Going away to college can be a daunting event. You're moving away from home, making new friends, taking harder classes, exploring a new city, and living with people you're not related to. Finding roommates is hard, and finding roommates you're compatible with is harder, but unfortunately we can't take our families with us to school. So instead, we try to find other students to live with through school-provided sources or social media. And despite the horror stories about awful roommates that your relatives or teachers might tell you, or you might see on TV shows, it's unlikely you'll get stuck with roommates like that. In fact, sometimes getting a random roommate (or roommates) is the best thing that can possibly happen to you.
A year ago, I was completing my last year of high school. I had a severe case of senioritis like most seniors do, and could not wait for the day my next level of education began. However, at the same time I never wanted the day I had to move away to come. Leaving behind my friends and family and the only town I'd ever lived in was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I had a saving grace, though. One of my best friends throughout all four years of high school was attending the same university as me, and we were going to be roommates along with another girl from a nearby city.
Over the summer the three of us met up to get to know each other and bonded within a short amount of time. We knew we'd make good roommates when the time came in the near future. We talked about what building we wanted to live in and who was going to bring what and so on, so that when the time came to apply for student housing we'd be prepared. It had occurred to us over the summer that we might not get into the building we wanted, but we never considered we wouldn't get placed together as roommates. So when the university sent out our roommate assignments, I think it's fair to say we were all shocked to find out we hadn't been placed together. Instead, my best friend and the new girl we'd met were assigned together while I was assigned with three strangers.
To make a long story short, there were a lot of back and forth emails between myself and the head of housing at my future university, some switching of roommates, and even some possibilities of being moved to a different building on the other side of campus before a change was finally made ― and it wasn't what we were hoping for. I had been removed from the room with three freshmen I'd never met before (so they could have the fourth roommate they wanted) and placed in a different room with three other strangers. The catch, this time, was that these strangers were not freshmen but instead sophomores.
Before I knew it move-in day was upon me and the housing situation had never been resolved. My family helped me move all my stuff, I met my RA for the first time, and tears were shed as I said goodbye to my parents and brother. Then, I found myself alone in my dorm room ― because sophomores moved in a few days after freshmen did.
When the day did come for my new roommates to move in, I was overwhelmed by how kind, considerate, passionate, funny, and amazing they were. Of course, I didn't realize this all within the first day of meeting them, but it didn't take me long to learn that being placed with three sophomores I'd never met before was the best thing that could have possibly happened to me my freshman year.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I would have loved to room with the friends I had originally planned on rooming with, but being placed with three strangers was a blessing in disguise. As sophomores, they had a whole year of college experience that I didn't. They knew where things were and how to do things, they gave really good advice even if they didn't realize it when they were giving it. And regardless that the three of them had lived together for a whole year before meeting me, they accepted me and included me and I never once felt left out.
Thinking about it and writing about it now, it's crazy to think that was just nine months ago because it feels like a lifetime. And it's this perspective that I'm hoping high school seniors will take away from this. If you don't have any friends going to the same school as you or you get assigned random roommates, don't look at it in a purely negative light. Yes, starting college can be a scary time, especially when you don't have anyone you know by your side, but you might get lucky and meet some of the greatest people your college has to offer.