Roommate or Friend: Is it Only One or the Other?
By: MAGALI MOUTON / STAFF REPORTER
Have you ever asked yourself: “What if rooming with my friend wouldn’t be a good idea? Would it ruin our friendship?”
On campus, you must share rooms, either with someone that you chose to be with or with someone that you do not know at all, but either way; living with someone can be challenging.
Especially during your freshman year, you don’t know who you will end up rooming with. You might think rooming with your friends is a good idea, but sometimes this is not always the case and the reality of sharing the same space might turn out to be a worse experience than you thought. So, you might want to think about it twice before signing yourself up.
It is important to remember that being friends with someone does not mean you know them as well as someone that you will live with, because after all, even if you are good friends or best friends, it does not necessarily mean they will make a good roommate.
Everybody has habits that they do every day without even noticing it that are normal for them, but which might not be normal for someone else. You have to ask yourself if you are ready to take on these habits. For example, if your roommate has their significant other over every night, but you do not agree with that, what would you do? Especially if you had planned on spending time with them alone.
You also may not know and see what a friend does at home, 24/7, even if you have known the person for years. Living with the person and knowing the person out as friends are not the same!
For instance, how they clean their room, their dishes, or how they handle things like respecting each other’s belongings and space may not be to your liking.
If you have not already tried to room with your friend, you might think “It is ok, I can manage my friend and we can get through this”, but in the end if there is no improvement and things do not work out, the relationship you have with your friend can end quickly.
What happens next?
First, set rules as early as possible. Questions like, Who is cleaning the dishes? Who is cleaning the bathrooms? are important, in order to establish roles for each person.
Second, do not forget that you are friends first. Do not stop doing the things you were doing before. Like going out together, having movie nights, or simple things that you like to do with your friends.
Third, remember that communication is key.
Speak up if there is anything that bothers you because you do not want to keep it to yourself and make the situation worse.. For example, if the other person is watching a movie at full volume and you want to sleep, asking them to turn it down can eliminate it becoming a problem that you do not want to happen again.
In the end, if you are going to room with your friends and it does not work out, in my opinion, the better thing to do might be to move out and think about living with someone else in order to save the relationship and have a better situation for you and your roommate.
Living with someone else might help you to avoid conflicts or to not overthink whether if you say something or do something it can hurt your friendship.
A small decision can make a big difference.