Do you ever wonder what life would be like if one thing, no matter how small the detail, didn't happen and how different your life could have turned out?
I know that I do, and most of the time it revolves around what would have happened if I chose to have a random roommate my freshman year of college. I would change a few things about that year, but I absolutely would not change the fact that I knew who my roommate was going into it.
Warning: the story you are about to hear about how I met my best friend is probably 10 times cuter than any "boy meets girl" story you have ever heard.
The way my roommate, Jess, and I met goes against what almost all of your colleagues and parents will say as you embark on this new chapter of your life: That you should separate yourself from people who you went to high school with, and that you should meet new people.
We went to the same high school, but we had no idea who the other person was. Which, isn't that surprising when you remember that I went to one of the largest high school's in the northeast, with my graduating class having close to 700 students.
Before senior year we never had a class together, never spoke, and only knew each other through mutual friends. We were even in the same Economics class and had multiple study halls together in our senior year, but we acted like the other didn't exist. It was our last year of high school--who had the time to make new friends?
But then in one of those numerous study halls, as everyone was crowding around the door just as the bell for dismissal was about to ring, she approached me. She gestured to my sweatshirt and said, "Are you going to Shippensburg?" After a nod and a simple "Yup" from me she said, "Oh, I am too! Maybe we should room together, how cool would that be?" I laughed and said offhandedly, "Oh yeah, totally" and when the bell rung a few seconds later, we went our separate ways and I thought nothing of it.
The last thing I expected was for her to take my approval seriously, so you can imagine my shock when a random number texted me a few days later. I'm sure you can guess who it was, and you would be correct: It was Jess. We joke now about how she had been a total creep and had gone through several people to find my phone number. She texted me asking if I was serious about rooming with each other because she was totally for it. I remember staring at the text and thinking "what's the worst that could happen?" and responding that I would be fine doing that.
I didn't know what to expect that coming August when we moved into our dorm room, but I did not expect us to get along so well. I vividly remember us staying up until the early hours of the morning talking and getting to know each other, and realizing that we got along almost perfectly.
Fast forward almost two years later, we are completely inseparable. Looking at us, you would have never guessed that we didn't know each other going into college. She is my best friend, and I know that we will continue our friendship for the rest of our lives.
Jess has mentioned to me on more occasions than I can count that if she "didn't have the balls" to approach me that day and ask to be roommates, than who knows what would've happened. Our college experience would have been totally different, and I wouldn't have met my best friend. I could have had a random roommate and it could have ended up disastrous like so many other people that I know. We would have lived totally different (and let's be honest, boring) lives.
So my point is this: It is not a bad thing to know who your roommate is before going to college, and it is certainly not a bad thing for that person to have gone to your high school. Because from what I've seen and experienced, going random almost always spells disaster.
You are going to be living with this person for an entire year, and the amount of times I've heard the horror stories that happen with random roommates is actually pretty scary.
And how many times have I heard about the "psychotic roommate" who made living arrangements the absolute worst? Way too often. And even now there are ways where you can meet people on Facebook and get to know each other through there for roommates and housing, but I've seen that fail just as miserably as going random.
So if you're an incoming freshman and still need a roommate, or if you're a soon to be high school senior worrying about roommates already, then do what Jess did and take initiative. It's not a bad thing to live with someone who you went to high school with, because take it from me, it was the best choice I think I have ever made.