Your Roommate Doesn’t Have to Be Your Best Friend, and Here’s Why

When coming into college as a freshman, many students hope to create a strong, lasting friendship with their roommate. In some cases, there are happy endings. However, if it doesn’t work out that way for you, that’s OK.

My older brother headed off to college with one of his best friends from high school as his roommate. They were really excited to take on their new lives away from home together. Things started off well, but there was undoubtedly a bit of tension between them when they made a group of friends. There were some jealousy issues and little comments made throughout the day that caused problems.

In a normal setting, it can be easy to get over these things. However, when you’re living with that person, these little comments can turn into larger problems. You can’t necessarily go back to your dorm and get away from the drama for a while. It follows you back home at the end of the day. This makes for an extremely awkward and tense living situation.

 

After seeing my brother’s relationship with his roommate slowly crash and burn, I knew that I could not follow in his footsteps if I wanted to have an enjoyable freshman year.

I met my roommate on an incoming freshman Facebook page. I remember telling her something along the lines of, “I don’t need my roommate to be my BFF, but I still want someone who’d like to hang out sometimes.” Looking back, that seems a little harsh. But in reality, it can be exhausting being around the same person all the time. On top of the stress that comes along with your freshman year, you don’t want friend drama to come home with you. Your room should be a place to get away from your problems and relax.  

My relationship with my roommate grew from basically complete strangers to friends. We didn’t disclose every single aspect of our lives to each other, but it was nice to come home and talk about our day. If we were really close and did everything together, we wouldn’t have this aspect of our friendship.

Things with my roommate have also worked out nicely because we weren’t that comfortable around each other at first. At the beginning of the year, we both seemed to tiptoe around each other to avoid any kind of conflict. This isn’t a bad thing, especially when living with someone and sleeping about four feet apart from them. When you know someone really well, sometimes you don’t think before talking, and this can lead to big problems.

It can also be a good thing if you and your roommate have different groups of friends. It allows both of you to meet new people while becoming acquainted with each other’s friends. This reduces the chance of drama and lets you have separate lives outside of the room.

If you decide to live with someone that you’ve never met before, and you don’t end up becoming best friends with them, this truly isn’t a bad thing. In my case, I think it worked out better that way.