The moment I started my college applications, I knew I wanted to go to a college where I could live in a dorm. To me, dorming was and still is an essential part of the college experience. You not only start to understand the importance of doing laundry and washing the dishes but you also get to interact and bond with people all over campus. Coming into Boston University, I didn’t know anyone and was scared of not having any friends. I met one of my roommates through Facebook and we bonded over a lot of things, from music to being Taiwanese Americans. When she approached me about living in a triple with a girl she also met through Facebook, I jumped at the chance as I thought to myself, “The more the merrier, right?” I was both right and wrong. Living in a triple has definitely not been an easy experience but it’s not the worst either. Here are some things to consider before you decide to live in a triple.
1. Not everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows the moment everyone is in the dorm.
When I moved in, I had the fantasy of the three of us clicking together right away with nights filled with laughter and bonding. But, it didn’t exactly work out that way. Because we talked so much online, it felt like we already went through every conversation topic possible. There were a lot of moments of forced and awkward conversation. Also, the dynamic of the relationship was not the greatest at first. It was hard in the beginning for all three of us to be close to one another because we had such different schedules and habits. It came to the point where Roommate A was close with me and Roommate B but Roommate B and I were not close with one another. Talk about a roommate triangle!
2. Communication is KEY.
As the semester continued, Roommate B and I were having a falling out. She wouldn’t talk to me and when she did, she would make curt remarks or blunt criticisms. I was confused by her actions because I thought that I had done nothing wrong and that she was being irrational. We kept pushing away the idea of talking with one another and kept complaining to our mutual friends about what was wrong about the other. Our friends became tired of our endless refusals to talk to each other and eventually forced us to have a talk face to face. To my surprise, the talk was more helpful than it was harmful. She helped me realize that some of my habits weren’t the best and were hurtful at times. At the same time, I let her know what made me uncomfortable when I was with her. In the end, we learned from one another what aspects of our personalities we needed to work on, allowing us to grow as human beings. After that talk, we became closer as we became more aware of one another’s habits and needs.
3. Defining your personal space is important.
In a triple dorm, there are no physical lines drawn or “DO NOT CROSS” yellow tape snaking around the room, which makes it important to let your roommates know what they can and cannot touch in your side of the room. For example, I once made the mistake of taking instant ramen from Roommate B’s drawer because I remembered her saying something about it being okay to take her ramen. My assumption turned out to be wrong when I saw the sad expression she had on her face as she walked in on me eating her ramen while watching Brooklyn Nine Nine. From that point on, I realized how precious her stash of ramen was to her and so I haven’t touched it without her permission since. By establishing boundaries, you and your roommates can maintain some privacy and live in a dorm without clashing with one another’s living spaces.
4. Lofted beds can be a hassle.
While they may fulfill your childhood dream of a cool bed, lofted beds aren’t always the best. Sure, it’s cool to have a compact living area with a desk under your bed and a ladder that you climb on to get to your bed. But it’s a pain to get to your desk, especially when you’re a tall person like me and have to crouch down to sit down by your desk with the constant fear or bumping into something. The lofted beds at Boston University have hooks on the bottom that seem to love my hair because my hair keeps getting caught by the hooks. The beds also make you literally climb into bed which can be a hassle. To me, it’s actually a great study motivator as the thought of climbing a ladder dissuades me from flopping onto my bed and giving up on studying.
5. In the end, you’ll have a 24/7 emotional support system.
Through all the drama and arguments, the three of us got closer over the school year. Whenever one of us is having a hard week or stressing out over an assignment, we all provide one another with a shoulder to cry on as well as endless amounts of hugs and encouragement. Our room is almost always bursting with life and laughter as we tease and joke around with one another. For me, it almost feels like having two sisters that I never had growing up. Living in a triple is truly an experience I’ll never forget.
Living with two strangers can be scary and uncomfortable at first. But with some effort and magic, it’s not hard to make these strangers into friends you can trust and rely on.