In many college films, it is portrayed that you either become best friends forever with your roommate, or mortal enemies. And I won’t say that either is impossible, but from my experience, there is a big middle ground that isn’t shown.
During my first year, I was lucky to have an amazing roommate who I still consider a friend today. While we aren’t best friends, he will always be my boy. It wasn’t perfect. Even with your best friend, living with someone can be hard and comes with challenges. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a roommate in the past or not; having one at college is going to come with challenges. In many ways, college is a different world, and sharing the one area of personal space you have in that new world can be comforting, annoying and could even develop a best friend. It’s all up in the air, and as the year goes on, you will see what comes with your roommate situation.
I say “up in the air,” since it’s not just up to you. It also depends on cooperation between you and your roommate or roommates. And it may take time to really build that bond with them and develop the best environment. But it’s vital you do; your room is your space on campus.
A key to building that cooperation is communication. Since the start, my roommate and I talked openly with each other. We talked about our weird quirks and saw where we matched and where we were going to have to compromise. Because we were open, it made things easier. We also respected each other; he respected my love for Moe’s Southwest Grill and need for the smell of queso to go to bed. And I respected his passion to play saxophone throughout the night.
It worked out great for us, but that’s not true for everyone, sadly. It’s not uncommon to hear of roommate horror stories. With this, though, luckily at the start of the year you and your roommate will sign a living contract and you will always have the support of your resident advisor when working through challenges. But it is key to be considerate of your actions when you do share a space with someone. Be cognizant of how you are treating those you live with, be aware of how you physically treat them and just try your best to be respectful to those you live with.
Nonetheless, it’s going to be a fun year and you will learn a ton living with someone. You will learn about what it’s like to share a space with someone and learn about yourself. And if you don’t become best friends with your roommate or if they become your biggest enemy on campus, remember that there are around 5,000 other students on campus to become friends with. You don’t need to be best friends forever with your first-year roommate to love college, and you will love college, especially at Wake Forest.