Roommates & Friends: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Story by: Tryphena Wardlaw
Sharing a living space with someone, friend or stranger, can result in a number of unforeseen events. Miranda Nuevo, a sophomore sociology major, chose to have a randomly selected roommate her freshman year. Little did she know, she would soon become best friends with her roommate.
“Really it was through my random roommate, which has a lot of negative connotation, that I met most of my friends who I have today and the friends who currently live with me,” Nuevo said.
Assigning two people from completely different backgrounds to live in a combined, restricted space for a school year can go horribly wrong. Luckily for Nuevo, this was not her experience.
She said one of the best benefits to living with best friends is that they are there for you when the times get tough but also they are there to celebrate with you. However like any set of roomies, Nuevo has had the occasional “tiff” with roommates.
“I think everyone has some downfalls with their roommates. When you get a bunch of people living together in a common area, it can sometimes be difficult when the stressors of college come into play. Pretty common little ‘tiffs’ that come up, mostly around house chores. But you know, you work through them and I’m happy to say that all of the people I have lived with, I have maintained a positive relationship with in some way.”
According to a number of studies, some cons of living with a best friend include taking responsibility in regard to chores and rent. When you are friends with someone, it may be more difficult to hold them accountable for their chores. Another con of living with friends, is there is no time to get a break from one another, spending a good amount of time together.
“Recognize that being friends with someone and being a roommate with someone, they are two different roles. You have to be able to separate those two roles,” said Nuevo about living with friends.
“You can have your best friend living with you but at the same time, when it comes down to housing stuff, they need to be a roommate.”
Friends that live together tend to spend a lot of time together, which can cause a problem in itself. Krista Goldsmith, a junior public relations major, found that living with friends was tough on her friendships as they became too comfortable with each other, in turn her roommates then disrespected her belongings.
"I mean we are civil but we’re not friends. I don’t have bad juju with anyone anymore. It’s hard to put trust in people you live with and trust in them to take care of your belongings as if they are their own.”
It can be both a pro and a con when two people are very comfortable with each other. For example, girls who are okay with sharing clothes. As convenient as it is to have a never-ending closet, if one roommate borrows an item of clothing without asking, it can become bothersome.
Jake Weber, a sophomore business administration major, chose to live with someone he met on Facebook when he attended Denver University. However, when he transferred to Chapman he had to live with an assigned, unhygienic stranger who is not compatible with Weber for a number of reasons.
“I'd say strangers that interact beforehand, and who seem to be compatible, is the best. My last roommate was amazing, we utilized Facebook to make sure we were similar enough. My current roommate sucks and I was assigned him,” said Weber.(From left) Alexandra Bliss, Alyssa Bliss, and Krista Goldsmith all sit in their living room.
College students need to remember also that it is okay not to be best friends with your roommate. Living together does not require those involved to be inseparable ‘besties’ that do everything together.
“Pick your battles, don't fight over petty things instead try to come to a compromise,” said Leah de Leon, a freshman communications major. “Just be respectful of each other's space and make sure everyone communicates with each other.”
There are pros and cons to living with friends but finding a balance between the roles is the advice Nuevo gives. But as her experience shows, living with a random roommate can be beneficial and may work out for the best. Having a roommate is part of the ‘college experience’ and no matter what, there are always going to be some great stories that come out of living with other people in college.
My College Path helps with the transition to college and they also share a list of pros and cons of living with a best friend. http://mycollegepath.com/pros-and-cons-of-living-with-a-friend-in-college/#axzz3rd1eIIb4
For a very comedic take on messing with roommates, here is a video two YouTube stars made.