"Hey! I'm Your Roommate!"

"Hey! I'm Your Roommate!"

From forced small talk to endless laughs.

To my roommate, after our first semester:

Things started off awkwardly, to say the least. This whole roommate thing started because I waited too long to work out my housing and chose the only open room in the building, which happened to be yours. I messaged you on Instagram and said, "Hey! I'm your roommate!" We immediately clicked and texted for the next few months approaching move-in. Even so, we didn't know each other very well, so it was bound to be awkward.

Our first few weeks as roommates were easily the most awkward weeks I've ever experienced. There were hours of silence and forced small talk, trying to get to know each other, and it being totally unsuccessful. You'd go out to do your things, and I'd go to do mine. We were the furthest thing from friends; if anything, we were complete strangers. Luckily, that changed.

I'm not sure what caused the change, but I do know that it was one of the things that I'm most thankful for. After all those hours of sitting across the room without speaking a word, we're best buds now. I mean, come on, we even have our own nicknames. Our whole floor refers to us as "Big Hoss & Lil Hoss". We spend our weekends together, whether that means being at frats or just in our room watching Netflix. We're always having a good time.

We get breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We even know what the other drinks depending on which meal we're having. Remember when we would go and eat separately? Needless to say, we spend almost all of our free time together. That's honestly something I never would've seen coming if you'd have asked me at move-in.

Thank you for listening to all of my stories about my friends from home (all of which I know you really don't care about, but you pretend to listen anyway). Thank you for listening to me complain about the really annoying kid in my Psych 101 class. Thank you for going out with me. Thank you for our Thursdays at Annex, then bouncing back for Phi Sig on Friday nights.

You are, by far, the funniest person I've ever met (partially because sometimes you're just clueless, but also because you're just hysterical). Thank you for always making me laugh. Thank you for getting me food this semester when I was too sick to do it myself. And thank you for always keeping your side of the room clean. But, more than anything, thank you for being you and being the best roommate I could ever imagine.


Big Hoss (Kaylin)

Cover Image Credit: Kaylin Dougan

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5 Ways You Can Be A Better Friend Today

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are relationships.

Rome was not built in a day, and neither are relationships. We all have amazing people in our lives that we cherish to no end. But, there are things that we all need to do better to make those relationships stronger and to make those people truly feel validated in their times of need. I myself have a hard time with each of these things, and in writing this, will hopefully be able to put my own words into action.

1. Text them first

This is a struggle that we all have with our good friends, we think thoughts like, “Am I being annoying?” “Is double texting okay?” or you’re being the stubborn friend who doesn’t want to have to be the first one to send a text. Either way, if you are truly going to make a person feel that you cherish their presence in your life, you MUST let them know. And how better to do that than a sweet little text from you? It doesn’t have to be anything more than a simple “Hey this thing reminded me of you” or “Hey I'm thinking of you,” to immediately make someone's day brighter.

2. Talk about yourself less

Friends always go to their favorite people for advice, or to vent, and if you are the chosen person in their life you need to shut up and listen! I say this because within other people’s problems we are sure to see things we have experienced in the past, and want to discuss them, but it is not always the time to do so. You have to be willing to truly hear what the other person is speaking about and make them feel validated in their problem, this is something I struggle with pretty hard. ALSO just make sure that your friend is asking for an opinion before you give one, because they may not have asked for one, and could take it in a way you didn’t intend for them to. Communication is key!

3. Actually, show up

Something that ALL friends do, is making plans and then bail on them. This can make or break a friendship if done too many times though. Sure there are legitimate excuses, don’t get me wrong, but just not feeling like it, will never be one of them. Get up, get dressed, and go see that movie, or have dinner, or just hang out. You make plans because you miss that other person, or because you need them, or because you don’t want to be alone, and when plans fall through it can be a huge letdown.

Bonus tip: Never bail on a friend for other friends, and if you do then don’t share it for the world to see because that can be the quickest route to hurt feelings and sad times.

4. Give them space when they need it

If someone you love is going through difficult times then always make sure to ask them what their needs are, and if they say they need some time apart then you have to respect that, especially if your friendship is the cause of their heartache. It is amazing what a little bit of time and space can do for a person because it gives them the time to reflect on their actions, what they are frustrated with and what they need to do to be a better friend as well. And when you reunite and talk things through, both friends will ultimately feel better about the relationship.

5. Remember small gestures matter

Little things can matter a lot to a friend, do something small for them once in a while. Recently, I woke up quite hungover from a night out on the town and my friend had coffee and a donut waiting for me, that small little move was something that legitimately melted my heard and made me remember how much a small gesture can mean to someone. Grab them their favorite candy when you hit the gas station, or cover them with a blanket if they fall asleep, do a cute photo shoot, any one of those things will remind your friend of the love you have for them.

Friendship is honestly one of the most amazing things about this life we live. You will undoubtedly come across more than just one soulmate in the short time you're given, and when keeping these things in the back of your mind, you can strengthen those bonds, making a friendship last a lifetime. Every relationship hits a bump or two, but it is what you do to make that other person know you care that will keep them around forever.

Cover Image Credit: @theswirlblog

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5 Ways To Keep From Becoming A Toxic Friend

We all know how to look out for toxic people, but are we remembering that for ourselves?

Toxic relationships in all forms are being discussed more and more. It is a necessary conversation for all of us to have. However, most of these articles and talks that I have encountered concern how to stay away from toxic people, but no one is concerned with how to not be a toxic friend themselves.

I find that rarely are people in our lives knowingly and intentionally trying to be a bad friend, significant other, roommate, etc. (although there are always some exceptions). Soon enough, a behavior becomes a habit and before you know it the relationship is off-balance. And as easy as it is for someone else to do this, it can be a simple mistake for you as well.

Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a toxic friend.

1. Remember to ask questions

It sounds rather obvious, but thoughtfulness is significant. Take a moment everyday to check up on those who mean the most to you. Everyone feels more secure when they know that they are being looked after. Never forget to ask your pals the easiest question in the world: "How was your day?"

2. If you have the time, make the time

Not only should we check up on those that we care about, but we should do what we can to help them out. If someone has a big presentation coming up, ask if you can help them practice. A roommate has a stressful week coming up, so remove small stresses from their daily routine by making their coffee in the morning.

3. Do things with your friend one-on-one

It is easy to only go to events where most of your peers are going to be. We all have those friends that we only see when we are going out in a big group, but if they are important to you, let them know. Sometimes a quick coffee date or leisurely walk with someone is all that they need to feel better.

4. Pay attention and don't be afraid to dig deep

No one enjoys talking about the problems that are really bothering us, but that doesn't mean that we don't need to. If you think something is up, politely and respectfully ask if there is anything you can do.

5. Don't indulge bad habits

Just because a friend wants to do something does not mean that, as a friend, you have to encourage it. Don't let Becky call her terrible ex-boyfriend and don't let Mark skip his fifth chemistry class in a row. Being a friend doesn't mean agreeing on things, it means helping others do what is best for them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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