There are many people who caution against choosing your best friend from high school to be your roommate in college, and I can’t say that they are all wrong. But at the same time, there are many perks about having someone you know make the same transition from your hometown to a new place with you. I did it, and I love my experience but I can’t speak for everyone. So let’s get this show on the road shall we?
One of the best things about rooming with a friend from high school is that you are 98% sure that they are not a serial killer, and that’s always a good thing. Before knowing who my roommate would be I was constantly praying that it wouldn’t be like the movie The Roommate because I can’t handle that type of weirdness/obsession. It’s not healthy.
Also, because my roommate, Jeni and I had known each other since middle school, there was no awkward introductions/ Facebook stalking needed. We both knew each others’ parents and sisters. We both went to the same high school obviously so there was no need for trying to make good impressions.
It was easier to get things for our room because we both kinda had the same ideas. So we would get together and put our crafty pants on. It was a way for us to bond more and have fun together. Plus, we both lived fairly close to each other so taking trips back home was easy because we could always carpool together.
It strengthened our bond as friends. We were there for each other a lot more than in high school because we slept three feet away from each other. Whenever either of us needed a good cry, we both knew that we had each other. When I was in the hospital, Jeni came to visit me a few times and it really made my day. Just having her there with me while I was half awake and not making coherent sentences is something that I will always be thankful for.
Getting naked? Not a big deal. This might not be as true for many people but for Jeni and I nudity was not a big deal. I was on a dance team and she was a cheerleader, so getting changed wasn’t something that bugged us. Plus we both hate wearing pants so there wasn’t an unspoken pant-wearing rule.
If you didn’t know this already, roommate conflicts are basically the same as a nasty high profile divorce. There’s yelling and arguing over who gets to keep the mini-fridge and tape put down on the ground to show who’s side is who’s. While Jeni and I did have our differences, nothing to that extreme went down.
When you have a previously unknown as a roommate, the pressure to go out and make new friends is a lot higher. You don’t know if your roommate sleep-talks yet or has a weird obsession with earwax yet. Rooming with someone you know make you feel comfortable (which is a good thing) but it also makes you less willing to go and meet new people. Some of the times that I had met some of my good friends were when Jeni and I were separated.
I knew a fair amount of people coming to my university, and because of that we tended to stick together, which can intimidate others and cause them not to meet you. I know this happens for me whenever I meet a croup of people who look like they’ve been friends since they were in the womb. I felt a little bit like an outsider, and I didn’t want to look like I was trying to force my way into their friendship.
If you are anything like me and have the tendency to avoid conflict as much as I do, then you’ll get where I’m coming from. Roommate conflicts are a nearly inevitable, they don’t have to be big fights or anything. It can be as little as, “Hey I don’t appreciate the fact that I am always the one taking out the trash.” But at the end of the day, I still won’t say anything because I’m afraid that I’ll offend you and ruin our friendship forever. When you room with someone you know, it might be easier to think that to maintain your friendship you must avoid bringing up conversations that matter, or you might talk about your problems with everyone except for them. Which is definitely not true, nor is it the best way to solve problems. If confronting people isn’t your thing talk to your RA about it and see what they can do to help you get over the bumpy patch, however, they can’t fix the problem for you.
Two words. Friendship Envy. That’s right ladies and gents it’s hard to believe but we do not have sole ownership of all the friendship spots that our roommate has. It’s easy to start feeling jealous of the new friends that they are making, especially if it feels like they might be replacing you. One might feel entitled to having a monopoly over their roommate’s time because they’ve known them longer and have many great memories with them and so forth, however, we have to accept that our best friend will make other friends. They’ll join a club or a sorority or sit next to someone who likes Dr. Who as much as they do, and that’s okay.
Side Note: This is my 50th blog post! Whoooo! I didn’t have any great expectations when I started Wanderful Life, but I’m so happy to see how far I’ve come and where I will go in the future!