Why I am grateful for my roommates, even when they drove me insane
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Why I am grateful for my roommates, even when they drove me insane

There are so many lessons to be gained from difficult roommates

Why I am grateful for my roommates, even when they drove me insane

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I look back on two people I can now say I was grateful to have in my life: my freshmen roommates. For my freshman year of college, I chose to go random for roommates and on move-in day, I met the two girls I would have to share a room with for the next 10 or so months. Throughout the year we had highs and lows, usually with more lows than highs it seemed. At times they were wonderful and at other times my greatest accomplishment of the day was not killing either of them. But as much as I complained about the roommates I viewed as inconsiderate and obnoxious, I am eternally glad and grateful to have lived with them because they taught me so many valuable lessons.

One of the biggest take-aways from my freshmen living situation was diversity. My roommates and I are very different people from very different backgrounds. One of them is the child of immigrants from Mexico and she taught me so much about the struggles her parents have endured as a result of several American policies on immigration. My other roommate is an immigrant herself who moved from Pakistan to America for high school and I learned a lot about her culture and religion. We each had a very unique perspective on life and various issues, leading us to have numerous engaging and eye-opening discussions.

The next set of skills I learned was cooperation, communication, and compromise. I thought I knew how to work with people with differing personalities from the numerous group projects in high school, but my roommates showed me time and again how wrong I was. One of my roommates was very introverted and spent a lot of time in the room. My other roommate was extremely social and constantly brought people over. We had completely different tastes in music, television, books, and hobbies. We could not have been more different people, yet we had to share one room together. They taught me invaluable lessons about learning how to effectively communicate with people who respond to different forms of communication. For example, one of my roommates did not understand my sense of humor and often took offensive at my sarcasm, which taught me to be more careful about what I say and how I say it based on who I am around. I also learned what negotiation tactics work with different people as we fought over fridge space, storage space, and personal space.

I have always had a problem with standing up for myself and my roommates definitely helped me overcome that. My roommates and I had very different sleep schedules and habits. While I was an early bird and light sleeper, my roommates were night owls and heavy sleepers. They frequently left the light on well past midnight and didn't bother to speak quietly while I was trying to sleep because those things didn't bother them. After several months of being sleep deprived because I didn't want to upset my roommates, I finally stood up to them and asked them to be more respectful of my sleep schedule. Though one of them was frustrated and reluctant to change, she eventually relented. We had several other instances where I was forced to call my roommates out on rude habits that bothered me and now in many parts of my life I am now able to respectfully tell people when something is bothering me.

I did not have an easy time getting along with my roommates. Most of the time, they drove me insane and at the time I didn't know how I could possibly survive the whole 10 months with them. But now that I have moved on, I can reflect on my freshman year housing situation and I understand that they were the perfect roommates for me. They are amazing people and they helped me grow so much as a person. If you find your self stuck with a roommate you can't stand, try to be grateful for the experience you are gaining. Sharing a room with someone you don't particularly get along with might just turn out to be a great blessing.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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