Finding the perfect roommate is about as rare as snagging an elliptical at the Plex after New Year’s resolutions, but if you’re one of the lucky few, you know how special it can be for your own BC experience. In my past year and a half of living, I’ve been fortunate enough to find that seamless match and have pinpointed the key signs that make this relationship so special. If you haven’t been as lucky, keep these in mind so that you perhaps can lead the roommate dynamic in a different direction to be the ideal living partner yourself.
1. They remember the little things
Something as simple as consistently asking how your days was, what your big exam was like, or how your sick neighbor is at home really shows genuine care for a person and reminds you that someone is truly interested in you. Bonus points are given to the roomie who occasionally surprises the other with Starbucks or a post-it note compliment on their desk. Being away from friends and family at home can be isolating at times, so it is always nice to have someone go out of their way to express deeper concern for your most daily interactions.
2. They embrace the communal closet because, duh…
There is nothing better than doubling the size of your closet overnight without having to spend a dime. If you want that luxury for yourself then it is important to reciprocate the favor and acknowledge the fact that yes, your sweater really does look better on her. However, a good roommate is still always respectful. Shooting a quick, “do you mind if I borrow that top?” text, (even though you already know they will say yes), is so much easier than awkwardly having to explain yourself after bumping into them after class. Be courteous when borrowing, offering to wash, dry clean, or sometimes even accepting the responsibility of buying new items if you have done any damage to their belongings. It’s a great way to ensure you’re able to keep the privilege of the communal closet.
3. They never judge
So you ended up on BC Makeouts…again, or so what if it has been two weeks since you’ve been to the Plex, a good roommate is there for unceasing support. They will laugh with you through the embarrassing moments and motivate you to get through the tough times. College is a road full of unexpected twists and turns, and it is much easier to get through when you have a source of encouragement without criticism coming straight from the next bed over.
4. They don’t compete
I’ve seen many friendships and roommate situations run in to problems when individuals start getting overly competitive with one another. BC itself is full of smart, ambitious, and well-rounded girls, so it is easy to get caught up in competing for everything from GPA, leadership positions, or the cute boy down the hall. This is a fast-track to petty arguments or walls of secrecy, creating awkward and unnecessary tension in the room. My roommate and I have had overlapping classes, organizations, and social circles since day one, but she has mastered the art of being supportive without placing her own wants above a friendship. It strengthens a relationship quickly when you can push each other to excel rather than scheme to one-up.
5. They respect your habits, even the annoying ones
I am an avid abuser of the snooze button—the kind who sets 12 alarms to wake up for a 9 AM. While I know my roommate likely gets annoyed by this, she has always been respectful of our habitual differences. The key to a good living environment is to make compromises and try your best to be as accommodating as possible. For me that has meant forcing myself to hit snooze less (a choice my academic career has likely thanked me for), while she makes an effort to get up earlier to beat my alarms in the first place.
6. They communicate: even the small issues
It doesn’t take long for a small issue to escalate into a massive fight if it is not addressed right away. A good roommate is not afraid to kindly speak their mind when something is bothering them so as to avoid further problems. Be sensitive to the other person’s feelings, but don’t wait to communicate.
7. You look forward to coming home to them every day
Yes, a good roommate really can fill a void a boyfriend never can. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day of classes to someone that you know will listen to you for hours as you complain about a Professor, cry over the fight with your parents, or overanalyze for the third time what that one boy meant in his text. Having your roommate as your rock and your best friend has proven for me to be the best way to make a dingy college dorm room feel like home.
Strive to be that perfect roommate for your dorm, acknowledging that sometimes no matter how hard you try, not everyone will get the same best friend bond out of their living situation. However, anything (big or small) that can be done to make you and your roomie feel closer is well worth the time and effort.