Moving In with Strangers During a Pandemic

With Covid closing down Pepperdine for in person classes, many students who had already signed off campus leases were stuck with their leases. I was still excited to move to the area even though I wouldn’t be able to go on campus but, I had to face the reality that I would be moving in with complete strangers. 

The three girls who I originally was going to live with all decided to stay at home for the semester subletting their rooms out to two other girls. The other girls seemed nice and were both Pepperdine students but that’s all the information I knew about them before moving in with them. 

I’m not going to lie the first week was pretty nerve wracking. All of us spent most of the time in our individual rooms trying to not step on one another's toes. Eventually, after a week of living like this, my roommate Emma and I decided we should try to do a roommate dinner all together. We ended up going and getting boba all together because my other roommate, Makayla, had never had boba before. Doing this really helped break the awkwardness of us not knowing each other and soon we would find ourselves all together on our couch eating ice cream and talking like we had known each other all along. 

Living with them has been one of the biggest blessings to come out of virtual learning. As a senior, I entered this year not really thinking about making new friends and I have been able to form such amazing friendships with both of my roommates. Through them, I have been able to meet some of their friends and I have been able to expand my community at Pepperdine even though I never thought I would be able to due to virtual learning.

Odds are during this time you too may be struggling with the idea of currently living with strangers or having to live with strangers in the future. The advice I have is to really go in with an open mind. Don’t set up any expectations on whether they may become your best friends or your enemies. It’s way easier walking into this type of situation with an open mind. Something I suggest is trying to plan weekly roommate dinners with your roommates. Everyone has to eat and it’s a great way to get to know them and break the ice over the first couple of weeks. For more ideas on how to bond with your roommates I suggest you check out my last article for more inspiration. 

Overall, living with strangers has been one of my favorite things that covid has brought about. I wish everyone the best of luck with their future living situations during this crazy time!