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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: You never know with roommates

As if moving out of your parents’ house isn’t enough of a shock, many freshmen also have to deal with the adjustment of living with a complete stranger in a room that may not be much bigger than your average walk-in closet.

There is often an unspoken expectation that whoever you room with will be your first and most automatic friend in college, but this isn’t always the case. I too fell victim to this assumption and was sorely disappointed.

To be fair, I didn’t end up with some psychopathic roommate who stole from me, screamed at me or fought with me. I ended up with a roommate who simply put, did not want to be friends. She was neither mean nor rude to me — she merely never spoke to me.

I was extremely confused by this situation, as everyone else I knew had instantly become inseparable friends with their roommate. When I asked my roommate to do laundry with me in the second week of school and she said “no thank you.” She was far from antisocial — she had tons of friends, was in a sorority and knew many people at the UA from high school, but for some reason that I still don’t know, she just had no desire to even speak, let alone be friends with me right from day one.

By the second semester, I had come to terms with this and I wasn’t even upset by it anymore. I understood that we were just very different people and for some reason, we were not destined to be friends in any way, shape or form. It was at that point that I realized it was perfectly okay to just coexist with someone.

We didn’t speak or share anything, but we were also perfectly civil with one another, and I conceded to that being enough for me. She was not a malicious person but she didn’t even say goodbye to me before she moved out and I’m honestly still baffled as to why. I’m not angry or bitter toward her though, because at the very least, she successfully shared a dorm room with me.

I share this anecdote in hopes that it may ease the mind of any new freshmen who encounter a similar situation as I did and begin to wonder if there is something wrong with them. Quite frankly, yes, there may in fact be something wrong with you— you could smell bad, be obnoxious or perhaps just painfully annoying — I have no clue. The reality of the situation is, if you cannot pinpoint any interaction that could have possibly turned your roommate off from you, the two of you are going to have to make your goal coexisting rather than friendship. The sooner you accept that fact, the better. While it is entirely feasible to be friends or at least friendly with a roommate who is very different from you, there are situations where it’s simply not going to happen.

I spent much of my first semester of freshman year feeling like I had missed out on a major part of college that everyone around me seemed to have — a friend in their roommate. But then I started hearing the stories of people who’s roommates had sex while they were in the room, a girl who’s roommate threw a TV at her in anger or people who stole constantly from their roommate, etc.

The list of college roommate horror stories has never ceased, and I became grateful for what I had — a roommate who simply didn’t want to be friends.

On a campus with over 30,000 undergraduate students, don’t sweat it when one person doesn’t want to be your friend. There are plenty of other wildcats in the desert! We have learned our whole lives that communication is the key to everything, but what are you to do when someone just doesn’t communicate?

It goes back to the concept of coexisting, which is entirely possible sans communication (sometimes difficult, but undoubtedly doable).

So, freshmen — come to college with an open mind and a desire to be friends with your roommate. It will make your early college life far simpler and more comfortable. But for those of you who end up with the roommate you can’t be friends with, accept it, don’t fret over it and merely resolve to peacefully coexist with him or her.Follow Talya Jaffe on Twitter.

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