There is no course on “being a successful roommate”. To be even the most average roommate requires a great deal of frustrating and embarrassing trial and error.
My roommate was a rise-and-commence-death-stare type of person. I liked to get up early and run. She loved Luke Bryan and I preferred Kanye. Her hometown was approximately 90 minutes away and mine was over 2,000 miles across the country. We weren’t compatible in every department. We both had flaws. I was prone to leaving the door unlocked at highly inconvenient times and she tended to let her alarm clock go off for about 15 minutes every day. It wasn’t always easy, living between old cinderblocks and hard tile.
There were times when I wished that I had been assigned a single, when I longed to have some privacy and solidarity. For the most part however, those feelings were minimal. As hard as it was to live in such close quarters, nothing compares to having a partner in both cohabitation and crime. Nothing compares to getting ready for parties with someone, coping with the stresses of spring registration with someone, wearing all black and fishnets with someone, purchasing half a dozen St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes on St. Patrick’s Day with someone. There is nothing that compares to having someone by your side on a big and scary college campus.
I still live with my freshman year roommate. I realized after that first year that we clashed just enough to keep things interesting, that we didn’t mind silence, that we loved clean dishes and swept floors, that we could live together and manage to be friends. I realized that I couldn’t imagine walking home late at night for chips and salsa on the floor with anyone else. I realized that I couldn’t imagine waking up to any other death stare or to any other elongated alarm clock. This college campus was still big and scary and I needed to have her around.
In the fall, I’ll have a new roommate. I don’t yet know her flaws and I don’t know which flaws she will find in me. I will however miss the old roomie, the future CEO and Italian language pro who is going abroad. So Jess, if you’re reading this, know that I will continue to improve my roommate skills, that I will be lonely and a little scared without you here, even as a junior. Know that there will be chips and salsa waiting for you on the floor of Sharp when you get back.
Ashley Dayne Bostwick
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