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Monday, April 23, 2012

Rooming With Your Best Friend: Why I Did When Everyone Told Me Not To

When I started preparing for college, it seemed like everyone seemed to have some piece of advice that they wanted to share. One of the most prevalent by far was "Do not room with your best friend from high school." I brushed the advice off at first, not planning to even attend college in the same state as my best friend, until (through a series of life-changing events) we ended up at the same school.

Suddenly, their advice applied to me.

At first, my best friend and I planned to room separately and then we started to think about all the unsavory types that we could end up rooming with. When choosing to room with a friend, it may seem like the devil you know is far safer than the devil you don't. So, one day, I asked my best friend if she wanted to room with me and she said yes. We requested each other on our forms and the rest is history.

I've been living with her for a year. There are some days when I wish I'd gone in blind and days when I'm glad that we didn't. We're still best friends, but our relationship will never be the same. We're rooming together next year as well, though, I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about asking one of my other friends if she'd like to move in together.

Do I recommend that others move in with their high school best friends? That's up to you. Just know that -- no matter how many nights you spent at each others' houses -- being best friends with someone is nothing like living with them. There will be struggles, there will be fights, and you will learn things about your roommate that you never wanted to know. You might find out that they're a completely different person from the one you knew in high school. 

If you're thinking about rooming with your best friend, think about it for awhile. Will you be able to handle living with this person? Do you have the same sleeping habits? The same studying habits? Do you need complete silence to study while they like to have a lot of noise? Do you prefer going to bed early while they like to go to bed late? Don't just think about how many awesome movie nights you are going to have. Think about how compatible the two of you will be living together.

Living with your best friend may strengthen your relationship or it may ruin it. A lot of people change when they get to college. Sometimes it can be better just to share a living space with someone, rather than being best friends with them. If you do decide to room with your best friend, make sure you work out any problems that arise rather than just letting them fester until it becomes a major problem. Also, make sure that you get out and meet new people. Don't just hang out with your roommate because they're what's familiar. The best part of college is getting out and trying new things.

Still, I'm glad I ignored everyone's advice. I love my roommate even if she does drive me crazy sometimes and keeps me up way too late on weekends.

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