Best things about having Hispanic roommates

7 Of The Best Things About Having Hispanic Roommates

Home is where you can smell the taco seasoning!

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"Our differences make us the same." Most children hear this preached to them from a young age, but fewer take to heart what this means. On the day I signed an apartment contract with my roommates, I had no idea what to expect. I was a white chick living with two Hispanic girls who were already friends and I had no idea if they would even like or accept me. I was clueless about what their lives were like prior to my meeting them, but I wanted to build relationships with the girls I would potentially be sharing space with for the next two years!

Y'all. My roommates are the biggest blessing. They are nothing but a BLAST to be around, and I can't thank them enough for their love and encouragement in my life. Here are a few of the greatest things about being more than a lease-filler, but a friend to two talented, dedicated, kick-butt Hispanic beauties!

1. Latin pop has become a regular in my Spotify playlists 

I don't know most of the words because I'm far from fluent in Spanish, but it comforts me to know that sometimes my roommates don't know the lyrics either! We all make up our own words sometimes, in any language!

2. Meeting their families is THE MOST fun!

Every time I'm introduced to another sibling or cousin or high school friend (which is a regular occurrence), it's the best time ever! If there's a family member in our house, it's a party!

3. The kitchen always smells like fancy spices and love!

These girls know how to COOK (a talent I do not possess). I swore off spicy food until they introduced me to *real* taquitos. All kinds of yum! (Although, it makes anything I cook for them WAY less impressive!)

4. I always have a different perspective to consider 

Obviously, our world is pretty politically charged right now and things like race, religion and gender can be really touchy. My sweet roommates have always given me new insight on sociopolitical ideas that have helped shape the way I see my world as a whole. I can't thank them enough for their honesty and ability to just not give a crap when the time is right!

5. They've given me a new appreciation for all living things 

My roomies have a beautiful sense of compassion for all life. I see it in the way they treat their animals, their *many, many* house plants, and everyone that walks through our front door. They understand that all God's creatures needs good food, fresh water, and open blinds.

6. I live with the best design consultants ever 

My roomies have a keen eye for color and texture in everything from bedroom decor and living room set-ups to clothing ensembles and flower arrangements. It amazes me how easily they piece these things together when I struggle to match my shirt and pants in the morning!

7. My roommates' friends assume I'm Hispanic before they meet me, and I love seeing their reactions when they discover I'm not!

My name is "Ella" which is "she" in Spanish, so before meeting me, my roommates' other non Spanish-speaking friends automatically paint a mental picture of what I look like, which isn't usually a blonde, very Caucasian girl covered in tattoos! We all have a good laugh about it afterwards.

Miriam and Tanya, I love you so much. You rock my socks off.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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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

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Dear Beautiful Black Girl, Never Forget Your Worth

An ode to all the beautiful black girls.

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We live in a society where societal standards greatly define the way we view ourselves. Although in 2019 these standards are not clear cut, some things are not easy to change. Not to play the race card, but this is true for women of color, especially black girls.

As much as I'd like to address this to all women, I want to hit on something that I'm more familiar with: being a black girl. Black females have a whole package to deal with when it comes to beauty standards. The past suppression and oppression our ancestors went through years ago can still be felt in our views of beauty. It is rare to see young black girls be taught that their afros and nappy hair are beautiful. Instead, we are put under flat irons and dangerous chemicals that change our hair texture as soon as our hair becomes too "complicated" to deal with. The girls with darker skin are not praised, but rather lowered in comparison to their peers with fairer skin. A lot of the conditioning happens at a young age — at the age of 8, already you can feel like you're in the wrong skin.

As we grow up, there are more expectations that come here and there, a lot of very stereotypical and diminishing. "You're a black girl, you should know how to dance," "black girls don't have flat butts," "black girls know how to cook," "you must have an attitude since you're black" — I'm sure you get the idea. Let me say this: "black girls," as they all like to say, are not manufactured with presets. Stop looking for the same things in all of us. Black girls come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and talents. I understand that a lot of these come from cultural backgrounds, but you cannot bash a black girl because she does not fit the "ideal" description.

And there is more.

The guys that say, "I don't do black girls, they too ratchet/they got an attitude" — excuse me? Have you been with/spoken to all the black girls on this planet? Is this a category that you throw all ill-mouthed girls? Why such prejudice, especially coming from black men? Or they will chant that they interact with girls that are light-skinned, that is their conditioned self-speaking. The fact that these men have dark-skinned sisters and mothers and yet don't want to associate with girls that look the same confuses me. And who even asked you? There are 100 other ethnicities and races in the world, and we are the one you decide to spit on? Did we do something to you?

Black girls already have society looking at them sideways. First, for being a woman, and second, for being black, and black males add to this by rejecting and disrespecting us.

But we still we rise above it all.

Black girls of our generation are starting to realize the power that we hold, especially as we work hand in hand. Women like Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong'o, Chinua Achebe, Michelle Obama — the list is too long — are changing the narrative of the "black girl" the world knows. The angry black woman has been replaced with the beautiful, educated, and successful melanin-filled woman.

Girls, embrace your hair, body, and skin tone, and don't let boys or society dictate what is acceptable or beautiful. The black girl magic is real, and it's coming at them strong.

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