College x

Keeping your relationship at an acquaintance level actually comes with a lot of benefits.

Image via Teen Vogue

 

Every person who is planning on sharing a home has probably worried about their roommate and whether or not they’ll get along with them. We’ve all heard the roommate horror stories, and pray that we’ll be a part of the lucky few who become best friends with their housemates. However, sometimes you and your room or suitemate are just not meant to be friends, and that’s okay. It may sound disappointing, but trust me, it’s actually quite a relief. Just being acquaintances takes off a lot of social pressure, and is one less thing to worry about during your college career.

In the first week of my freshman year, I hung out with my roommate; notice how I said, “in the first week.” When we hung out we barely talked, and it was only with a group of her other friends who didn’t really speak to me either. This made me upset at first, but when I realized that she and her friends were the kind of people who liked to party every night, I came to terms with the fact that we weren’t going to be best friends because college parties terrify me. Underage drinking and other illegal activities? No way, I have no plans of being arrested, thank you very much!

Also, the fact that my roommate had a friend who I’m pretty sure hated me made me even more okay with the situation. My level of contentedness went even higher when I found friends of my own. My roommate and I didn’t hang out for the rest of the year, and that was just fine. We didn’t fight, we were respectful of each other’s belongings and our living situation was great. In fact, she was not the only distant roommate I had.

During sophomore year, I had a roommate I talked to even less often than the one I had freshman year. Let me say this, her mom visited our dorm a few times, and I had more conversations with her than I did with my roommate, who I saw every day. I didn’t talk to my suitemates either, except about housing. This actually served me well with everyone because not being involved in their lives kept me out of their drama, and oh Lord, did they have a lot of drama. I heard so much idle gossip about boyfriends, backstabbing so-called friends, childish crushes, the works. The point is, although I heard them talk about all of those subjects, I was not a part of the conversation, which is one of the many benefits to having a detached relationship with the people you’re living with.

I understand that not being friends with the very first person you meet in college might be discouraging, but don’t let it get you down, your university has plenty of other students and you and your roommate not clicking gives you an opportunity to meet them, get out of your comfort zone and improve your social skills.

Through your efforts to make new friends you’ll likely also become involved in new social situations, such as joining organizations like clubs. Think about it, other than interests, why do freshmen join clubs? To meet people!

Image via Imperial College Union

That’s part of why I joined my school’s poetry club (stop judging me!). That club provided me with a chance to meet people and receive intellectual stimulation. Just kidding, all we did was read “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” but without that club, I wouldn’t have met one of my best friends. After two years of friendship, we decided to room with each other, because although you don’t have to be buds with your roommate, it can be awesome.

So, you may not be BFFs with your roommate, but you do have to be civil, so if you’re fighting with them, then that’s a problem. You should always do what you can to keep the peace, within reason of course, and be considerate, but not a complete pushover.

When living with someone else, be kind and courteous; if your roommate needs you to keep your noise down, then keep it down, headphones were invented for a reason. Don’t be on the phone at 3 a.m., don’t blast your music and try to be quiet when coming home late at night. Although you may not manage to be noiseless all the time, stay as silent as you can.

Also, keep your dorm clean, because disorganization is a common reason why roommates fight. One way my suitemates and I prevented this issue was by making a calendar so that each person in the dorm could have a day to do a particular chore, like sweeping or cleaning the shower.

Sharing your belongings with your roommates is another way to befriend them; allowing roommates to use your things is basically a peace offering. Letting someone that you don’t know well use your stuff may sound scary, which is why you should start off small. A way to ease into this is by offering them your non-valuables. My suitemates this year went to events every now and then, such as weddings and parties, and whenever I saw them getting ready, I always offered them my jewelry box. They never used anything of mine, but since I don’t own anything expensive, it wouldn’t have been a big deal if they lost something and if they did, that would have been an indicator as to whether or not I’d let them borrow from me in the future.

Above all, just be kind to the people you live with; even if they’re rude to you, you’ll walk away knowing that you were the better person. Best case scenario, your behavior will rub off on them, but, whatever happens, happens, there’s no use stressing about it.

Although being friends with you roommate can be awesome, by no means is it necessary. A university is a pretty big place; you’re guaranteed to find your squad. It happened with me, and I have no doubt that you’ll find your buddies as well. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even end up rooming with them.

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