored”. I started dating someone at the time and that really set her off.
I would get text messages telling me that she’s lonely and she hates my boyfriend for taking me away. I would go back to the dorm to cool her jets, but she wouldn’t acknowledge me and it began to be so stressful for me to even return back to my dorm for the evening that I’d rather spend the night at my friends’ dorms. My roommate started threatening to throw my stuff out of our room and changing the locks if I didn’t break up with my boyfriend. She started calling me names and I was really surprised that we were friends at all. I tried to get us to have a talk with our Community Advisor, to reconcile any hostility she harbored towards me and let me explain that what she was doing to me was wrong and why I felt that way. It didn’t work, because she wasn’t into listening to me, but to make me look like the bad guy.
I had enough.
It was at this point where I managed to find an opening with another friend, we weren’t close but we hung out sometimes, and moved in with her.
Then that started getting crazy, as well. It wasn’t as bad as my first roommate, but it was just as stressful because she did drugs and wanted me to join her. I almost got in trouble for being in the room for like a few minutes when the RA caught her. I really couldn’t wait to be done with the school year and find an apartment where I can have my own room and live with new people.
The Moral of The Story.
Do not move in with your best friend while you’re in college. Friends and acquaintances come and go during your four years at school. The first friend you make your first year in college might not be the friend that you will run to take pictures with on your graduation day. I made a lot of friends and ended up with just a few at the end of it all. One of them was my last roommate, surprisingly, because I barely knew her from the start.
It’s okay to be friends with your roommate. You are living with each other for a whole school year and you will end up bonding. But, make sure you and your roommate have separate friends that you can go your separate ways with and return home after a night out. Spending too much time together can be hindering to your friendship, especially if you end up finding a date or another friend.
Having your own space and alone time can be a good thing for you and your roommate. Being crammed into a tiny room is claustrophobic enough, but with one other person, it is worse. Creating space between you and your roommate will help alleviate any stress or agitation you might have towards them.
Set up some written boundaries or agreements between you and your roommate, so that if some of them were to be broken you can bring up the written agreements in your conversation and settle the differences without a problem. If necessary, bring in your RA or Community Advisor and have them mediate.
Lastly, don’t force a friendship with your roommate. Let things happen on it’s own. This is how my last roommate and I formed a friendship that has lasted even with miles distancing us.
I’m glad I learned from mistakes towards the end of my schooling and I hope you’ll learn from mine before it happens to you.