Before college, I never had an experience quite like having a roommate. I mean, sure, I did stay in a cabin at a sleepaway science camp, and I had a bunkmate. But sharing a very tiny room with a complete stranger who would sleep less than five feet way from you? That was definitely new.
My freshman year roommate experience was unexpected to say the least. I came to college with the expectation that my roommate would become my best friend and that we would do everything together. However, this wasn’t even close to what actually happened. My randomly selected roommate turned out to be a very studious international student from Canada. Because of this, she was always absorbed in her studies, and we never had much time to bond or hang out.
As a result, I felt very lonely. I would feel jealous from seeing my friends’ social media posts about how amazing their roommate is or posts with pictures of fun events they went to with their roommate. On top of that, due to her extensive studies, she would always be doing her school work late into the night, thus leading to the overhead light in our room being left on when I wanted to go to bed.
This clearly wasn’t working out for me, so I spoke about the issue with the housing director at my dorm, Infinity Hall, about what I could do about the issue. The director told me I could relocate to another campus dorm, but honestly, I loved Infinity Hall regardless of my roommate experience and did not want to go through the hassle of moving all of my stuff. I instead decided to go purchase an eye mask, so I could actually fall asleep without the bright florescent light over me.
Luckily, since Infinity Hall is a suite style dorm, I also had two suitemates I could befriend. I got along with them much better and went to events with them. One of them had parents who hosted tailgates in the parking lot across the street from our dorm and always made me feel welcome. I am forever grateful for their enthusiasm that lead to me attending my first Gator football game, which was also a homecoming game.
The rest of the school year was basically the same. Occasionally though, I got better at having small conversations with my roommate, but often, it was just us complaining about our school work. I even helped her with math and science homework while she helped me with writing and social studies since those were our academic strengths. However, our relationship was nowhere near that of a friendship. I am still Facebook friends with my two suitemates from freshman year but never was with my roommate.
Overall, my advice would be to just give roommate relationships time to form, especially if the person you are rooming with is a person you have never met before. Also, don’t be passive aggressive. While it’s understandable that college students are under a lot of stress, controlling your emotions is very important. Some things you should do are figuring out your roommate’s habits, such as their bedtime and class schedule. That way, you’ll be able to plan your day for when they are in the room or when they’ll be sleeping. My experience wasn’t the best, but then again, I came into college with really high expectations. Remember, you’ll only be living with this person for one school year, and after that, you’ll be free and never have to see that person again. Good luck, future collegiates!