Confessions of an RA: From Bestie to Beastie
OMG! You’ve just been accepted to the University of Your Dreams!
Taking a victory lap around your mailbox, you pride yourself on your kick-butt application essay and the 29 gazillion AP courses on your transcript. Then, whipping out your phone, you immediately call your best friend who applied to the same school and….she got in too! Oh em gee! You’re going to go to school together and live together and do homework together and meet cool college boys together and be bridesmaids in each other’s weddings!
As your friendly internet RA who deals with “Bestie to Beastie” roommate conflicts every week, I have some advice: do not, do not, do NOT room with your friend from high school.
Having a close friend in high school is different than having that friend as a roommate in college. In the exciting world of experimentation and freedom that is Freshman Year, your bestie’s poor life choices and newly acquired strange habits (like wearing the same pair of socks for two weeks straight) will not only drive you crazy, but also keep all the nice girls out of your room. Though I’m sure that somewhere in America there are friendships that have withstood the test of roommatehood, 97% of friends-turned-roommates eventually become sworn enemies. If you're a freshman who has made the mistake of rooming with a high school pal, here are a few ways to make the second semester better than the first:
1. Remind yourselves why you once liked each other. If you haven’t already, decorate your dorm with pictures of you and your high school bestie/roommate. Looking at the pictures will make you think of all the good times you’ve had together. Bring up the pictures when things are particularly tense. The conversation should go something like this:
You: “Hey Julie—”
Julie: “We’re not talking because we once were friends and now we’re not but we’re stuck living together and you’re a slob who snores, remember?”
You: “Right...but remember that time we went to NYC and got our picture taken with the Naked Cowboy?”
Julie: “Hahaha, yeah. That trip was fun. We should go back next summer.”
2. Take a break over break. Don’t be afraid to go your separate ways for a while over winter break. You just spent 3.5 solid months with this person; there’s no harm in taking a breather. Oftentimes roommates just get need a few days out of one another’s company to ease the tension between them.
3. Buy your roommate a gift. People love gifts. Gifts are the aloe vera of friendship burns. They show your roommate you care and are willing to make peace. In the olden days, kingdoms used to give women as gifts! Unlike gifting women, your gift doesn’t have to be expensive or unethical; a cool poster or butterfly chair for your dorm works just as well.
Start second semester and 2011 right. If you and your friend are true besties, you won’t let living together come between you. Be respectful, be generous, and be a friend. Your roommate will return the favor.
Are you living with a high school friend? How's it going?