Graduating high school and moving to college feels a daunting task for every incoming freshman, right? But what about starting college with your best friend at your side? When attending university, it felt imperative for me that I did not get matched up with a roommate— a stranger. I didn’t want to deal with the uncertainty that comes along with living with a random person.
Despite feeling mature enough to go off to college, I still needed a crutch connecting my old life to my new life.
When finding out that we both were placed in rooms with random people, my friend and I were relentless in asking the school to change our room assignments. My mom told me that maybe it would be for the best so I can meet new people although I did not want to hear it. We somehow finally convinced them to change it.
However, it came with a catch. There would be a third person in our room, causing it to be a triple room rather than our intended double. This trade felt good enough for us. We said, “It’s okay, it’ll be us against her. At least we’ll be together.”
It’s at this point where the title would seem to make sense—the stranger danger alarm began to flash, only for an unexpected plot twist to slowly unravel.
When we got to campus for move-in day, we were so excited for what college had in store for us. New classes, football games, new friends—and being able to do it all together. We felt like we would be able to get comfortable going into each new situation because we wouldn’t need to do it alone. By the second week, we found ourselves adjusting smoothly… besides the fact that I slowly started to resent my closest friend.
The saying, “You don’t really know someone until you move in with them,” started to make all the sense in the world. I realized that I didn’t know my friend as well as I thought I did. Little things began to add up until I couldn’t take it anymore. We went from telling each other everything to barely speaking at all.
We would go days with no words said and exchanged a few glares in between. Despite our beds being literally two inches apart, I felt as though there were a million miles between us. I had no clue how to fix the gap or even if I wanted to fix it. The silver lining to this incredibly awkward situation became my third roommate.
The roommate that I thought would turn out awful ended up being one of my best friends, even to this day four years later.
On the first day, we completely hit off and became inseparable. Picture this: the first real night of our new college life, and already I found myself being ditched by my bestie for her boyfriend. My other roommate and I, now just the two of us left in our dorm, decided to go to the dining hall and grab some food. After getting all of the introductions and small talk out of the way, we realized how easily talking to one another came. We were different, from different backgrounds, different lifestyles—yet somehow, it worked.
Not only did we get along, but we also challenged each other in different ways and helped each other grow as individuals. We were able to introduce each other to new things and new culture. We helped each other with homework, picked out our outfits in the mornings before class together and traded memes all night long. The room would be silent, then you would hear the ding of an incoming text followed by laughter and this process would just repeat until one of us fell asleep.
Without realizing it, we formed a bond like no other by being able to spend hours and hours together and never getting bored.
If I can offer any advice to my freshman self, it would be to leave my security blanket at home. I genuinely thought that doing everything together with a friend from home would improve my college experience. However, instead it only ended up hindering me from trying new things and meeting new people.
We felt a responsibility to each other, though we soon realized we no longer really enjoyed being with one another. Despite how scary college can be, everyone eventually finds their own way. Being open to new experiences remains the key to a happy college life—and, of course, listening to your mother.