What To Look For In A Roommate

What To Look For In A Roommate

And by extension, a friend.

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I think I really hit the jackpot with my living situation this year.

I've known my roommate since eighth grade. We weren't always best friends, but we could share friendly smiles and conversations in the hallways at school. It wasn't until junior year of high school that we really clicked. We were nearly inseparable, and because of our great bond, we both grew as individuals from our relationship. As senior year rolled around, we both applied for the University of Oklahoma, and both got accepted. I knew in my gut that I wanted to share a dorm room with her freshman year, and upon (simultaneously) asking each other, we giddily filled out our housing applications and started picking out room colors. There was a slight hesitation; we both heard a lot of things about the destruction of friendship while sharing living spaces, and that best friends should stick to separate rooms to make the relationship last. And so begins my list of all the things that rooming with my best friend has taught me thus far:

1. Maturity

Like I mentioned before, my roommate and I faced a lot of mixed comments about our decision to room together in the dorms as best friends. I believe that when best friends room together but end up losing their relationship, it is born from a lack of maturity. I will openly say that my roommate and I have not always seen eye-to-eye, and we've been frustrated with each other before. It takes a lot of maturity to own up to our mistakes. We try to make it a habit to deal with our conflicts and have them resolved before the sun goes down. Let me tell, sometimes it's hard. It takes grace and the removal of pride to get us through tender times.

2. Honesty

This is a biggie. Being honest with each other can range anywhere from admitting, "Hey, I definitely ate the rest of your pretzel M&M;'s last night while you were gone" to "look... what you said the other day about me, that kind of hurt my feelings. Can we talk about it?" Both statements vary in their emotional depth, but we've had plenty of conversations dealing with both kinds of topics. Deceiving each other and keeping things in the dark can really hurt a friendship, and although admitting the truth can be a hard decision, it's no surprise that it helps cultivate trust.

3. Organization

When you see this word, you may be thinking of labeled boxes, folded clothes arranged by color, and a "place for everything with everything in its place," but I think there are a lot more intangible things that accompany this concept. If you can see how your roommate organizes their priorities, that tends to overlap with your living situations. If your roommate holds their relationships with other people in high regard and treats other people with respect and love, you definitely have a keeper. If you have someone who tends to prefer the frivolities and probably makes decisions that will harm their liver, you may need to have a chat. I think a certain degree of accountability can accompany organization too; to help one another uphold and maintain their priorities can create a strong bond of, guess what? That's right, honesty and maturity.

4. Joy

I cannot tell you the number of times I have found myself quite literally rolling on the floor and laughing. My roomie is hilarious and has the most contagious laugh. Not everyone is as gifted in the humorous sense, but you can just simply live joyfully. That alone can brighten anyone's day because I find joy in any form to spread quickly and easily. I've had some rough days and having a roommate who can make you smile and encourage you can make such a difference. It's also uplifting to see someone else, who despite not having the greatest of days, can still smile and look towards the future.

5. Selflessness

Anyone, not just a roommate, who is willing to put others' needs before there own is a great person to have by your side. I would hope that it is also influential in your own life. I can tell you from personal experience, that my roommate loves me through hard days, even when she has her own issues to deal with. I remember one night when I was having an especially rough week, my roomie walked in tired and sleepy but sacrificed her need for rest to stay up and talk to me and listen to what I was dealing with. That meant the world to me, and I hope to return the love that she shows me for the rest of my days.

I hope when you read this, your standards change. Living together is quite the learning experience, and if you live with someone I think it's safe to say that there is an expectation of comradery. If you're going to be living together for quite some time, then you deserve to enjoy it and build a great friendship. But, keep in mind that if you are holding someone to these standards, you need to hold yourself to the same code. You cannot expect someone to represent all of these qualities if you do not live them out yourself. I am beyond blessed that I get the privilege of living with someone who exudes these qualities beyond what I deserve, and I encourage you to seek someone to live with who will challenge you beyond the restrictions of who gets to control the AC and bathroom counter space.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Outgrowing Friendships Is A Necessary Part Of Life

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Why do friendships naturally begin to gravitate away from each other? Why is there an emptiness within the bond that used to be filled with excessive passion? Why does effort suddenly disappear? Why do we lose the pieces that once kept us together?

It is a great challenge for me to look at people who were once the reasons behind my heart being so consumed in love, without tears filling my eyes to the point of exhaustion simply thinking of the friendship we used to possess. There are many moments I cannot understand why, when, and how we ended up going in different directions without the guidance we once craved and needed from each other. It seems impossible to release the specialness we shared. I cannot fathom the fact that we have been walking in parallel routes without even a glimpse of each other. I wonder if there's anything I could have improved upon to save us. Or were we not meant to be rescued?

Appreciate that you are engaging in internal growth, even if it is at the cost of separation from those you love deeply.

The timelines of our lives do not always match with those around us. Sometimes as we fall into the pits of despair, our friends find inescapable love. Sometimes as our friends grieve burdensome pains, we begin to visualize ourselves in a new light. As our pathways begin to part due to our progressions and setbacks occurring at diverse times, we fail to acknowledge the extents of our personal developments because we are too invested in analyzing a friendship that was not meant to last. When we lose such friendships we take our strengths for granted. We fail to think of the person we have become throughout the course of these attachments.

You have changed in beautiful ways and you should shy away from seeking to be the person you used to be for the sake of holding onto old friendships. You are experiencing a difference within yourself, and not everyone will understand such a difference, nor will their own differences connect with yours like they once have.

Do not overthink distanced friendships or it will lead you to endless self-doubt and unneeded frustration.

We drive ourselves insane by shifting such blame upon ourselves when we are left on an empty road full of questions. What could I have done to create such a disconnect within this friendship? Did I say something so exceedingly wrong to cause this hurtful shift? Did I bother this person with an unintentional act of thoughtlessness? Could I have been a greater friend? When we question, we doubt ourselves in ways we do not deserve. Recognition is needed to conquer the unsettling thought that there is not always a causation behind a drifting of individuals. Push yourself to stop searching for something that does not exist. You will find yourself on a path of creating the oddest explanations to help justify such a separation, when you should acknowledge that some questions do not have answers.

As you contemplate if the connection still remains, acknowledge that the underlying meaning of this contemplation means that the bond has disappeared. As life changes, people change, and as people change, their most valued friendships come to a close due to the similarities fading. Although this is a saddening concept to grasp, it is one that everyone should be prepared to experience. Sometimes there is no reason behind a dying connection aside from the interruptions life brings. We wrongly search for an exact understanding of why specific friendships do not feel as exciting or as effort-filled as they once were. But rather, we must seek to appreciate a friendship for all that it has consisted of, and learn to be OK with the fact that some relationships are not designed to be repaired when all that is left to discuss is the past versions of ourselves.

Some bonds are meant to be broken in order to find ourselves.

This brokenness is the price we pay for pursuing our journeys truthfully. When we come closer to a peace of mind and firm comprehension of who we are destined to be, we lose people who once meant the world to us because our visions, purposes, and values do not correlate. BE WILLING TO LET GO OF FRIENDSHIPS THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM FINDING YOUR TRUE SELF, EVEN IF THE LOVE AND CARE IS STILL VERY PRESENT. DO NOT ALLOW DISTRACTIONS FROM ALL THAT LIES AHEAD OF YOU. JUST AS THERE IS BEAUTY AND LOVE IN HOLDING ON, THERE IS JUST AS MUCH BEAUTY AND LOVE IN LETTING GO. DO NOT FEAR AN UNCOMFORTABLE FUTURE WITHOUT PEOPLE BY YOUR SIDE WHO YOU FEEL YOU NEED, FEAR ONE THAT WITHHOLDS YOU FROM GROWING! Sometimes we must let go of others in order to hold onto ourselves.



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