Not Best Friends with Your Dorm Roommate? That’s Normal!

You’d be lying if you said that you didn’t tear up at least once when hearing “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C your senior year of high school. This is one of the iconic songs of graduation, commemorating all the friends you made throughout your childhood. But now it’s time for college, and those best friends aren’t in the boxes packed in the back of your parents’ car.

Walking into your dorm room for the first time, you’ll meet your roommate; the person who will share a close space with you for the next year. You might expect this person to become your best friend, but reassure yourself with this fact: It’s perfectly normal and acceptable if this person does not become your best friend in college.

Many college students do not become friends, let alone best friends, with their dorm roommates. What is important is that you two are friendly, considerate roommates. As long as you can manage to live together happily in a room barely large enough for two people, you’ve succeeded in living the dorm life.

Know your roommate’s general schedule. You don’t need to know where they are every moment of the day. Then you’d be considered a stalker and would’ve been casted for The Roommate. However, knowing what time your roommate prefers to wake up and go to bed is extremely helpful. If you typically wake up before your roommate, being quiet in the morning as you get ready for school will keep your roommate from wanting to through their pillow at you. If your roommate is an early to bed, early to rise type of person, using headphones with a desk lamp while they sleep will also keep that pillow from flying at your head. It’s all about common courtesy toward your roommate’s habits.

Ever heard that having good communication helps? Unsurprisingly, that phrase is true, especially with a roommate. Surprise guests are never fun to find in your room after a long day when you aren’t feeling well and all you want is Dayquill and a nap. If a friend is coming from out of town to stay for the weekend, give your roommate advance notice. Try to give them at least a week’s notice, but never wait to tell them the day of the visit. That’ll lead to arguments after your guest leaves.

If arguments of any kind should arise, don’t bottle your feelings up inside. If an issue is bugging you, bring it up with your roommate in a calm, rational manner. Tell them what is on your mind, as well as some realistic ways to fix it. If your roommate sees this isn’t an outraged attack on them, they’ll be more receptive to your request.

Problems may come and go, but if you’re a considerate roommate, most of the time spent in your dorm room will be smooth sailing. That’s not to say your roommate and you will be braiding each other’s hair and painting nails late into the night. You may not eat every meal together in the dining hall. Simply keeping your belongings on your side of the room in a presentable manner will keep tensions down. It’s completely understandable that a roommate doesn’t want to see junk lying everywhere, keeping them from enjoying their own space. You don’t have to be a neat freak, but keep your roommate’s perspective in mind.

Living with a roommate is a life altering experience. Sometimes it results in a life-long friendship. Other times you’re merely roommates. Either route you take with your college roommate is normal. Just remember to be considerate and kind. These are simple manners your parents have instilled in you since you were a toddler. The bright side is that after the initial random roommate experience, you’ll live with whomever you choose in future rooming situations. In any case, all that matters is getting along.

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Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs is a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a News-Editorial Journalism degree. An avid bookworm, Rebecca reads all texts Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut when she’s not busy writing for The Black Sheep on campus. Back home, she spends a vast amount of time enjoying nature with loved ones.