When college move-in season rolls around, there are two types of articles flooding the Internet: packing lists and happy roommate stories. These sorts of posts lead you to believe that you need more stuff for your dorm than you actually do and that you will inevitably become best friends with the person sleeping 10 feet away from you. I learned the hard way that neither of those things is true.
My freshman roommate and I were friends, but we were never very close. We seemed like we were very similar on paper, but we didn't exactly balance each other out in person. Perhaps, we didn't talk enough before moving in together. The year ended, and we kind of fell out of touch, nothing dramatic or anything. However, I was still a little upset. I just felt like I was missing out on something everyone else seemed to have: a new best friend.
This year, I had the opportunity to move to a new room with a new roommate. We'd known each other from living in the same building the previous year, but we'd never really talked beyond just being polite to one another. I was wary of this change, as we appeared to have nothing in common.
However, I was proven once again that my preconceived notions were dead wrong. I knew my new roommate and I at least needed to know who would bring what, so we stayed in contact throughout the summer. During this time, we also started talking about other things, and with every opinion she had, I realized we had the same sense of humor and a whole bunch of other personality traits in common. I got more and more excited for the year to start, but even then I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
We had to move in a week early to run an orientation program, so we essentially spent every waking moment together for that whole first week. This by far was one of the greatest things that could've happened. After an hour of just talking on the first night, I realized this girl was going to be a life-long friend.
Now, I know the Internet was right, even though they never spoke to me when I read them. We tell each other everything and always have something to talk about. We share almost everything we own and hardly spend time away from each other. All this is just after two weeks of sharing a room!
The roommate bond isn't about living together in such a small space -- it's all about the person you're paired with.
Living with a stranger is scary, but the risk is worth what may come from it. If I hadn't taken the plunge and agreed to live with someone new this year, I never would've truly met one of my best friends; I'm having a very hard time wrapping my mind around that fact. Maybe that's what makes roommates so great: you can't always choose them, but they'll change your life forever.