If you know me, you know that I love Friends. Even though it’s a somewhat corny show with hella white people that came out over a decade ago, it still makes me laugh and gives me a lot of joy. It’s also becoming slightly relatable as I get older. One of my favorite things about Friends is the friendship between Monica and Rachel.
Every time I watched an episode I admired the Monica and Rachel’s friendship and how they were able to be both good friends and good roommates. As I got closer to college, I was worried about who my roommate would be. Would she be a random person or will I get to pick? Would we be best friends or strangers living in the same space? I eventually learned that I could finesse a way to request a roommate and chose Bryanna, a sports medicine major from Houston, TX. You can read about how I chose her here.
When I moved into our room last August, I instantly felt comfortable with her even though we had only met once before. Her mom embraced me and had even picked up few extra dorm items for me. All throughout the summer, I was worried that even though I thought she would be a good roommate, would she actually be a good roommate? Especially since we were becoming more and more of friends, and you know what they always say: don’t be roommates with your friends.
I like to say that I got lucky when my roommate ended up being my best friend. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs but there’s no one that I’d rather share my space with. She understands my weird tendencies and accepts my nerdy personality. She knows when I’m upset and knows exactly how to handle the situation. She encourages me to go to church and to make sure I’m always on top of everything. I know I can count on her to talk about whatever’s on my mind, even if it’s late at night. However, we aren’t perfect; I know it’s a little frightening to wake up from her sleep to see a murder scene from Investigation Discovery (especially because she hates scary movies and anything of the like) and it’s no fun waiting for her to get out of the bathroom when she’s just scrolling through social media (the #1 con of having a bathroom in our dorm this year). Despite the tiny inconveniences, our pros outweigh o
ur cons. Bryanna and I are there for each other, we bond over a lot of things even though we’re very different, and we help each other grow as people. She’s literally the Rachel to my Monica.
When it comes to trying to have the best relationship with your roommate, I have a few tips:
Communication is key
If you’re having problems with your roommate, it is sooooo important to actually talk to them about your issues rather than telling your other friends. This roommate relationship is between two people and it should stay that way. Majority of roommate problems can be solved just through an in-depth talk about how you each feel. Holding that grudge about your roommate always having company over isn’t going to solve the situation. Talk to them and figure out a schedule or another solution so that it won’t end up hurting your living situation (and maybe even a good friendship).
Know that it won’t always be peaches & cream
Every day is different for everyone so you never know when you and/or your roommate will come home in a bad mood. Be mindful of your overall volume during times like this because a lot of people (like myself) are easily irritated when already upset. If your roommate seems to be stuck in a rut for a while, try talking to them because you never know if they could be going through something and just need someone to talk to.
Create a roommate contract
Here at Howard University, each set of roommate is required to complete a roommate contract to receive visitation. These roommates contracts usually set the tone for how your roommate relationship is going to go. Some people make everything off limits from the get-go and some people allow too much freedom with sharing their things but it’s really up to you and what you’re comfortable with. With me, I’m open to sharing everything and only make asking for permission a formality when asking to borrow clothes, something personal to me or something I use daily. Once again, it’s all up to what you’re comfortable with.
You don’t have to spend all of your time together
Yes, Bryanna and I are super close but it’s a rare moment when you’ll actually see us hang out. Occasionally, we’ll have a Sunday dinner or catch up on the latest episode of Queen Sugar together but we’re both busy people and also introverts that like lying in our beds. If Bryanna and I were to spend all of our time together, we would get sick of each other after a while and then end up coming back to the same room. I personally think it’d be unhealthy and I think that we have a great balance of hanging out time and time for ourselves and other parts of our lives. Know how to give each other space.
You don’t have to be friends at all
Some people prefer to just have their roommate as the other inhabitant of the room and that’s perfectly fine. You are not required to be best friends, or friends at all, with your roommate(s). It is important, however, to make sure that you’re comfortable around them. This is someone who is going to be in your space just like you will be in theirs. They will probably see you at your lowest points and you have to be okay with that.
All in all, it’s important to be able to be comfortable around them and at least cordial. This is the person that you’re going to be living with a year so you might as well make the most of it. Find something that you can bond over, whether it’s music, films, or just having the same values and morals. Roommates are a gigantic part of the college experience and you should appreciate yours. You never know how someone can impact your life. So give your roomie a hug and thank them for putting up with you.