For a lot of college students, the people we live with during our time in college are not only roommates but are sometimes our best friends as well. Hope Stoetzel is not only one of my four roommates but is also one of my best friends. After celebrating her birthday this past weekend, I learned a few key ways in which people can ensure their roommate has the best birthday weekend possible.

For starters, if your roommate's birthday doesn't land on a weekend, wait until the weekend to celebrate their birthday. If you celebrate during the week when there is class the next morning or assignments that need to be finished, it will be hard for the birthday girl to truly enjoy her time partying and celebrating. The day of their birthday – if it lands on a weekday – is a great time to wait up until midnight to say happy birthday and to give them the gifts you got them. This way, they still have some excitement on their actual birthday while also having the weekend of festivities to look forward to.

Family and Friends close to your roommate are a great surprise to get the weekend started. Invite the people they love most to ensure that the weekend starts off exciting. A dinner with the family is a great way to preface a night of partying with a full stomach. Also, we all know family won't let the birthday girl or her friends pay for dinner.

Decorations! Make your roommate feel loved and excited about their birthday by decorating the house with birthday decorations. Happy Birthday signs on big blank walls in the house not only add to the excitement of the birthday weekend but also make a great backdrop for all the pictures the birthday girl is going to take. Another nice touch is to hang streamers from the door frame of their room. Every time they walk in and out of their room, they'll be reminded of the extra thought you put into making their birthday weekend one to remember.

An important aspect to keep in mind– when taking the steps to make your roommates birthday weekend one to remember – is that everything you've learned about what your roommate enjoys should be emulated through each step. For example, if their favorite food is sushi then suggest that the family not only surprise her with their presence but with a sushi dinner as well. This way, an extra level of care is shown to your roommate and makes them feel as special as they should while celebrating their special day.

Next time you celebrate your roommate's birthday, keep these ideas in mind and use them to add to their birthday experience. If you do, perhaps your roommate will have the same memorable and exciting birthday weekend as Hope did.