Mixed race college students relaxing in dorm

College Roommates and Why You Should Give Them A Chance

College is a time to experience new friendships, and that includes roommates, too.
November 18, 2017
8 mins read

College life wouldn’t be complete without the experience of having roommates. We’ve all heard the stories: “I had a roommate in college who___” or “My crazy roommate did ___,” and they’re usually great and entertaining tales to listen to. Not all retellings are going to be great. In fact, you might end up having some experiences where you end up loathing your roommate (though hopefully it won’t get too bad). Whatever the case may be, whether you love or hate your roommate, they’re as weird or as boring as can be, they’re memorable or not, it’s all part of the experience that comes with college.

Picking out a roommate, or roommates, can be anxiety inducing: You’re choosing the people you will be spending, at the very least, a whole year of your life with. They’re going to be the people you come to see at least once a day and who are going to be a constant reoccurrence in your life. Because of this, it’s important that you at least have a minimum trust or connection with your roommate.

If you’re on edge with whom you’re living with, you end up not liking them, or they get on your nerves, coming home after a long day of classes will not be fun or easy. It can go either way when it comes to roommates, especially if you choose them randomly via computer. Living on or off campus also makes an impact on what your life is going to be like for the next year with whomever you end up living with.

For better or for worse, roommates are people who can be extremely beneficial to have in your life as college can get hectic, and having a friend to come home to can help keep you stable. If you do get along with your roommate, they can end up being someone you can depend on. Having a profound bond with them isn’t exactly necessary, but having an understanding with each other can go a long way; it’s one less worry to deal with once classes start.

Having a roommate can help college life feel less daunting (Image via Huffington Post)

For example, a roommate can let you know if you’re running late or perhaps wake you up if need be (if you ask them to, of course). Having roommates can also help you settle into your schedule a little more. You’ll end up learning, probably even subconsciously, your roommate’s schedule out of routine. Maybe they get home when you’re about to leave every day, or maybe they leave just an hour earlier than you every morning. Habits and routines will become apparent overtime. As you become aware of their schedule, you’ll figure out how it relates to your own and then end up relying on it, looking to it for reference. By picking up on this habit, you’ll end up hearing them leave when they normally do and automatically realize whether you are late, early or on time for classes.

Having somebody else that owns the same key as you can come in handy as well, especially if you’re the type of person to lock yourself out or lose keys easily. If you have a good enough connection, helping each other study can also become a benefit of having a roommate. They could help quiz you with flashcards or be your audience when you’re preparing for a presentation or speech.

Food is also a huge factor in roommates’ lives, and sharing or splitting groceries can save you both quite a bit of money. If you’re the type of person who likes to buy and keep their products to themselves, that’s okay too, but it’s a comfort to know if you run out of milk, or need some eggs, you can ask your roommate for some.

Roommates are also people who you might end up ranting to about your life when you least expect it. The truth is you’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people and they’ll probably end up hearing how one of your professors is completely insane or how some of your classmates have no idea what they’re doing. Hopefully they’ll be able to confide in you as well and, as mentioned before, a profound bond isn’t necessarily what it takes to talk or rant to your roommate; you could just be good friends, or even acquaintances, but odds are you probably have something in common since you’re both in college.

If you are respectful of them and their space, they’re most likely going to return the favor. Helping each other out when possible can make college feel less overwhelming, and having someone who’s cooperative and can communicate with you will be one less thing you have to worry about. Every living situation is different because no single person is the same, and you won’t always get along or agree with everything your roommate does (you might even get the urge to kick them out every once in a while), but having that connection can bring so many benefits into your life.

There’s nothing wrong with finding a new friend within your roommate; in fact, all the best (and sometimes worst) experiences in college involve roommates. Choosing a person to room with can be daunting and the idea of living with someone you don’t really know can be terrifying, but if you all are even the slightest bit friendly towards each other, it can make life a whole lot easier.

Valeria Garcia, University of Texas at Austin

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Valeria Garcia

University of Texas at Austin
English Major, Creative Writing Minor

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