Finals are over and the life-saving winter break is among us. For many, winter break marks one semester down with a roommate and our first lengthy break away from them. The concept of living with someone who neither changed your diapers nor experienced you before puberty can often be a tad overwhelming. In addition to sharing a small room together with minimal airflow, there comes the myriad of expectations regarding roommate relations. The biggest expectation is the common misconception that roommates are supposed to be best friends for life. Whether you consider your roommate a second sibling or plan on complaining to your friends back home, I am here to dispel the roommate myth that: in order to have a successful living situation, you have to be best friends with your roommate.

I have had several roommates in my life, and let me say they were all vastly different. My first roommate and I merely shared “Hellos” and “Goodbyes.” There was neither malice nor bad-blood, we were just two completely different people that could not relate any aspects of our personalities together. Despite our vast differences, we maintained respect for each other’s space and feelings and maintained a cordial acquaintance.

My second roommate and I were attached to the hip. With our intense cling to each other and idealized image that we were going to be roommate best friends, not only did we miss out on personal growth and care, we also got tired of each other rather quickly due to unperceived differences. Those unperceived differences felt almost like a betrayal and ended the friendship ferociously. When you start a relationship off with the expectation that you two will be the best of friends, it sets a standard that is statistically unsound because you cannot declare something so vast and so permanent until you truly know someone and that can take a few sleepwalking episodes, half a breakup, two all-nighters and a partridge in a pear tree.

Am I saying you cannot be best friends with your roommate? Absolutely not. With proper pacing and space, a friendship is plausible. What I am saying is that you do not need to be best friends with your roommates to have a comfortable living situation, for those two things are not mutually exclusive. My third roommate and I thrive in a manner that is the most perfect of my experiences living with other humans. We did not expect a life-long friendship, but also did not let our differences limit us. We are cordial most days with mere “Heys” and “How’s class?” and once or twice a week, we go out, share a laugh and sit down to talk about life. Life is one thing that is always relatable because we all are constantly navigating through it.

Lead Image Credit: Max Pixel