Sharing a room with someone, no matter if you know them or not, can be complicated to say the least.
But sometimes you get lucky. With all the roommate horror stories I hear, it makes me happy to know I chose the right people to live with. Even though you can’t choose during first year, I still had a wonderful roommate who could rock the saxophone for days. Second year, I took a chance with someone who I didn’t know really but I heard they were amazing. I could feel it from the start when we met for lunch at Moes Southwest Grill. His name was Henry Bonilla. If you are familiar with the Opinion section of the OGB, you will know that Henry has been the editor of the Opinion section for a year now. Henry and I met in the spring of 2016 and he joined Kitchen 405. Then second semester Henry pulled me into the OGB, and I have been here ever since. While sophomore year was a mess, having someone like Henry as not just a roommate, but also a friend was something that held me together.
At Wake Forest we often hear about roommate horror stories, so I think it’s important we talk about the stories that aren’t so horrid, and are rather spectacular. And the results of having a good “home” life at college is something that can jumpstart your year and make college something even more magnificent.
So, when looking for a roommate I recommend a couple things. First thing is to find someone like Henry. Find someone who you can talk to, someone who listens to you and is present with you. Find someone who respects your items, your Moes burrito and your personal space. And just as importantly, find someone who respects their own space. Having a messy roommate can result in you living in a chaotic hell of trash, filth and some smells that will last all year. Find someone who digs you and that you dig back; find someone you are friends with. Or could be friends with, because being friends with your roommate makes life at “home” so much better. Coming back to my suite last year and hearing, “Heyo!” from Henry was just nice. It was truly nice to be welcomed to the room and given a nice smile. Find someone who understands when you “need” the room for something, and you do the same for them. It’s vital that you find a good roommate and that you are just as good to them as you want them to be to you.
With this, make sure to be there for your roommate. College is tough. It’s stressful. We all get bogged sometimes. If you notice your roommate is going through something, talk to them. Be open with them and support them because you are sharing a home with them for at least a semester, and up to a year (if not more). Do your best to find someone that you want to live with, but don’t worry too much about it. Sometimes you somehow find someone like Henry (or Anuj, my current roommate) out of pure luck and it blossoms into an amazing friendship.