Moving to college is probably one of the hardest transitions life has to offer us. Leaving parents, siblings, your own bed, a shower you don’t need to wear flip-flops in, and cooked meals every day is nerve-wracking. And of course what about your dogs?! You don’t get to snuggle up with a four-legged furry friend after a hard test anymore, and it is tough.
Then comes the biggest transition of all: living with a complete stranger. Unless you are rooming with a life-long friend, which is highly discouraged, you are probably going to end up falling asleep next to a stranger every night. And it’s weird. Granted, with modern technologically and Facebook groups, it’s very easy to meet a roommate before moving in, but still the relationship is underdeveloped and you really only know each other via a blue website, so it doesn’t count.
I met my roommate at freshman orientation during the summer. She was tiny and brunette and seemed so sweet, so when she asked if I wanted to be roommates I didn’t hesitate. Two years later and we’re entering our third year of living together and she is nothing like I expected, in a good way. The sweet little angel I met in June is actually the most sarcastic, hilarious, not-giving-a-shit person I’ve ever met. I even witnessed her smack the hell out of somebody and then try to go after someone else, but that’s a different story. The point is, she became my best friend in the entire world and I often find myself wondering how I ever survived without her.
It is extremely important to live with somebody who you can bond with, laugh with, cry with, and grow with. Without my roommate being by my side when there are tears rolling down my face and snot running out of my nose, I’d feel alone in this world. Without her there after every failed exam, failed relationship, and failed experience I’d have nobody to laugh about those things with.
The most common horror stories from college are about devilish roommates who made freshman year a living hell for their roommates. And that’s not fair. College, especially your freshman year, is supposed to be a time for growing and a time for experiencing everything for the first time on your own (kind of). It’s about having more fun than you ever thought possible and meeting people that you pray to God never leave your life. And if somebody ruins that experience for you, they are doing you a major injustice.
Living with somebody means showing them all the dirty irresponsible parts of yourself and your life. It’s about being comfortable to sleep in your underwear with no covers and to wear ugly green face masks and even let out a raunchy, ten-second-long burp whenever you need to. It’s about knowing they’ll still love you, even in your neediest, most disgusting phases.
So here’s my advice: if you have a roommate that you can’t do all the above with, get a new roommate. Do whatever you can to live with somebody who will go to the grocery store with you at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday when you’re craving buttered corn. Do whatever you can to live with somebody who will help you learn, grow, and experience college and all it has to offer in the most positive, loving way possible. And, above all else, make sure that you can be that person for your roommate.