Should you room with your best friend in college?

May 24, 2012

So your best friend is looking for a roommate for next term, or maybe you and a close friend are heading to the same college after high school - if you have the option, should you room together? Here are some tips for college students stuck in a bind.

The only thing tougher than managing the coursework in college is managing your friendships. It's a high-stress environment where students tend to really depend on other people for support, but you have to be careful not to lean too heavily. Friends are there for you, but do you want them to be there every time you get home from class? These aren't black and white questions, but a Pro/Con list might help you make these decisions.

PRO: Random roommate selection is scary. Just as there's the chance that you'll find that perfect friend who can complete your sentences and knows just when you need a shoulder to lean on, there's also a chance you might get the sort who's up on the phone at 3:30 a.m., snores like a chainsaw or, worst of all, is just plain mean. Rooming with your best friend, you're not going to run that risk.

PRO: You already know each other. While getting to know a new roommate can be fun, there's no question that understanding your friend's tics, peeves and humor will means you guys can better layout the rules of your roommate relationship. But all the same...

CON: You may not know each other that well. As you'll find, knowing someone is a whole lot different than living with them. And you don't need to live with someone to prove how much you like or care about them. Keep in mind that a dorm is pretty tiny, and sometimes having your own space - the sort a roommate but not a friend might be more likely to respect - is important when so little real estate is available. Small environments can also get hostile very quickly. Not everyone will fight with their roommate in college, but everyone's likely to get really mad at least fifty times. You're better off not being that mad at your best friend.

Applying for scholarships, eating healthy, staying active - these are all basic tips for making your college life as stress-free as possible. In the end, rooming with your best friend comes down to both your personalities, but make sure - no matter who you're rooming with - that you set down some guidelines from day one. Write out a contract, double-check all foreseeable circumstances and once you're done, finish up your homework before enjoying some of the best four (or more!) years of your life. 

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