I was extraordinarily fortunate in my college living arrangements. I got to live with my very best friends in the entire world, and there were times it was as wonderful as every movie/book/song/social media post would have you believe.
There are late nights when you are gathered into your living room, all on laptops, typing a paper or reciting information on flash cards under your breath, and all of a sudden someone will start giggling. Pretty soon the whole suite erupts into laughter and the stress lessens, making everything feel suddenly doable.
You will share food and coffee and a Netflix account. You will wake up some mornings to find your favorite mug filled with coffee made just the way you like it and with a sticky note that says, “Good luck on your exam!” You will have long, detailed conversations about everything from your money (who will buy groceries this week?), to family (I need to cancel our dinner plans, my sibling is having a hard day), to class (only enter my room if you have ice cream, I’m pretty sure I just failed my exam), to love (obviously he’s the one in the wrong here, right? Right. Thank you.).
Living with people you love will exceed all of your expectations.
Living with people you love will inevitably disappoint you.
There are days when you’ve worked 12 hours, came home, and there are no clean spoons. There are also days where not only is there no coffee waiting for you, but your roommate was in a rush that morning and forgot to tell you you’re out of creamer…and sugar…oh, yeah, and coffee. There are days when you are up to your eyeballs in homework, anticipating an all-nighter, and your roommate spends three hours complaining about her love life to you. There are times when you get ready to take a shower, only to find your roommate snagged it first, and there’s only 15 minutes until you have to be in class. There are times when you can’t agree on what to watch, or what to eat, or where to go. There are times they will be the most annoying people on the planet, and there are times when you can tell you are being the most annoying person on the planet. There are times they will be too honest, more honest than you are ready for, and you will be angry with them. Also, there are times when they don’t laugh at your jokes, and that’s kind of sad, too, because you are obviously hilarious.
Just remember, the people you live with are just as stressed as you are, just as tired as you are, just as inconsiderate as you are, just as impatient and self-absorbed as you are. Also remember, the people you live with are just as excited to be in college as you are, just as passionate as you are, just as thoughtful as you are, just as funny and kind as you are.
Don’t think for a moment your hard times are any harder than theirs, nor your good times any better.
If there’s tension, it is always at least partially your fault, always. You are all just human, trying to blunder through college.
Ultimately, your roommates teach you how to love deeply, day in and day out, and how to be loved in return.
Be grateful for them, be kind and gracious toward them, and, perhaps, buy the toilet paper, even though you did it last time.
Written By: Abbey Booher (’16)