The first piece of advice I was given about living in a dorm was "don't room with your friends, it will ruin your friendship."
I ignored this advice and I'm glad that I did.
My friend/current roommate Caitlin and I decided to become roommates halfway through senior year. We only knew each other for little over a year at this point because she had just moved to the U.S from South Africa, and we became friends after I invited her to have lunch with my friends and I. Despite immediately connecting over our shared love of pop punk and Marvel, we didn't get super close at first. We hung out mostly at school and once we found out that we were going to the same college, the decision to room together wasn't immediate.
The decision came after the girl I was supposed to room with decided to go with a random roommate because she was told "not to room with friends."
After getting dumped by her, I pondered over potential roommate choices. I didn't want a random roommate and I thought about potentially rooming with an international student, but after discussing it with Caitlin, a lightbulb went off in our heads.
It made sense for us to room together, we're both passionate and caring and share the same interests. We went ahead and requested to be roommates and after being more than halfway done with this school year, I can say that living with her has not only been fun but has made my transition from high school into college much easier. She's been there for me when I'm not feeling good, both physically and mentally, and I've done the same in turn. Another bonus is that since we haven't known each other for very long, living together has brought us closer together much faster than my other friendships.
In the past five months, we've done more together than we did the first year and a half of our friendship.
Concerts, doing crafts, exploring our new college town, hiking, learning about each other's cultures, etc. At this point, I feel like I know her just as well as the friends who I spent my childhood with.
Living in a dorm means that you're going to be living in close quarters, so the risk of getting sick of each other is much higher than normal. We've talked to other people who live in dorms and were surprised that they have so many issues with their roommates because we don't have the constant urge to rip out each other's throats. Caitlin and I spend as much time together as we can, but most of the time we have our own schedules during the day.
There have been times where we're so busy that the only time we'll see each other that day is right before going to bed. I think what has also helped with us not getting sick of each other is the fact that were not clones of each other. I can never get Caitlin to come with me to a sporting event, and she has to physically drag me to go with her to a hall council meeting. In short, we have our own lives outside of our dorm room and friendship.
So, if you're looking for a potential roommate, whether it be for a dorm or an apartment, room with your friend, it will strengthen your friendship.
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