College roommates

The 6 Stages You Go Through While Having a College Roommate

Not everyone finds a BFF in his or her college roommate, but for those who do, their relationship follows a basic cycle of feels.
April 21, 2018
8 mins read

Having roommates, like stress and budgeted meals, are often fundamental pieces of the whole college experience. They’re a chance to meet new people as you take the next step in your life. For some, the process can be brutal and unenjoyable.

Personalities don’t match, heads butt on a daily basis and staying in the same vicinity of each other is sometimes damn near impossible. These type of roommates make you wish you were still sharing a room with your annoying siblings

But for those lucky enough to find their soul sister/brother and spirit animal, having a roommate is one of the best parts of college. They’re your friend, study partner, dinner date and unhealthy-habit support group all wrapped up in one body.

Seriously, who else is going to stress-eat those cheap and slightly crappy meals with you at 2 a.m. as you binge-watch Netflix? While no situation is typical, listed below are a select handful of phases you might go through with your BRF (best roomie forever) throughout the year.

1. Well, This Is Awkward

Unless you and your future roommate have been talking every day during the summer or your ability to make friends with anyone within minutes is sky high, there’s a very big chance that there’s going to be an awkward stage between the both of you.

College dorms are tiny boxes that are practically made to make you interact with someone you don’t know that well. There’s hardly a way to go around it unscathed.

For the first few days, it’s little more than uncomfortable spots of silence and forced small talk. And everyone knows just how painful small talk can be.

A routine will be put into place eventually. Before long, you and your roommate will act as if you’ve known each other for years instead of weeks, but until then, get used to the awkwardness as you adjust to your new surroundings and the people in it.

2. Attached at the Hip

College Roommates
You and your new BRF (Image via Roomsurf)

Their bed is a just few feet from yours, you share a single bathroom and when it’s time to vent about homework or partners, they’re the first one you turn to.

You spend a large portion of a long 24 hour day with this person, more than anyone else while you’re at college, so it’s no surprise that at some point you and your roommate become attached at the hip.

It’s an inevitable bond. They’re going to the library, so it looks like you are too. You decide to stop for a quick bite to eat. Guess what? Your table of one just got bumped up to two. When in doubt, go in pairs or trios or groups of seven. It’s more fun that way.

3. Separation Anxiety

After spending so much time with one person, it feels weird when you find yourself without them. Maybe they took a weekend trip or went back home for break or maybe they just stepped out for a walk around the block.

In the end, it doesn’t matter the reason, the empty sensation that you feel is more or less the same.

Everything you do on a daily basis is done with your roommate in rather close proximity. How are you possibly expected to get anything accomplished on your own? What does that even mean really, doing activities alone?

That’s not how life is supposed to work — that is definitely how you’ve come to learn how to work. Forget it. Forget the whole thing. You’ll just wait until they get back and all is right again. 

4. Too Close for Comfort

Is there really such a thing as too close? Sure, you share a bit of everything — food, clothing and Netflix passwords — it’s bound to happen as time goes by.

If you can’t be obnoxiously and over-the-top comfortable with your roommate, who can you be? There are some that might find it odd but feel no shame.

You know all your roommate’s qualms and weirdly creepy habits. They know all the signs that you’re having a mental breakdown and might cry and/or punch something.

Being comfortable comes with perks, like being allowed to tell each other that you’re not in the mood to deal with them. Those who find it odd are just jealous. 

5. You’ll Still Miss Your Own Room

At no fault of yours or your roommate’s, there’s bound to be a moment where the only thing you want more than mom’s cooking is your own room.

Complete privacy is far and few between during the college years, especially when living with a roommate. They could be your best friend and you’d still think once or twice about locking them out of the dorm — permanently or temporarily is something you constantly juggle back and forth with.

It’s either that or stashing yourself in the bathroom like a scene out of “Mean Girls.” No one will bother you if they think you have the stomach flu. It’s okay to wish for your own corner of solidarity — even the people you like the most can make you feel suffocated. 

6. See You Next Year

It’s April, classes are over and after months of praying for warmer weather, summer has finally arrived. You’re ready for this break. You need this break. But that’s when you remember that leaving campus means leaving the dorm and leaving the dorm means leaving your roommate.

“Oh my god they were roommates!” (Image via Facebook)

You’ll see them next year of course, if not as your roommate than as any other friend. Can you make it that far? There will be constant text messages and Facebook tags and Snapchat wars, but it won’t be the same.

Summer was what you were waiting for since the start of classes, but now that summer’s here, you might just begin hoping that school starts up again soon. You’re always in need of a good roommate.

Selena Lundy, Grand Valley State University

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Selena Lundy

Grand Valley State University

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