I have seen it happen all too many times. You get into your dream college with your best friend and of course, the two of you decide to be the best roomies ever. And then, 4 months in, things go downhill. Your relationship dissolves into nothing more than awkward cordial strangers at best. I hate when this happens because it can so easily be avoided. These are a few tips from me, an innocent bystander who was smart enough to get a single room her freshman year..
- Get comfortable. You absolutely do not know someone until you have lived with them. I do not care if they have been your friend since diapers, YOU DO NOT KNOW THEM. Living with someone brings about things you would never expect and you have to truly get comfortable with each other. Is it okay to walk around in your bra and panties? Can you share food? Can you share clothes? Can you sleep naked (this is a little much..)? The first few weeks will be awkward but this is a KEY time to get to know your roommate. But if things get a little too comfortable on one side…..
- Be honest. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT allow small things to clutter your mind and infuriate you. You must be honest. So, your roomie got a little TOO comfortable and rolled up with homie from down the hall. Be honest. Talk to her/him about it. Do not just continue to sweep things under the rug because when the booboo hits the fan….
- Expect change. As I said before, I do not care if you have known him/her since they were in the womb, people change. Whether you are a freshmen in college or moving into your first apartment, people are constantly changing at this age. One week we like chicken, the next week we are vegan. It is a time of exploration. Be ready for change. View it as a positive learning experience. Open your heart to what you can learn from living with another person. Remember, you are also changing!
- Lower your expectations. This is a deal breaker. Do NOT come up in your dorm room making all these unspoken rules for your roomie. “Oh yeah, she better vacuum once a week, never eat my food, wash twice a day and share her clothes.” Lower your expectations… She/He is not your mother. They owe you NOTHING and by expecting nothing imagine your delight when they leave you those Bojangles leftovers or when they take out the trash. It is best to speak things into existence when it comes to expectations. Not everyone was raised the same way. Do not expect someone to meet your standards because they have standards of their own. Now, I am NOT saying let them live like filthy pigs. There is a line. But talk about these things. See number 2. Do you like when people are over at 3am or does it bother you? Do you like loud music? Can you deal with it when her grandmother comes to visit? Are you willing to share your homemade biscuits? Talk about it now or be real salty when your biscuits get GONE..
- Enjoy each other. When will you EVER get to live with your best friend again?! Enjoy this time together. Sit up and talk for hours. Do random things like go get ice cream and take evening strolls. Cook together. Throw a party. This is a time that you will forever remember and you absolutely do not want it to be a bad one.