Leaving for college is one of the most fun and exciting times of your life. You’re moving out of the house and have total freedom for the first time. While all of this is totally amazing, the fact that you have to share a room with a total stranger isn’t so great. If you’re lucky enough to move to the same college as your best friend, you’re probably going to room together your freshman year. While having someone you know living with you is comforting, you’ll need to figure out how rooming together will work best for the both of you. Here are a list of some do’s and don’ts when it comes to sharing a dorm with your high school best friend.
You don’t have to stress about getting a random person as a roommate. This is probably the most relieving part about rooming with your best friend. You won’t spend the summer before college worrying about what you’re going to do if you get a really weird or bad roommate.
You get to skip the awkward “getting to know each other” phase. You two already know each other well enough to want to room together. While others will be awkwardly bonding with their new roomies, you’ll be hanging with your bestie and enjoying your new life at college.
You two already know how to calm each other down when you’re fighting or if one of you is upset. On the flip side, you probably also know how to piss each other off. You won’t have to figure out your roomie’s emotions—you’ll already know what works for her and what doesn’t.
Since you’ll know who you’re rooming with ahead of time, you and your best friend will be able to shop for your room together. The two of you will be able to coordinate what the colors of your room will be and how you want it to be decorated. The two of you will have all summer to create the perfect dorm room.
Someone is always going to have your back—no matter what. You can rely on your best friend/roomie when you’re missing home, if you need someone to vent to, or if you need a little bit of help after a night out.
How to make it go smoothly.
Don’t touch your roommate’s things without their permission. Just because you’ve known each other for a long time doesn’t mean that you can use or take your best friend’s stuff without them knowing. Ask your roommate before you borrow her sweater—and she should do the same for you! Getting into each other’s things might be cool once or twice, but eventually it’s going to get annoying and your best friend will get frustrated with you. Always ask her first instead of assuming that it’s okay to use her stuff.
Don’t do everything together! College is your time to branch out—meet new people and have wonderful, new experiences. Even though you’re living with your best friend, they shouldn’t become your security blanket. It’s understandable that the two of you will have similar interests—you’re best friends, duh—so joining the same club is totally normal. However, the two of you should both want to be involved with the club because you’re interested in it and not just because your best friend joined. The two of you should be making friends independent of each other. Clinging on to one other person is limiting and will probably prevent you from putting yourself out there to meet people and try new things.
It’s highly unlikely that the two of you are in the same major. You shouldn’t be scheduling all of your classes together. You should be taking classes that interest you and study the things that you find inspiring.
You need privacy. The two of you aren’t going to want to be together 24/7—you’ll go crazy! It’s okay to get away from your best friend and go do your own thing. You can get fed up with her after sharing the same space. It’s totally normal to need alone time or do things with other people. You need to learn how to give each other the space that you need. You’re going to need to respect your roommate’s boundaries—she may need more alone time than you do.
Before you choose to room with a best friend from home, you need to be aware that not all friendships can endure this situation. Sometimes living together can break a friendship. However, if the two of you work together to respect your space and each other then you should feel confident about rooming together.
Lolita is a Pre-Nursing student at Trinity Washington University.