How Having a Roommate Has Changed My Life

Coming to college can be one big shock whether you come from a small secluded neighborhood in the middle of nowhere or a big city that never sleeps. It’s tricky going through the process of making sure you have everything you need, that your favorite black top is packed into your suitcase, and well, of course that you have a roommate. Some people are lucky enough to dorm with their childhood best friends, while others choose to do a random roommate pair-up and hope for the best. And then there’s people like me. I worked up the courage to make a post in DePaul’s Facebook page, letting all of the members of the page know that I was excited to come to DePaul, majoring in psych, and obviously looking for a roommate. I spent hours going through countless profiles of girls who seemed like I would get along with them and who I thought shared common interests with me. Upon hours of working up the courage to send a DM to one of these girls, I got a notification that someone had commented on my post. This girl, who seemed cool and liked art and working hard, said she was also looking for a roommate. We talked on Facebook messenger, ended up exchanging numbers, facetiming a couple of times, and sending each other random updates during the summer after filling out a roommate request for each other.

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The time to move in had come and we had never met in person. After unpacking our stuff and saying goodbye to our families, we exchanged a few awkward glances, but quickly got to talking. I’m happy to say that I made my first best friend at college. Here’s everything you need to know:

You won’t click automatically

Although my roommate and I get along well and bond over the same struggles, we don’t agree on everything. She listens to a lot of rap and Frank Ocean, while I enjoy blasting indie alternative music and Rex Orange County. She has many childhood best friends, while I always lacked in the friendship department. She loves her coffee hot, while I only drink mine iced even when it’s -10 degrees outside. Through these silly differences we both learned how to accommodate one another, to listen to each other, and most importantly, to try the things the other liked to get closer. I now listen to a few Frank Ocean songs, shhh. 

You’ll tell them the most important news first

Now that you’re off at college, your mom isn’t there waiting for you when you walk into your dorm. It’s your roommate. Your might try to FaceTime your best friend from home and she won’t pick up. Guess who’s there for you? Your roommate. There have been countless stories that I’ve told my roommate. Stories about me tripping on the stairs in the Student Center or seeing the guy I was hanging out with at a party show up in my class the next day. You’re there for one another, so listen. Listen to the rants, the secrets, the jokes, the cries, the stress, the happy moments in between. 

You will end up sharing everything and not even caring

I grew up as an only child, while my roommate grew up with an older sister. I’ll be honest and say sharing doesn’t come easily to me as I love my personal space. The first night we slept in our dorm, I was surprised at how offering and accepting I was of her touching my makeup and saying it was cool. We share food, forks, clothes, glitter, etc. Of course, we ask each other first, but I may have stolen one of her Reese’s the other day. Haha. 

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I’m sure a lot of you are reading this and wondering if you’ll actually be as lucky at finding someone who understands you. Don’t worry if you don’t click. I’m sure my roommate and I are bound to get into some fights as the school year progresses. There is so much learning left to be done and so many things to go over as we grow as individuals. I just know that communicating with whoever you’re living with is one of the most important things. You don’t like when the AC is on after you shower? Speak up for yourself. How are you going to learn each other's boundaries if you don’t have any trust?

And if you don’t click with your roommate, it’s okay. Be open-minded and get to know them. You’d be surprised how much having a roommate can end up changing your life!