The day you graduate from college there are a couple of things that you are going to take with you. The first, of course, is that hard earned degree that is going to propel you to the career of your dreams. You will also leave with memories and friendships that will forever define this time of your life. Some of the most important relationships that are formed while at college involve roommates. You might love them, you might hate them, but studies show that college roommates make a real difference in your life. If you get dealt a good hand in the roommate department, that person that you share a cubicle sized living space with can play multiple roles in your life. A roommate is more than “just” a roommate. Here are a few of the unexpected roles that they fill.
You finally got away from your parents, but sometimes you need someone to fill the parental void. A good roommate is a motivator that will tell you when you need to get your sweatpants-clad bum off the futon and work on your lab report or encourage you to take a shower after sulking around days after a breakup. We all need some accountability and the coach will make that happen.
The Cell Mate
Sometimes having roommates can feel a bit like a prison, but chances are you will have at least one roommate that is always willing to stir things up on the cell block and get into some trouble (the good kind of trouble). These will be the memories that you will laugh about forever, and they wouldn’t be possible without this roommate.
Worried about gaining the “freshman fifteen” or letting your workout slide in favor of sleeping off last night’s festivities? The powerhouse won’t let you. They keep healthy food in the fridge, they work out and they encourage you to do the same. One study showed that if you have a roommate that is focused on improving their health that you are more likely to do the same. Those sexy abs and legs are all your work, but don’t forget to give props to the roommate that motivated you to achieve human masterpiece status.
The Plus One
It is an unwritten rule that your roommate serves as your date whenever the waters of love are running dry. Need someone to be your “plus one” at your cousins wedding? Want to catch the midnight release of a movie but don’t want to go alone? Need a listening ear over lunch after a tough exam? With a good roomie, you never worry about going it alone.
Let’s be honest, few people know you the way your roommate does. They see you first thing in the morning, they smell your morning breath, they help you through (or share) the aftermath of a night out, they see you at your best and your worst. Home is where you let it all out, and that includes everything that is on your mind. A roommate is a natural therapist that has your best interests in mind, but offers a different perspective. Even if their advice is shady, you can vent and feel like someone has your back no matter what.
This is college roommate gold. Years from now you will still be in touch with this roommate because the friendship you formed is so strong and the memories that you make together will strengthen a lifetime of friendship. They are so important to you now that it seems impossible to ever live without them, and if you both commit to keeping your friendship a priority, even after college, you will never have to worry about letting them go.
No matter how you feel about having a roommate, keep yourself open to the possibilities. Having a roommate is about so much more than sharing a space and having someone to help clean up after a party. Your college roommate can be your best friend for life.