Heading off to college is an exciting experience for those who are willing and choose to take that route with their life. It's a chance to reinvent yourself and to choose the people you want to surround yourself with and the education that you want to pursue. I know everyone says that high school is the best four years of your life, but college truly sets the bar much higher. There are so many fun things to do and living on your own is full of exciting new adventures. However, it's important to pick the right person or people to take on this adventure with you: your roommates. The easiest choice for a roommate is always your high school best friend, but if you value that friendship at all, do NOT room with your high school friends.
I've seen plenty of people take this route. Many people dream of taking this route. How perfect would that be? Besties from high school taking on their next step together! So cute! While it can work for a few rare cases, choosing to room with your high school friend can be the beginning of the end of that friendship.
In my personal experience, I only knew one girl from my high school that was coming to my school. We weren't really friends in high school and by the time we both knew we were coming to our school, we both already had roommates anyway. I met my first roommate online in a Facebook group for my school. We seemed to have a lot of similar interests and she seemed like a cool girl and that was enough for me then.
This choice ended up being one of the worst I'd ever made to this point.
We were not compatible as roommates in the slightest. She had a much different style of living and many different values than my own and the living situation ended up being less than satisfying for all participants. She eventually moved out of our suite, but the situation made me learn a lot about what qualities and things that roommates need to agree on to be successful very quickly other than just having similar interests.
It's important for roommates to be considerate of one another, communicate effectively, compromise, and coexist. All of these things can be done between high school friends, surely, but the relationship isn't started on the foundation of all of those things.
In high school, you often end up hanging out with people because of similar interests like sports or clubs and by the town you live in. I'm not trying to say you can't find the perfect friend there, but in essence, you're choosing a friend based on what's presented to you to pick from. This relationship that you create is based merely on social aspects usually. You're friends and you spend time together to enjoy each other's company and to have friends. That's it.
To live with someone is a challenge unlike anything else. When you live with someone, you get ALL of them. You get all of their habits and quirks and highs and lows and flaws and imperfections. You get them at their best, their worst, their most vulnerable...literally all of it. When you take a friendship that was just based on a want for company and amusement and throw it into a situation like that it'll either crash and burn or thrive and there is absolutely no in between. (In almost all the cases I've seen, it hasn't ended very well.)
You have to learn how to coexist with someone else. It isn't just you worrying about you anymore and choosing to see your friend when you're available. Instead, you have to study and take care of yourself and try and figure out how to do this whole college thing at the same time as someone else in very small quarters. While this can be a bonding experience certainly, it can be just as frustrating to always have someone there while you're trying to figure your life out.
College should be a time for you to figure out who you are and where you fit into the world. If you have someone from home this close to you at all times, it's nearly impossible for you to figure out who you want to be when you're forced to remain in the same role you've played since high school.
However, when you take on college with people you're meeting and interacting with for the sake of trying to find roommates, things change entirely. Instead of taking friendship and putting it to the test with living together, you're learning how to live together and building a relationship on that basis and then growing friendship from that foundation.
My current roommates and I were complete strangers aside from a group chat formed after we agreed to room together. Through a whole lot of difficulty and working together, we figured out how to exist as adults and coexist in one space together. After we learned how each other operates and learned how to respect each other's boundaries, we became the best friends anyone could possibly be.
If you can successfully do it, there is an intimacy to living with your friends that you truly can't understand unless you've lived it. It's so much fun to live with your best friends, but you have to create that friendship through living together first for it to be most successful. I'm about to go onto my third year living with the same people and we're still learning and revising the ways in which we live.
But since we built our friendship on that foundation, there isn't any conflict in those changes. We have our constitution, and sometimes we add amendments, but we all know how. When you begin with just friendship and try and get it to hold up under the weight of all the change that college brings, it likely won't stand the test.
Here's my advice: if you want to stay friends with your high school friends through college, so be it. Just don't room with them if you really want that to work out. It's too much pressure to learn to coexist and a lot of relationships won't hold up to the pressure. Instead, find some new people to learn and explore with and build a foundation of consideration, communication, compromise and let the friendship follow. It'll be the best friends you'll ever make in your life. I promise.