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Rooming With Your Friend for Five Years

Five years is a long time for anything. We’ve spent five years completing our undergraduate degrees, but we’ve also spent those five years as friends and roommates. Before we finally graduate and move out this summer, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and answer some frequently asked questions about what it’s like to live with your roommate for five years.

How did we meet?

We both lived in the same first-year residence building on the same floor. Although we didn’t share a room, we eventually became good friends as we realized we had a lot in common (i.e. similar upbringing, taste in music)! Seeing each other every day helped develop our relationship.

What’s our favourite thing about living together?

Living with another person that isn’t just an acquaintance is always nice. Since we’re both introverts (and home-bodies), we spend a lot of time at home, but we’re not necessarily spending that time together. If we are, we’re spending it as friends. It’s also comforting to live with someone who’s going through similar situations as you and understands when you just want to rant about your day or want a bit of space.

How do we avoid tension while living together?

The key to any healthy relationship is communication! We don’t keep tabs on each other, but we let each other know what’s going on in our lives. We like to use meal times to catch up and see how our days have been. If there’s anything that we disagree on, we don’t let it get out of control. We give each other space and time to sort through our thoughts if we’re in a bad mood, but we’re also not afraid to confront each other about any issues we might have.

How has living together strengthened our friendship?

Seeing the same person almost every day will obviously influence your relationship. Having such a close living relationship has allowed us to learn more about each other’s likes/dislikes, routines, and personalities. Some of our other friends say that we spend too much time together or that we’ve started to dress and talk like each other. While we’ve also noticed those uncanny similarities, we’re not bothered by them.

Do we have any roommate traditions?

  • Every Thanksgiving we cook up a dinner for just the two of us and coined it ‘Roomiesgiving’.
  • Trips to the grocery store the day after Halloween/Easter to capitalize on discounted candy and chocolate!
  • A month before we go home for winter break, we put up our mini Christmas tree, with Michael Buble’s Christmas album on the background, of course.
  • Sunday mornings are our cleaning time. We highly recommend picking a time out of the week to get it done and keep each other accountable.

What’s our favourite thing we’ve done together?

We can’t pick just one thing! In July 2015, we went to go see One Direction on their OTRA tour. It was an amazing concert and getting to see one of our favourite bands together was a great bonding experience. Another good experience was our trip to California last summer. It was the first time that either of us had ever gone on vacation without family and being able to plan the entire trip together without a hitch was a huge success for us as both friends and roommates.

What are we going to miss most about living together?

Honestly, we could list a bunch of things, and that list will probably grow when we move out this summer. Laughing over meme culture during dinner, having someone finish song lyrics with you, and the copious amount of inside jokes – we even write some of them down to remember later. Most of all, we’ll miss the late-night talks that can last until three in the morning.

Advice for friends who want to live together?

Choose your roommate wisely. Whether you’ve been friends for years or only a few weeks, a roommate relationship is different. We definitely feel that we lucked out, but just because you’re good friends with someone it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be good roommates. Talk about your expectations for living together before you make that commitment. It doesn’t have to be a grueling interview process with references, but just a simple conversation about sleeping patterns, cleaning preferences, and sharing spaces is beneficial.  

A roommate relationship is special, so take advantage of your time together. It’s crazy to think that our five years of living together are slowly coming to an end as we both graduate and move on to new experiences, but it’s been an amazing five years that we’ll always value!

Kailynn studies English Literature and Film Studies at UBC. Her studies are also her passions and she can never finish a novel or televison series before starting a new one. She's currently working on her own writing projects and hopes to publish a novel and develop a feature film screen play in the future! Aside from her love of writing, she also loves to travel - even if it's just a weekend at the lake. You'll most likely find her in one of the library basement's or in line for coffee on campus, but you can always find her on twitter! 
Kelly is a UBC student studying microbiology and nutrition. She is a strong supporter for girls and women in STEM fields, and loves all things health and fitness - despite her lack of athleticism. You'll most likely find her on campus or around the city with her earbuds in. Aside from being a big foodie and travel enthusiast, she enjoys discussing anything related to pop-culture, social media, or public health!Find her on Twitter.
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