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Saturday, December 9, 2023


Roommates don’t have to be friends

Roommates don't have to be friends

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Despite what some new college freshmen desire, it’s okay for roommates to not be friends. In fact, sometimes it’s better that way.

When people enter college there is often a set of expectations they have set by the media. They think college will be full of parties and finding friends will be easy. College-centered movies solve the issues within two hours making it seem as though college is a breeze.

The reality is different for each student but a lot of expectations turn out to be false. 

One thing people tend to believe is that they will become best friends with their roommate. In fact, there are even articles giving advice on how to become friends with your roommate. It’s expected that you’ll get along with your roommate but that doesn’t mean you have to be friends. 

Rooming with friends can be great but come freshman year, you often don’t know who your roommate is going to be. Even if you did choose your roommate, you might not get along as well as you thought. 

People may picture the start of a lifelong friendship but it’s perfectly fine if that doesn’t happen. In fact, not being friends with your roommate has many advantages. 

One advantage to not rooming with your friends is that it can be easier to have difficult roommate conversations.

Sometimes roommates don’t pull their weight in buying toilet paper or doing the dishes and you have to confront them about it. If it’s your best friend that is leaving dirty dishes out or smelly food in the trash, it can be hard to talk to them about it.

You don’t want to cause conflict because it might strain your friendship. If you room with someone you don’t know that well, you might not feel as hesitant to talk to them about the issues you’re having. You’re not in danger of losing a friend over dishes. 

It can be healthy to keep your living situation separate from your friendships. The dynamic of a friendship changes when you live together and that can be difficult to process even if there aren’t any big issues. 

Additionally, it can be nice to have a break from people in your life. Even if you have a good friendship with someone, sometimes you might want a break and just be by yourself for a bit. It can be difficult to do that when you live together. If you don’t know your roommate very well, you probably won’t interact as much. 

People come to college with expectations and sometimes those include becoming close friends with their roommates. People may feel bad if they don’t form an immediate connection but it’s important to know that it is okay. 

Not everyone becomes friends with their roommates and sometimes they are better for it.

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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