Here's Why Living With Culturally-Diverse Roommates Is The Best

Here's Why Living With Culturally-Diverse Roommates Is The Best

We aren't all that different after all.

For my first year of college I had a single dorm room--which meant that I never got used to having a roommate. So for my second year, I decided to change things up a bit and applied for a four-bedroom apartment--all of which my roommates would be random. As nerve-wracking as that was, I have been blessed with the most amazing people to live with.

As we get to know each other, and each others ways of life, I've found myself intrigued and interested in all of their aspects of living, home-life, education, and so much more. I have learned more about other cultures, those diverse and separate from my own, and places I never even dreamed of going to in this past month than I ever had from a book. I found out that what I find normal, isn't normal at all and that I might seem weird to them.

Its been more than eye-opening, it has made me want to travel that much more and see other parts of the world more than I ever have before. So here's why living with culturally-diverse roommates is the best:

1. All the new food

I've learned that popping chicken nuggets in a microwave doesn't count as a meal, that not everyone just drinks a glass of milk like I do, and that a real taco night isn't like any tacos I've ever had before. Its amazing to me that what I consider to be "normal" meals, aren't all that normal at all.

2. Other religious belief and culture aspects

When I first came home to find one of my roommates shoes lined neatly outside her door, I thought it was a little odd. But that is the culture in Taiwan! Its what everybody does, so even though its abnormal to me, its just a daily occurrence for her back home.

3. The diverse home-life

One of my roommates grew up in a big city, all apartments and all the hustle and bustle of that lifestyle. One of my roommates grew up on a few acres where mountain lions are seen walking around sometimes. I grew up in a neighborhood in the suburbs and its just so fascinating to me that that is not the only way to grow up because I am so used to it.

4. Education is a privilege

I thought going to school from 7:30 am-2:30 pm was way too long. Little did I know, 7:30 am-9:30 pm is actually the usual in some places. Its a privilege to be able to go to college, to only know one language, to see education as something I "should" do, instead of "have" to do.

5. Holidays and celebrations

Other parts of the world, or the country, don't celebrate Christmas, or Halloween, or birthdays exactly like I do. Having a birthday cake and singing may seem a little strange to other people, even though I think its tradition. Learning about other celebrations and holidays has really opened my mind to everything the world has to offer.

6. The social norms

The latest music. The best movies. The saying of "dude". The clothing. Its ridiculous to think that thats all I know, is what is around me, when there is so much more out there and I've learned that by living with culturally-diverse roommates.

7. Appearances are cultural

In Taiwan, they take amazing care of their skin. They get facials once a month, and look for lightener over bronzer, and carry an umbrella when its sunny outside. In the United States, it seems to be just the opposite with tanning booths and spray tans galore on every corner.

8. Everything is Americanized

Sometimes this is obvious--like going to Taco Bell for "tacos", or going to Olive Garden for "Italian". But sometimes its not so obvious--like when I found out orange chicken is actually an American dish and not at all Asian.

9. I'm spoiled

I am so spoiled with how I have grown up as an American. I only need to know the English language to get by, and I don't have to learn Japanese or French or Spanish from the time I was five, for everywhere else I go. Growing up knowing English makes you spoiled and thats the honest truth.

10. We aren't so different after all

For as much as I appreciate all of our differences, I also have found out that we really are the same in many ways. In calling our parents. In hanging out with our friends. In smiling and laughing. In playing Uno and sitting around watching American Horror Story. In dancing our butts off on Friday nights. For as diverse as we are, we are also so similar.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.


My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

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