When I first saw the door frame of my newly assigned residence hall room back in August, I was excited, nervous and almost every emotion in-between. I’d grown accustomed to the lifestyle that comes with having your own bedroom and bathroom, and hadn’t shared a room with anyone since I was nine years old. Now, I’d be sharing a room with someone I’d never met for an entire academic year!
I didn’t actually see my roommate until I returned from a family lunch and shopping run (coincidentally, he’d done the same thing slightly before I did). When I heard the voices of him and his family talking and unloading bags, the nervous feeling returned. We’d had brief contact over social media, but what if he was the total opposite of how he appeared? What if he’s a catfish, like one of those bad Tinder dates? I worried. What if he eats food that I’ve saved for myself in the mini-fridge? What if he leaves toothpaste and stubble in the sink that I’ll have to clean up, or throws his dirty laundry all over the floor? Or (worst-case scenario, in my mind) what if he steals my clothes or tries to re-sell my textbooks and jewelry on eBay?
Thankfully (to me and my massive skepticism), my roommate was even better than he seemed on Facebook and is one of the most accommodating and happiest (seriously, he’s always smiling, and he’s a hugger) people I’ve met in my life. We wore outfits with the same color scheme (red shirt, khaki shorts) the first time we met, which has slowly led to deeper similarities we’ve discovered (we’re both November babies and were born in the same hospital about two weeks apart). He always makes sure he’s not bothering me when he plays guitar (even though he’s incredibly talented, so it’s never a problem), doesn’t fight over fridge or dresser space, and has bought us a light-up jack-o-lantern (Jimmy) for Halloween. He’s even encouraged me to start going to the gym, and for some reason (despite my consistent sarcasm and dry sense of humor) he’s hoping to get on my “good side” and be roommates next year. Basically, I totally won the roommate lottery.
My expectations for a roommate were totally backwards, but in the best possible way. I was so nervous about how I’d adjust to living so closely with someone I barely knew, and in just over a month we’ve become fast friends. If you’re starting college next year and are worrying about the living situation as you fill out various applications, don’t stress yourself over it. Having a roommate can be the total opposite of what you might think (if you’re like me and were worried about that) and one of the best experiences you’ll have. I know as I venture into my twenties I’ll have more roommates (I want to live in New York, and apartment rentals aren’t cheap), but right now, this first one is pretty great.