Coincidentally, my best friend and I from high school decided to attend the same college. When we first found out, we were ecstatic. Who wouldn’t want to have a best friend to go to all of the awkward orientation stuff with? We knew that it would be comforting to at least know someone in this whirlpool of change we were about to be thrown into.
When it came time to decide on our rooming situation, we were fully aware of the common speculation that it might not work out as swimmingly as we would like to imagine. Whether we decided to room together or to take the risk and room with a stranger, there are pros and cons to everything when it comes to deciding who you choose to live with.
We broke it down and narrowed into each pro and con. We actually made a physical list, writing every single aspect down. Ultimately, we decided that we want to be roommates. The pros outweighed the cons. Over the summer we heard over and over again, “You guys are going to end up hating each other,” and “Your friendship is going to be totally ruined by the end of the first semeser.” However, we completely pushed aside these sort of nagging comments and decided to figure it out yourself. After all, isn’t that what college is all about? Learning from experience and living with the choices that we make.
Those people were somewhat right. Although, I think that because we knew that there was a possibility it could happen, we were conscious when it came to communication. However, we went through phases. It’s important to note that when going through a huge life-transition, people change; People react and learn to adapt differently.
Yes, there was a time when we “hated” each other. But, I’m using the term “hate” very lightly here. We both knew each other so well that we would fight like sisters. So, it was the kind of “hate” where you give the silent treatment until a few hours go by and then you forget all about it. My roommate/best friend and I have very opposite personalities. She is loud, I am quiet. She is blunt, I sugarcoat things. However, we are both very stubborn. Can you imagine some of the conflicts? We had our fights and little arguments. College puts on so much extra stress that only a current student is able to grasp. With that being said, even the tiniest things have the ability to set us off. Because we were friends, sometimes we took that stress out on each other.
When living with someone, you become too familiar with their little habits and sometimes weird characteristics. It takes time to get used to and learn to deal with. Over time, we became more aware of each others moods and feelings, and because of that, we grew even closer.
Then, we learned and achieved the ultimate communication goals. With any person that you room with, it is obvious that communication is key. Actually in college, you are faced with the paramount of communication tests. Dealing with your roommate being among one of them. Learning how to say the right things and talk to each other in ways that we will understand took some time to figure out, to say the least. However, when we did learn to kind of chill out and learn each others language, we could address problems fast and solve them in a way we’ll both agree with.
But, rooming with your best friend had some awesome perks– especially when our emotions got the best of us. Sometimes, more often than not, one of us will walk into the room to find the other sitting in their bed in emotional distress. Woo hoo — typical college stress. Possibly having a mental breakdown? Occasionally we’ll find ourselves laughing, imagining the thought of someone else walking into this situation. We say “Oh my God, like if someone were to like see you right now they would be like WTF,” and it’s true. Knowing that we are both prone to excessive crying, this was a definite pro on our list. During times when I am feeling like I might be losing my mind, I don’t want to be surrounded by anyone else other than my best friend.
When we find ourselves stuck these little dips in life, we know what to say and how to help each other get up to where we should be. After all, isn’t that what friends are for? We developed an awesome support system.
Lastly, we ultimately brought out the best in each other. Going back to what I said about having opposite personalities, I learned how to be more straightforward, and she learned a bit from my sugarcoating perspective. We learned so much about communication, I’m sure we could each write a book about it.
Side note: Along with the comments that said that we would destroy our friendship, there were also remarks that said that we would isolate ourselves from meeting different people. Not true at all. I mean it definitely varies between each friendship in this kind of situation. However, for us, since we brought out the best in each other, we made friends fast.
Overall, the idea of rooming with a best friend is something that requires a specific mindset, particularity a positive one. We entered college knowing that this is not going to be a piece of cake. It would need effort and complete mindfulness. Following those two things and considering that things take time, are what, I think, made it all work out. We lived in a dorm for two years and are just about to finish our first year living in a house with four other girls, and I would not want to have it any other way.