My Random Roommate Turned Into My BFF

When starting college, there are so many things that we worry about. Whether it’s what we need to buy or how we’re going to manage classes, there’s a lot to think about. The one thing though, that can really make or break your experience is your roommate. This is the person you’re going to be sleeping two feet away from for a whole year. No big deal, right?

I did a lot of Facebook searching… like, a lot. I just couldn’t seem to find someone I clicked with that was living in the same dorm as me.  My plan was to find someone online so I would be somewhat familiar with them before we became what felt like life partners, but it didn’t really work out that way. After a bit of searching, I decided to do what I was ultimately really scared of: go 100% random.

I had filled out one of those compatibility sheets answering questions about when I went to bed, where I studied, and all the information that the dorm office thought made up our personality. My fate was put into that one sheet.

On a random day in June, I got an email telling me who my roommate was. I immediately did some hardcore social media stalking. All we were given was the name and phone number. I looked her up Instagram, but we all know social media can’t tell us everything about a person. I think I sent her a quick texting saying I was her roommate. I found out she lived in Gainesville, so we made plans to meet while I was in summer session.

When we met for the first time, it felt like I was chatting with a random girl from a random class. We talked about basic stuff, but it was hard to tell how well we would get along. There were no immediate red flags, which was obviously a good sign.

We planned out how we would decorate our room over text, which gave us something more to talk about than our majors and where we were from. We were both also going to go through sorority recruitment, which was an easy conversation starter.

When we first moved in, we honestly didn’t talk a lot. We kind of just our own thing and would occasionally engage in small talk. When rush came along though, we started to bond. The process is really long and tiring, so we vented about that, which was very much needed. By the end of recruitment, we both didn’t find a sorority for us. We ended up without one, which was really discouraging. We had that in common though, so we were able to make each other feel better about it.

As the school year began, we started to do more together. To this day, we aren’t really sure what clicked with us, but we suddenly became extremely close. I was able to let out my ridiculous humor and not worry about her thinking I was crazy for it. We didn’t do everything together, but we had that perfect mix of a friendship that roommates should have.

We started bonding over the little things. Like the time our whole door handle fell off, or the time a maintenance worker accidentally punched out the screen to our window down two floors and proceeded to say, “Does the happen a lot?” No sir, it doesn’t. It was comforting to know that my roommate decision worked out and that it was possible to not have a horror story of a random roommate.

Our friendship remained very strong. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten into a fight. We had separate living plans for our sophomore year, but we just knew we would stay friends.

Spring semester of us living together, I ended up joining a sorority. Even though I was meeting new people, I would introduce my roommate to them and we stayed close.

This past fall, my roommate went through recruitment again. We didn’t talk about it, because I was on the side of recruiting people. By the time it came down to bid day, I found out she was joining my chapter. Even though we had been discouraged freshman year about rushing, this was a time when I realized everything really does happen for a reason. It may have worked out for us at different times, but we were both so excited to share that new bond.

To be honest, I was really nervous about living with someone random. It is way to often that I hear stories of people living with someone random and it being an absolute nightmare. You obviously don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but if you have literally nothing in common, it can be hard to live next to them for a year. I was lucky enough to have a good experience. There really is hope if you choose to go random. You might even end up finding one of your best friends.

I know that finding a roommate can seem like one of the biggest decisions of your life. When I was trying to figure it out for myself, I felt like I was trying to find a blind date. It really doesn’t need to be that stressful. If you don’t end up being friends, that’s OK. But if you do end up being friends, then there’s something great that came out of your freshman year. When you’re nervous about college, it’s really nice to have someone going through all the new stuff with you. Even if it’s as simple as going to the grocery store and not wanting to go alone, there’s someone there to go with you.

There’s something really special about the friendship I made. Don’t be worried about having a random roommate. It may actually work out great. At the end of the day, you’re going to be so engrossed in figuring out your way around living on your own, going to brand new classes and not getting lost. However, I was able to gain a best friend. I am so happy I chose to pick a random roommate. If you chose to do the same thing, you may be able to look back and laugh at that first week you were living together and wonder how you got past the awkward silence. I sure can, and I’m so happy about it.

This article is part of a series welcoming incoming students to UF. Have a question you want us to answer or explore? Email us at [email protected], and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for even more incoming student advice!