For as long as I can remember I had dreamed about what the typical college dorm life would be like for me. What I didn't realize was that my experience would not be the norm. It wasn't until I received my roommate assignment right before move-in day that my ideal dorm experience all came crashing down. I thought that having two roommates was the end of the world, but the truth is that it taught me a lot of important lessons during my freshman year.
1. Room assignments are never predictable or final and are viable to change at any moment.
Not knowing anyone to room with, I had decided to go random, but I was still fairly sure that I would be living in a double as I had put that as my preference. When I received my bill and was charged for a triple, it is safe to say that I freaked out. I was so nervous about the year to come and truly didn't know what to expect. This change was one of the first times I realized that I should never expect the norm when it comes to college. However, this wasn't the first time I realized this. Over the course of the semester, my living arrangements changed two or three times due to circumstances I could never have foreseen.
2. It's OK to disagree.
Living in a triple made agreeing on things much harder at times. Little things like when we were going to turn the lights off and go to bed became disagreements that I had to learn to adjust to. While it was hard at times to remember that we were all three on different schedules, these disagreements ultimately taught me that no one's opinion is truly more important than the other's. These disagreements also pushed me outside of my comfort zone at times, leading me to have experiences I would never have had otherwise.
3. You don't always have to do everything together.
I spent a lot of time with my roommates during the first few weeks of school. We were constantly eating and going to the library together. There was always someone around to go and do things with. While this was nice, I was rarely doing anything completely alone like the students who were living in the standard doubles were. When my roommates went home one weekend and left me alone in the dorm, I didn't quite know what to do with myself. After that weekend I started to be more independent and spend more time doing things alone because I realized that while it's nice to always have someone around to do things, it's not always necessary.
4. Having two roomates means double the memories.
Finally, the day that I had been waiting for had arrived. Freshman move-in day. Meeting my two roommates for the first time was super exciting, and I could tell that we all had a few things in common to make the transition a little easier. We bonded during the fun first-year student activities and started to adjust to sharing a room with two other girls. The fire alarm going off the night before the first day of classes is something I will always remember and certainly not the only fond memory I had with both of my roommates. There is never a dull moment when you are living with two other girls.
5. It's OK to want some privacy.
Living with two people definitely means you don't have a lot of privacy. As someone who had always had her own room, the transition to living with two other girls was eye-opening. What helped make the transition a little easier was that there was a time between my classes when both of my roommates were in class. This proved to be a valuable time I was able to spend doing homework or just relaxing by myself. I always felt guilty for wanting to do things alone, but after a while, I came to realize that my roommates felt the same way and that they really didn't mind when I did something alone.
All of the adjustments and struggles were worth it in the end because my time in my triple dorm room freshman year ended up being endlessly rewarding. My roommates and I didn't always get along, but I learned the importance of being flexible and more open-minded.