These two words can be frightening to both students and parents.
Honestly, what Forrest Gump’s mom said is very fitting about the random roommate selection.
“Life’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
When I came to University of Mobile, I was four hours away from home and I knew no one. A random roommate was my only choice.
Luckily, UM has a form you get to fill out about yourself so that they can pick the best person for you! The good news is that your random roommate can become your new best friend. And, the tips that work for getting along with a roommate you’ve known since kindergarten are the same for getting along with someone you just met!
I remember getting the email about who my roommate was the summer before leaving for college.
Allison Gray, my freshman year roommate.
Flash-forward to getting through freshman year.
We lived in Faulkner Hall, so it was one room and one bathroom for both of us. During that year, we learned how to be honest about our space and how we liked things done, we learned how to say “no” to having people over all the time, and we made lots of memories.
Our dorm room quickly became a hangout for a lot of people. But sometimes, we needed – space. We would quietly sneak to the door and lock it so no one could come in. In that time, we would get to be alone and enjoy our quiet time.
We ended freshman year and decided to keep being roommates. We ended sophomore year and decided to keep being roommates. SPOILER: We stayed roommates for all four years of college.
Through those four years, our friendship grew. We learned how to communicate needs. We learned how to deal with conflict. We cried together. We laughed together.
We are a random roommate selection success. Will yours be a success? There’s a good chance.
But here are some tips on how to make it the best. These are some things that I have learned along the way:
It becomes what you make it.
You have to be willing to put in effort. You have to be willing to be a good roommate. If you start to hate your living situation and don’t do anything to try to make it better – it will stay the same.
Be open and honest about how you like things.
If you like your side kind of messy – be honest about it. If you like your side super clean – be honest about it. Allison and I talked in the beginning and set the ground rules that if something was being done that we didn’t appreciate, instead of venting to all of our friends about it, we would just be honest and let each other know. So instead of telling your mom that you wish your roommate would be cleaner, ask your roommate if you both can work on making it more comfortable for both of you.
Be the roommate you would want to have.
This is the golden rule of living with someone. If you would want someone else to be quiet while you are asleep – do it. If you would want someone to do the dishes for you if you have had a busy week – do it.
Having a college roommate is a blessing and teaches you a lot about yourself. Embrace it for all that it is and make the most out of it. Your college roommate can be a lifelong friend.