Column: If you're the roommate of an only child, take note
College roommates of an only child — get ready for a column that will lead you to either loving that only child or making sure you have two or more kids in the future, because us only children can be a handful.
If you live with one, please don’t forget that we’ve never had to share a space with any siblings. As a result of this, we operate differently than most.
Sharing is not really in our vocabulary. What does an only child have to share at home? Absolutely nothing, so we would kindly like for you to not touch our belongings. We are not used to that.
Nothing is wrong with sharing, but we sometimes lack that concept. What’s ours is ours and what’s yours is yours.
Communicating well is another weakness we have. At home, we mostly talk to our parents, maybe even our pets sometimes. We chat with and express ourselves to our friends, but when it comes to new people, situations and confrontations — it can be a little rocky. At home, we lack the ability to communicate, banter and bicker with a sibling.
For an only child, everything has to be perfect. Perfection is key for us because all our lives, we have been the center of attention. At home, we are our parents’ pride and joy, and that mentality carries over into college. Since we’re the only child, if we mess up, it automatically looks bad to our parents — they have no other children to compare us to. We have this extra drive that leads us to work 10 times harder because we are both the blueprint and the finished project. We can’t fail.
Sometimes we just want to be alone. Solitude is important for us, because at home no one is there to bother us in our moments of silence. Going from always being alone to living with somebody else in the same space is a huge transition because now, not only do you have to quickly adapt to that, you have to re-evaluate how you behave.
Being an only child is not the worst thing on the planet, and I promise I am not a terrible roommate. I am just not used to certain circumstances and believe my personal circumstances have given me a sense of maturity and independence.
Being alone a lot and only hanging around adults has led me to that — so if you ever see me slightly side-eying you, that’s the only child kicking in.