Living with others can be difficult and I quickly learned this while trying to adjust to life as a freshman at SSU. Freshman year, my roommates and I had many disagreements that lead to fights, arguments or worse, the silent treatment.
The first months of school were new and exciting, but like the thrill of a brand new puppy, the newness wore off and we soon grew irritated with each other. Living with three other girls can be great at times, but on the other hand it can be overwhelming. Growing up with three sisters, I thought I would be prepared for dorm life, but boy, was I wrong.
When meeting my roommates for the first time, Taylor seemed to be easy going, Roxanne was loud and crazy, and Keala came off as a saint, not wanting to do anything that could get us into the slightest amount of trouble.
Seeing as opposites attract, four of us and two of the guys from next-door became quick friends and spent almost every waking moment together. We did everything together, including eating all meals, watching countless hours of One Tree Hill and even getting pedicures together for my birthday.
We would stay up all night hanging out in the living room or would end up crashing on the floor in the middle of watching Mean Girls. You could say we had a four-to-two female-to-male ratio that influenced what the boys watched at our house.
After a few months of nonstop hanging out with each other we all began to get irritated with each other and realized that we needed some space and alone time. But even with space between us we still managed to butt heads on rules in the house.
Roxanne would leave her personal items in the living room all the time, which really annoyed the rest of us. When trying to talk to her about it she would deny the fact that she was leaving her stuff everywhere and wouldn’t believe us until we started picking it all up and leaving it by her bedroom door every night. This drove me crazy because I am used to being in a clean house.
Keala was a complete neat freak. One day she was so annoyed with how dirty our dorm was that she decided to leave passive aggressive post-it notes on all of the items she thought needed cleaning. This of course led to an argument, resulting in her making a documented step-by-step photo tutorial on how to clean the bathroom to her unreachable standards. This tutorial was mostly for Roxanne, who didn’t know how to pick up after herself, so I was on board with the crazy clean train.
As the year went on Taylor started to always be missing in action. While the rest of us decided to take time off from seeing the boys next door, she did not. We saw her once week at most.
It is now our junior year here at SSU and Roxanne and I are living together once again. She is now one of the neatest people I know due to Keala’s bathroom tutorial and her constant nagging of sticky notes.
Keala is studying abroad this year and loves every minute of her alone time. She also has given up using sticky notes as a form of communication and now goes straight to the source when she wants something done to her cleaning standards.
Taylor is now living with the guys that lived next door to us freshman year, and is dating one of them. I asked her how it is to live with two guys, while being in a relationship with one of them. She told me that sometimes they argue and have fights between the three of them but at the end of the day they are best friends and wouldn’t want to live with anyone else.
I am still a friend to each of my roommates from freshman year and the guys from next door. Although it wasn’t easy putting our differences aside and working through our problems we did it anyways and survived freshman year together.
I think what I learned the most from my roommates is that no matter your background, and how you were raised, or how much time you spend together there is always a way to accommodate to make everyone comfortable.
So if you’re having problems with your roommates, give it time. Understand that each of you are trying to adjust to a new life with roommates and that it will get better.