One of the best yet most difficult experiences in college is learning to live with a roommate. Some people get lucky and find the perfect roommate on their first try. I had three different roommates before I found the right one for me, and that’s okay, because I grew and learned a lot.
My first roommate was never actually my roommate. We were good friends in high school, so we decided to room together. When we got our housing assignments, we were put in one of the oldest dorms on campus. I was told I could move to a newer dorm, but I’d have to leave my requested roommate. I’m a little bit (okay, a lot) of a diva, so I did it. It was a very hard decision, but now, almost three years later, we are still friends and we’re both thankful I did. As we grew in college, we realized we’d be terrible roommates. I learned to always go with my gut, even when it’s a difficult decision.
My second roommate was a random roommate I got paired with. She was cool, but we were really different. We got along okay, but not great, and I was nervous we’d start arguing a lot, so we decided to switch roommates with the girls across the hall from us. Once we stopped living together, we got along fine. I see her on campus pretty often, and everything’s great. I learned that just because someone is your friend, it doesn’t mean you can or should live with them. Living with someone brings a whole new dynamic into a friendship, and if that doesn’t work, it’s fine.
My third roommate was the hardest goodbye because she and I quickly became best friends. We got along perfectly for a semester, and then things started to get rocky. There were a series of miscommunications, our social lives started to differ, and we never talked about little things that were bothering us, so eventually, we canceled our future apartment plans and stopped talking altogether. From this, I learned that you have to address all issues head-on or else the tension will build up beyond repair. I also learned to be more considerate of other people’s space and feelings.
Finally, I found my perfect roommate. Fourth time’s the charm, right? All of my previous experiences taught me so much about myself, helped me become a better roommate, and made me appreciate my current roommate more. A coffee date with matching mugs or a pajama movie night is a great way to stay connected to your roomie. A little surprise appreciation gift every now and then goes a long way, too. It can hard to find the right roommate, but you can learn a lot from the wrong ones, and grow into the best roommate you can be.
What have you learned from living with a roommate? Let me know in the comments below!
Featured photo by Julia Michael.