California — Not enough people talk about how important college roommate relationships are. It's a relationship that can make or break you during the school year. Luckily mine became my best friend.
I met my roommate the first day we moved in and we clicked instantly. We’re both East Bay natives who shared mutuals so it felt like we already met. I’ll never forget the first night we spent together in our empty dorm room. We laughed for hours. Till 6 in the morning, we shared stories about our lives back home which only felt like 10 minutes. We were like little girls again at a slumber party. The best part was that It could feel like this every day.
Because distance wasn’t an issue for us, we still made for each other back home. Our families ate dinner together, we’d hang out with each other’s high school friends, and fly right back together to our mini home at school.
I appreciate our relationship because it reminds us how much we’ve grown since the start of our freshman year. I couldn’t imagine living with a stranger or someone. I have to remember the initial spark my roommate and I had is not a universal experience.
I’ve heard terrible roommate stories on TikTok and through older sibling's friends about the distress a bad roommate can cause. And when I got to college I knew they were lying.
With a random roommate, I knew there’d be a risk of our personalities clashing. Days before I moved into the school's dorms, I’d have brief moments of panic. I’d ask myself many negative questions knowing I couldn't answer them. “What if they stink? What if they’re weird? What if they think I'm weird?” Studies show they’re all completely normal thoughts to have when the brain is trying to predict the unknown. In my case, it was all self-defense.
The recipe for a healthy relationship with your roommate is taking the time to get to know them. You don’t necessarily have to be best friends but communicating preferences and dislikes within your shared space can help set the tone for the year. When boundaries are set you won’t stress about awkward encounters with hostile assumptions with one another. Trust the process and think positively — you might gain a friend in the making.
Sydney Wanguhu, (she/her) is from the Bay Area and is an L.A.-based journalist who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on Instagram: @sydneyy._.
Edited by Nykeya Woods