Having a roommate is weird.
When I first went off to university, I decided I wanted the entire university experience – so I chose a school outside of my hometown, and decided to live in residence with a roommate.
I was super-excited to have another girl around my age to share a room with. If movies had taught me anything, it was that we were going to become best friends right off the bat, I’d introduce her to all the awesome people I met in my classes and she would do the same, we’d stay up late chatting and watching movies in our room, and suddenly we would find ourselves with a tight group of BFFs for life. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
I don’t know if I can say that my roommate and I were ever really friends. We didn’t really have anything in common – she was a preppy English major interested in student council and musical theatre, and I was the goth kid more interested in her boyfriend back home than anything else. We put the effort in for the first month or so to hang out, grab dinner together and talk, but by the end of the year I don’t think we ever spoke to one another. I would usually stay up until 3 am talking with friends back home over MSN or listening to music and. I would wake up around 12, or I would wake up early for class then go back to bed from around 11-3 pm, which I’m sure was annoying to her, having to be quiet halfway into the day. It was a bit of a shock comparing expectation to reality – the roommate situation was definitely not what I expected.
To be honest, I don’t think I was very good at being away from home my first year. I was naturally shy and I went back home every weekend, so I didn’t really give myself the chance to get to know other people at school. I was placed in an all-female residence, which naturally, had a lot of drama that I wanted no part in. Then you throw in the fact that I wasn’t close with a lot of girls in high school (I had a few close girlfriends, but otherwise I hung out with guys), and that this was when my eating disorder was starting to develop (so I didn’t want to eat with other people)…no wonder I felt so weird and out of my element.
It’s no surprise that I transferred back to a school in my hometown for my second year and finished out my undergraduate education there. On one hand, I switched schools for a major I couldn’t take at my first school, but on the other hand, I was not mature enough or ready to be on my own in a new city – I was 17 in my first year. And, realizing that my university life (and my roommate) was not working out the way I hoped it would made the situation even more unpleasant for me.
I moved back in with my parents and stayed with them until I moved in with Eric – so, I’ve never had another ‘roommate’ outside of Eric, and I’m fine with that. I’ve realized that not only do I need my space, but sharing a small space with someone that you have very little in common with is really, really awkward.
So, the roommate thing didn’t really work out for me, for multiple reasons. Apparently, having a roommate is not for everyone.
This post was inspired by Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, a novel that exposes the gothic underbelly of an American dynasty, and an outsider’s hunger to belong. Join From Left to Write on May 20th as we discuss this novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
Have a good one!
<— Have you ever had a roommate? Were you friends?
<— Would you rather live by yourself, or with a roommate?
<— Did you have more female or male friends in high school?