When I got into Boston College, I was absolutely ecstatic; not only would I be attending one of the best schools in the country, but my best friend in the world would also be going to BC with me! Despite what many people think, no, we did not plan on going to school together. The universe just worked in our favor. In fact, Courtney got in to BC before I did, and to this day she makes fun of me for “following her” to college (I swear I didn’t; I fell in love with BC the second I stepped on campus). Courtney and I have known each other since we were two, and the thought of graduating college together just made everything about it more exciting.
Courtney and I had been friends throughout our entire educational career. In high school, there was barely a day we were apart. We were so close that our parents started hanging out (they saw each other at almost every event in high school, so it only made sense). We went on vacations together, sat at the same table at both junior and senior prom, and went out almost every weekend. I even joined Model UN because Courtney was the vice president and she asked (forced) me to.
I had grand plans for us to room together (and on Upper Campus, not Newton Campus, because every BC freshman knows Upper is the place to be) and I was so excited about matching our comforters, planning our posters, and sharing clothes. Without discussing it, we ended up picking out exactly the same sheet set. It was fate, I decided. Even though we never talked about it, I assumed Courtney and I would be sharing a room in the fall. After orientation, when so many people meet their freshman year roommates, I was still committed to the idea of Courtney and I living together.
I was devastated the day Courtney told me she didn’t want to be roommates. “It’s for the best,” she said, “we should branch out and meet other people.” What did she mean, meet other people? What other people did she need to meet? In my heart, I knew she was probably right, but it still hurt to hear.
Begrudgingly, I agreed. I scrapped my plans of matching bedspreads and walls plastered with photos of us and easy access to all of her sequin-covered clothing (we’re somehow the same size, despite having pretty different body types). We would still see each other all the time: we were joining the marching band together, and we were still best friends. But still, living together would have been a dream come true (being roommates is up there on the best friend list to-do list, right behind “be each others’ maids of honor”), and I was disappointed.
When we finally got to campus for Band Camp in August, my dorm on Newton (because obviously I got stuck on Newton on top of not living with my best friend) was almost inaccessible without a regularly running bus, so I stayed in Courtney’s room on Upper, and I was thrilled to get a taste of being roommates.
Even in those ten days of camp, though, I knew we had made the right decision not to live together. Courtney is a morning person who goes to bed early (we still make fun of her for being a grandma with her strict 10:30 bedtime…“I need my eight hours!” she always says), while I’m a night owl who can sleep until noon. I’m certainly not disgustingly messy by normal standards, but by Courtney’s standards I’m a pig. We never fought about our differences; we’re close enough that we can have honest and direct conversations. But after that week I knew I could never be Courtney’s direct roommate: we’d kill each other before the semester (honestly, probably the first week) was over.
But even though my head knew we couldn’t live together, my heart was just not convinced. Courtney started to develop a really close relationship with her roommate, while my roommate and I were simply that: roommates. Courtney and her roommate hung out on the weekends, had dinner dates, and studied together, and I couldn’t even get my roommate to come out to a party with me. It was tough that not being roommates was working out so well for Courtney and not so well for me. It felt like we were growing apart.
As the semester rolled along, though, we made it our goal not to go a day without seeing each other. There were nights that we Skyped from our dorm rooms because we hadn’t gotten a chance to see each other that day. We made our situation work for us, and my heart eventually caught up with my head. I was finally convinced we were better off living in different rooms.
When Courtney and I decided to live together with a group of our friends for sophomore year, we knew we couldn’t live in the same room. We could be in the same suite, but absolutely not in the same room. My group of roommates shared two triples, and Courtney and I were in separate ones. It was the best of both worlds: we could live in the same place and see each other every day, but we could get away from each other at night. The self-awareness that we gained, and the awareness of our relationship and our limitations, only served to bring us closer together. We have one-on-one date nights and roomie date nights, but we don’t spend every waking moment together, and that’s amazing.
While our original intention was to meet other people and make new friends (which did happen, despite the fact that we still hang out every day, and people make fun of us for having so many overlapping stories), living apart actually affected our relationship more than it affected any of the other relationships we formed. Even though I was initially upset that Courtney didn’t want to room with me, I now realize that living separately was the best thing that could have happened to us. Moral of the story: best friends do not always make the best roommates.