As Spring approaches, I am starting to see my little sister and her friends get accepted into colleges (ok I feel old). It’s crazy to think about how I am almost done with my junior year of college. I remember waiting for the letters in the mail and the stress I felt through the whole process of choosing a college and leaving home for the first time. It’s a big deal to leave everything you know. I still can’t believe I did it. And here I am, thankfully loving where I am.
Choosing a college was probably the biggest decision senior year of high school. However, choosing a roomie and determining my living situation was almost just as big of a decision. I had never shared a room, or been away from my family for more than a week or two?! I was set on living in a dorm with one roommate. Looking back on this now, I don’t know why I was so set on the dorms (I mean I didn’t even think about any other options). But anyway, I wanted to live in a dorm. There weren’t a lot of girls from my high school going to my university. So it was either get matched randomly or try and find someone within the next few months. Fortunately, I had some mutual friends who knew of someone going to my university. We had been following each other on social media for awhile, and we’d comment on each others pictures every once and awhile. We bonded over the fact that we had the same exact anniversary of when our boyfriends asked us to be their girlfriends. Once we found out we were both going to the same school we started talking. We eventually decided to become roomies and choose dorms together. So she wasn’t someone I knew very well, but I got to know over texting and social media. We ended up hanging out and having a sleepover that summer to get to know one another. We also did some dorm shopping together before we moved. It was a big jump for me to decide to live with someone I hardly knew, but I thank God all the time that I did. For some people, they room with their best friends and it takes a toll on their friendship. But sometimes, it ends up just being a sleepover with your best friend every night. And for others, they room with a random person and they either love it or hate it. I feel very blessed to have got the roommate I did. I’m not saying it was always perfect, of course we’d get annoyed with each other, but most of the time it was a lot of laughs and a friendship that felt more like family. Reminiscing on my roomie experience had me wanting to share some tips & thoughts. So here are my tips for choosing a roomie. 🙂
FIND SOMEONE WHO SHARES THE SAME INTERESTS AS YOU
Let me start off with saying, if you and your roommate end up not sharing the same interests it is not the end of the world. But, finding someone who does have similar interests as you will benefit your relationship. This will especially help you guys get to know each other in the beginning of your relationship. It will make it easier to come up with activities you can do together, and both enjoy. Maybe you both like hiking? Or are both really into working out. Whatever it is, it will be something you two can bond over together.
REMEMBER YOUR ROOMMATE IS NOT GOING TO LIVE EXACTLY LIKE YOU
This was probably one of the biggest hurdles for me when moving out for the first time. I was only used to living with my mom and little sister. I had never shared a room, let alone a tiny little dorm. So sharing a space was hard for me. I would recommend going into it with a very open mind. People are very different, and they are going to do things differently from you, and thats OK. When choosing a roommate, bring up brief questions about their living habits. Here are a few things that were important to me:
- What time do they usually go to sleep? I am not telling you to ask for an exact hour, but a general time is good to know. It would be quite annoying for someone who loves to get a goodnight sleep to be paired with someone who stays up until 3 a.m. every night. I mean, you share a room so it matters.
- Would they consider themselves clean or messy? I don’t mind a little mess now and then, but it would have drove me nuts if I had a roommate who left dirty dishes and clothes around our room.
- Do they smoke? I personally do not smoke cigarettes or weed. But there were a lot of people in dorms around me who would smoke in their dorms. So if this is something you care about, ask.
- Do you have any pets or do you plan to? Some dorms are strict on having pets, but a lot of people had fish in their dorms when I lived on campus. I also have friends who have emotional support animals who live with them in their dorms. If you’re allergic, or not fond of the idea of an animal living with you, again.. ask.
- Do you like to go out to parties or throw parties? There is nothing wrong with partying, in fact a lot of college kids do. And as strict as some dorms may seem, there are still parties in the dorms. My boyfriend lived in a dorm that was suite styled. So he shared the bathroom with eight people including himself. This set up basically invited the partiers. Lets just say, when I’d go see my boyfriend at his dorm, I could not step foot in his bathroom… (ya we’ll leave it at that).
YOUR ROOMMATE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOUR “BEST FRIEND”
Yes, some roommates become best friends, but not all. And that is OK. In most cases, this roomie thing is temporary. You don’t have to be complete besties with your roomie. You just have to get along and respect each others space. Don’t force a friendship, just let your relationship grow naturally. And if you don’t really care for your roomie, remember it’s temporary.
DON’T FORGET WHY YOU’RE IN COLLEGE
Okay, if you only remember one thing from this post, remember this. The purpose of college is to learn and get an education. Yes, along the way make friends, celebrate, have fun, find yourself, and enjoy it. But please, remember why you’re there. I’ve seen a lot of people get distracted by drinking and drugs, negative relationships and fail classes. Surround yourself with people who share the same priorities as you. Do your best to room with someone who values the same things as you. It will make everything a lot easier. This makes me think of the quotes that says… “You are who you surround yourself with.” I truly truly truly believe in this quote. If you constantly are surrounded by people who skip classes, drink, do drugs and are not motivated.. guess what? You probably are going to pick up some of those habits of theirs. I am not saying you can’t be friends who enjoy partying or anything like that. I am just saying, have fun but also take your classes seriously.
Looking back at my first year of college, I feel truly blessed. I lucked out with my roommate and we grew to be best friends. We still talk all the time, and reminisce on living together. I feel SO incredibly blessed Nicole was my first ever roommate. She is one of my best friends today & I feel that our bond is so special because we lived together. No one will ever be able to replace what her and I have. It feels like yesterday we were living in our cute little dorm together. Time flies.
I hope these tips help you when choosing a roomie. Whatever you do, enjoy your time and make the best out of your experience.