Best Friends Don’t Always Make the Best College Roommates

During your first year at college, you are going to have so many new experiences and make some of the best friends you will ever have. Your first year in your college dorm or apartment will be just as much of an experience, but it is good to know that these experiences will be nothing like those outside of the dorm. These don’t have to be negative by any means, but that really depends on whom it is you choose to live with.

Whom you chose to share these moments with can sometimes be a decision that is hard for some people. For those who think that they want nothing more than to live with their best friends in their dorm or apartment should read this warning before signing that lease:

Best friends can sometimes be the worst roommates.

You should know by now that college dorms and apartments can be quite small and sometimes uncomfortable. You and your roommate(s) will be in close quarters for at least an entire school year. I know you are probably thinking, “Wow! One-on-one time, all of the time with my best friend! That will be so much fun!” …But take it from me. That can ruin even the best of friendships. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” and if you have even the slightest pet peeve with someone, that is likely to fester very quickly.

The responsibilities and relationships in your dorm or apartment are very different than those outside of the environment. Rent, personal hygiene, curfews…there are more “rules” that need to be followed for a sense of order. Following these “rules” will eventually lead to you becoming an adult, the most important lesson that you will learn in college.

It is also important to remember that you don’t really know someone until you live with him or her. When you spend much of your time in close proximity with another human being, you start to notice all the peculiar quirks you never knew they had. Maybe your best friend collects his or her toenails in a jar and sleeps with it every night. Or maybe your roommate is in a long-distance relationship and that means you have to vacate your room every Friday-Sunday so they can participate in their… “personal activities.” Either way, just realize that you don’t really know a person until you live with them.

But what I think new students should be prepared for is the emotional change that he or she will inevitably have during their college years. Sometimes holding onto that childhood-tie with their best friend can very much hinder their ability to properly grow and become an adult. If you like the way a friendship is, leave it the way it is! There is no need for unnecessary conflict that might arise between you while living together, undergoing that change.

Roommates are roommates; best friends are best friends, in my opinion those are two distinctions that should be kept separate.

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.