Column: What’s it really like to move in with your best friend?
College is hard. From the initial process of moving in to the adjustment of going to classes (wait, which bus do I get on?), college can feel like you are riding a bike. And the bike is on fire.
A whole other aspect to the college adjustment is learning to live with a roommate. Rooming with your best friend can be the best thing for you to do — or the worst.
I decided to room with my best friend, who I’ve known since my sophomore year of high school. After being on campus for a month, I’ve learned that it was simultaneously everything I expected and not at all what I expected.
Having limited alone time
Hanging out with your best friend on weekends with the occasional sleepover is one thing. Living under the same roof is another. There’s a certain unspoken obligation to do everything together, from meals to hanging out to doing homework.
On one hand, you think, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to spend all my time with my favorite person?’ You have inside jokes, shared looks and a mutual bond that comes from being best friends. I thought I would love to hang out with the same person all the time.
However, allowing yourself to have alone time ensures you don’t get sick of each other. My best friend and I usually only get one meal together and do our homework separately. We save “together time” for mornings and friend hangouts, like our weekly Thursday dinners with the rest of our friend group.
I think balancing friend time with alone time makes living with your best friend 10 times easier. Separating for small periods of time often allows us to miss each other. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder.
I’d say one of the best things about rooming with your bestie is that you always have someone to talk to. Aced that difficult calculus test you’ve been studying for? She’s there to celebrate with you. Terrible day at work? She’s down with getting combos and watching Netflix.
Knowing you always have a shoulder to cry on, someone to rant to or a person to laugh with makes the college process easier. Having a random roommate means not having access to that familiarity, which can be crucial when adjusting to the madness that is college.
The balance comes with making sure your best friend doesn’t become your in-house therapist. They have their own problems and no one, not even your very best of friends, wants to be overwhelmed with someone else’s problems.
Sense of home
Especially if you are from the same hometown, rooming with your best friend gives you a sense of home, even when you are feeling homesick.
Both of you can reminisce about high school, cry at midnight about missing old friends and know exactly who they are talking about when they say, “They are back together ... again.”
Having someone who reminds you of home helps with the feeling of homesickness that myself and other freshmen know too well. It feels great to know that not only am I not alone, but my best friend knows pretty much exactly what I’m going through.
Rooming with your best friend will always raise red flags. What if we stop being friends? What if we are the type of people who just can’t live together? However, with careful planning and an honest look at yourself and your flaws (not just theirs), rooming with your best friend can be amazing.
I’ll never regret rooming with my best friend. I’ve made many memories since move-in day that just wouldn’t be the same without her there. So if you are willing to make living together work, room with your bestie. It’s the best thing I’ve done at MSU.
This story is part of our fall 2019 housing guide. Find more stories about on and off campus living in this week's print edition of The State News, or click here.