I know, unbelievable, but hear me out. I didn't expect it at all either. I came to college feeling very reserved and sheltered in. I met my roommates, one who had a boyfriend. They were very very lovey-dovey to the point where it felt like witnessing a drama every passing moment. It was very cute.
Even though I wasn't very expressive myself, my roommates made sure to show me lots of love and give me support and comfort. Slowly, I warmed up to the others and before long we were having face mask nights, Uno challenges, reading and watching creepy trends, truth or dare, ramen nights, scary stories, and so much more. It felt like a family.
One day, when my roommate was being lovey-dovey with her boyfriend, I joked that they were like parents already. That joke then extended on to me and the other roommate being their children and our neighbors to being the grandma and aunt. It was a spontaneous sort of naming system but it came together really well and slowly, everything fell into place. Suddenly it became so established; we developed a family group chat and would occasionally address each other by our family titles. We even started playing into our roles more.
My roommate and her boyfriend started becoming more parental and taking care of my other roommate and I. I started becoming more carefree around my roommates and we would all stay in contact via our Snapchat group named "G.N.O.A.T" at first (greatest neighborhoods of all time) but changed to "family."
It was probably one of the most unexpected things that happened to me at the beginning of my college career but I'm also very grateful that it happened. Because of that, I was able to open up with my roommates and neighbors. I was able to be more honest and slowly feel a deeper kinship with everyone. Before I came to college, I didn't even know if I was going to have good terms with my neighbors but after this experience, I never expected my neighbors and roommates to label me as family, even if it's only a facetious name for now.