I’ve had four roommates in my entire life, but none as remarkable as Caroline (sorry, big bro, you used to snore). My post-graduation dreams include landing my dream job as a magazine writer and living in the Big Apple in a studio smaller than my closet.
Lately, however, I don’t want to start living this dream yet. The closer I get to this dream (about two months from now), the sooner I say goodbye to Caroline. I won’t get to walk inside my two by two apartment and yell, “Honey, I’m home!” The era of drunk walks back to our apartment at 2 a.m. and Sunday night wine nights watching The Princess Diaries for the 16th time will soon come to an end.
Caroline got drunk with me the day I was accepted into the School of Communication at FSU. She held my hand as I cried on several Magic Kingdom rides. She lets me storm into her room without knocking just to use her mirrors because she’s always had better lighting. She lets me vent to her about every excruciating detail of my love life and has no shame going to a sex shop with me just to say we did. She attends every single football game with me and has put up with me asking, “What’s a first down?” for three years. When I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, she encouraged me to seek help at the counseling center after she noticed my depression. She stayed up late listening to me vent about the same thing over and over again (even when she had to study for business calc), and every time I cried she hugged me even though she “doesn’t do tears.”
Two years later, and we’ve still never used the wine glasses that I got for her birthday that say “Roomies Who Drink Together Stay Together,” and do you want to know why? Because for the past two years, I took her kindness, love and support for granted. Once, I spent a whole semester mad at her because she started having wine nights with her other best friend every Thursday. To be honest, I think I was just jealous that Caroline wanted to share her time with someone other than me. I felt like those wine glasses no longer defined our relationship.
In truth, Caroline still hung out with me, and it stopped being fair for me to sit around in my sorrows. I focused too much on the relationship Caroline and I used to have that I stopped appreciating our relationship altogether. I chose to cry myself to sleep on a Friday night when I could have been dancing to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me” and twerking at the bar with Caroline.
Last semester, we started to join different clubs and make different friends. I don’t think we’ve stopped caring for each other, but now our conversations consist of quick 20-minute catch ups or smalltalk drives to Publix (where I almost kill her with my driving on multiple occasions). You see, things are different now, and that’s okay. But I never thanked her for still being there for me, no matter how crazy I drove her in the past.
This is probably the last semester I’ll ever enjoy a roommate as good as her, who can calm me down during an anxiety attack, edit my papers last minute and doesn’t judge me for cooking in the kitchen naked.
If you have a roommate like Caroline, I ask you one thing: Take advantage of your time with your roommate. Some people have horrible roommate stories, but some of us have roommates who love us no matter how many times we forget to take out the trash or leave the kitchen light on. Don’t fight over the little things. Respect each other’s schedules and nap times. Make sure you offer her your cream cheese when you realize she desperately needs a hungover bagel. Start going out with her more even if you don’t feel like it. Stop cuddling with your boyfriend 24/7 and start grabbing dinner once a week with your roommate. Always say thank you. Take multiple shots with her on a Friday night. Tell her she rocks that Cheetah robe. Because one day, you’ll go your separate ways, and you’ll want to say you made every moment count.
Take it from me: I stopped paying attention to the person who helped me feel good about myself again, and I regret it every day. Don’t take your Caroline for granted, because good roommates are hard to find—and let’s be honest, the best one was mine.