One of the biggest things a person can do in their young life is livewith a complete stranger and for those freshmen going off to college the idea of a roommate can be a little bit “interesting,” especially if you’ve chosen to have a roommate randomly selected. So, I thought with one year of experience under my belt that I could impart some wisdom. Full disclosure - I lived in a single, so I have called up my friends to supply stories and experiences of their encounters with roommates this past year.

“As part of a family of six, sharing was not a new concept to me. So, when freshman year of college rolled around, I had more than a vague inkling of what to expect when it came time to move into the dorms. I had read my fair share of horror stories about roommates gone bad and had fervently prayed for someone who didn’t insist on absolute silence or lights out at six p.m., and I considered myself prepared for the best- and worst-case scenarios. She had seemed relatively normal over the phone that summer when information on our future roommates had been sent home in an innocent little envelope. But one never does really know what living with a complete stranger will be like, do they? It turns out I had nothing to fear. Once we cleared the awkwardness from the air, which had been clouded with freshman jitters and the anxiety of moving in, we got along better than fine. Today, I would call my roommate one of my best friends. The key to our success? Open communication, a pinch of shared laziness, a fondness for pizza, and the ability to listen to one another without passing judgment” (Tabitha Stephenson, Thomas College).

“It was definitely an adjustment going from being an only child to living with three other people. My school has suite style dorms with two rooms and a common room. One of my roommates ended up moving to a different room after the first semester because there was an issue between her and the girl she shared a room with. I think the best way to handle roommate issues is to compromise and recognize that life will be so much better if you get along with your roommates. It can also help to get your RA involved because that’s what they’re there for!” (Sarah Corkum, Bowdoin College)

“Having your first college roommate is often seen as a rite of passage. Whether you know that person or not you are going to be living with them for the next nine months, so it’s best to prepare yourself and go in with an open mind. I would be lying if I told you the horror stories aren’t real - they may keep you up all hours of the night with their drunken antics. Or wake you up at seven o’clock in the morning frantic they missed their eight fifteen. They may make your room look like a complete disaster, and they will probably never take out the trash. Aside from these things they do teach you a few valuable life lessons. Whether you become best friends with your college roommate, or you despise them, realize its only nine months and years from now you will recognize that even if you didn’t take anything positive from experience at the time, you would at least have some pretty funny stories to share. So, take it from a college senior who wishes she could do it all over again - enjoy the good, the bad, and the ugly because four years from now you will wish you could do it all over again.” (Erin Alexander, St. Francis Xavier).

So whatever your rooming situation is, I want you to remember that you can work through anything with a positive attitude.