Monday, June 21, 2010


Roommates are inevitable when you are in college. I mean, unless you are rich or have some other outstanding need to live alone, you will be assigned a roommate. Or you will choose a roommate. Or you will find yourself without a place to live and take the first sublease that comes your way, complete with that roommate. However it works out, you learn to live with someone else.

I have moved a lot since I started college. I spent one semester at my first school with one roommate. Her name was Stacy and she was sarcastic, sly, clean, very mature for her age, and always loving on a boy. She seemed like the one person in my world who belonged at that school. I was probably the one in hers that did not. I realized this early on and applied to a different college, which I got into and decided to transfer to. The day after I told her my decision, I came home to a crying roommate, on the phone with her mother, who had also chosen to leave that school for a different path. It was incredible to me that even after only living together for a month and a half, we had changed each other so much that I was starting to feel like I belonged there and she was realizing there was something else she needed.

Next came three girls living in a suite-style dorm, which sounds much larger and more spacious than it really was. Since I was the new girl coming in at the middle of the semester to a large school where I only knew one other person, it was difficult. But it all ended up working out well and I found a nice group that I could have inside jokes with and get dressed up to hit the town with.

Fast forwarding through another year in the dorms (residence halls as housing people like to call them), a summer in the Grapefruit house with Jake and Hanna, a semester abroad with four roommates, a sublease, another summer in the Grapefruit, this time with Tanya and Hanna, and a year in a house with one stable roommate and the other room rotating with a new person every couple months and there you have it. I've had 17 roommates in the past four years.

I've lived with girls and boys. I've lived with obsessive clean freaks, casual cleaners, and dirty people. I've had my own room and I've shared with up to three others. I've lived in a different country, lots of different zip codes, three different dorm rooms, a duplex, an apartment building, a house, you name it. And this is what I've realized about myself:

I hate it when there are tons of dirty dishes.

This is a major pet peeve. Just do your dishes, and I'll be a happy camper. One of my friends once told me (only 5 roommates in) that I would be the easiest wife because I've lived with so many different people. If my future husband does the dishes, or at least loads the dishwasher, I think that might just be true.

I've realized that just because people are your roommates, that does not mean they have to be your best friends. Out of talking to a lot of people who moved in with their best friends, it actually seems to be harder to live with them because you know one another so well that you feel comfortable leaving things dirtier (i.e. dishes) and it is harder to come up and enforce rules to avoid this.

You also can learn a lot about a person by seeing their interactions when you live with them. This has to be one of my favorite parts. It's interesting figuring out who will take responsibility for duties like remembering which week is recycling week, etc. (In the neighborhoods I've lived in, recycling is every other week.) And when you make big batches of dessert because you have a craving for it, (and what you do when you get bored is bake...bad habit) it's nice to be able to share it with someone instead of seeing all of those cupcakes, brownies, cookies, special K bars, etc. go to your own hips.

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