I was a horrible, terrible, no good, really bad college roommate. I think that's why I ended up living alone in my uncle's converted garage apartment for 2 years of college. MY choice. I was tired of wreaking havoc on everyone else's college experience. I smoked (been cigarette free for 24+ years now...YAY ME), I was loud. I was messy. I was a mess. The summer before Freshman year, I spent time with my future roommate, and I realized off the bat that she and I weren't the same. Although we pledged the same sorority and now have a good relationship, we aren't close. I am sad about that. My second roomie made me look like a saint. She never went to class, stayed out all night, snuck alcohol into the dorm, had us get rid of our beds and sleep on the floor, and stole from me (everything from money to a boyfriend). My next roomie was a nice girl, nothing really wrong, but she and I were nothing alike. My next TWO roomies were amazing, and are lifelong friends. I love them both dearly! But alas, they graduated and I still had over a year of college left. My husband's roomie experience was better...he shared an apartment with his lifelong friend (and the guy who actually introduced us, and was a best man in our wedding).
Emily, similarly, had some unusual roomie experiences. Her first roomie didn't rush a sorority, so Em was already moved in and had friends by the time this girl got there. Being a gift giver, Em found out what her roomie's decor style was, and bought her gifts to match it, which she set out on her desk. I thought that was a lovely gesture, but apparently it had no effect on the roomie. She moved out the next semester, and one of Emily's sorority sisters moved in. That was a MUCH better fit! For the next year, Emily shared an apartment with a sorority sister who was rarely around and didn't do dishes, then Emily shared with a friend from freshman year who was always at her boyfriend's place, and left Emily holding responsibility for unpaid bills.
By that time, Matt was starting college. With his autism, we knew the dorm environment would not work for him. We got permission for him to move in with Emily. That has been a match made in heaven! This past year was their second year living together, and they mesh really well.
But, Emily has graduated. Matt couldn't find a roommate. So, as I referenced in this post, he is moving into an innovative apartment solution being offered by the college the first time this year. He will have his own apartment, but will also have the opportunity to interact with other students from college. We hope this will last until it's time for him to student teach.
And now, Michael is moving into the dorms. He has a roommate. We have reached out to his roommate and family, and I think it is great fit! Although they are over 1700 miles away, we are already making plans! We are going to meet the day before move in to just get to know each other (and I'm going to show them Mall Deli, which is a Pittsburg legend). He and his roommate are very similar. Apparently they text back and forth quite a bit. His roommate's Mom and I are also very similar; she and I also chat quite often! I hope for a wonderful, successful friendship.
Here is a list of things that have helped the roommate situation this time around:
- Get in touch with your roommate ASAP. Call, text, email, Facebook, Twitter...all resources for touching base.
- Be honest on your roommate survey. Don't try to please your parents; be honest about what you want
- Ask questions. What are your roomie's college plans? What are their favorite foods? Are you night owls or early birds? Do you have any classes together? Do you both plan to go Greek or join clubs?
- Decide who brings what. You don't need multiple fridge's and microwaves.
- Get a general idea how to set up the room (okay, if they're dudes, this is probably what the Moms will do!).
Once you're moved in and Mom and Dad have said their goodbyes, you're on your own. You and your roomie will PROBABLY have issues at some point. Don't let these fester. If needed, get your RA involved. You may or may not be best friends, but at least aim to be friends. There will be nights of gaming and pizza, or Netflix and popcorn. GREAT! Make memories! And above all...RELAX.