After boarding school, sleepaway camp, and college I have had my fair share of housing woes. I have had the last room draw number in the entire school, I have shared just two showers with 42 girls, and I have moved in and out of storage more times than I can count. What I have learned is that it is not about where you live, it is who you live with that will ultimately determine stress levels and comfort. The advice I receive every spring as it comes time to draw rooms once again is: “Don’t live with your best friend.” People like to argue that the close proximity and intimate arrangement will destroy even the strongest friendship. I disagree. Here are the benefits to living with a friend.
1. Comfort. I don’t know about you, but when I have had a no good, very rotten, terrible, bad day and all I want to do is crawl under the covers and cry because I failed my chem test and got rejected from five summer internships, the absolute LAST person I want to have to deal with is someone who I’m sorta friendly with. I don’t want to walk into the room and try to pretend everything is fine until my roommate goes to class. I want to be given a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and wail like I’m a two year old. And I sure as hell don’t want to be judged for it. Your best friend isn’t going to judge you when it’s fifty bajillion degrees in North Quad and you have to sleep naked. They won’t even flinch when they come home to find you hiding out from the rest of your friends, shame-eating Mix Bowl. Living with your best friend is a judgment free zone and it’s a relief to not feel guilty every time you do something weird.
2. Catching Up. Everyone on this campus is crazy busy. My best friend and I could rarely match up our schedules, and sometimes, the only time all week we could spend together was the weird time after homework and before bed. “Brushy-washy time” is the perfect time to let off steam with your best friend and make sure you actually catch up with each other on a regular basis. It’s like a sleepover every night. You might even get to cuddle sometimes.
3. Communication. I could tell my best friend everything. She was probably the worst roommate to ever grace a dorm room. And I made sure she knew it. In turn, she installed a firewall to block Netflix and Hulu on my computer during weekdays. We didn’t get mad, we listened. It’s your best friend’s job to tell you when your outfit is too scandalous or your hair is a mess. Sometimes it’s their job to remind you to shower. It takes a whole other level of trust to get to that point, and sometimes you need that.
4. Friends will visit you. I am SO lazy. I don’t even think I can stress that enough. The walk from Green to Phillips is too much for me to handle. When you live with your best friend, all of your friends will come hang out with you! They get the two-for-one special out of their visit so it’s a lot easier to convince them to make the trek.
Don’t get me wrong, it may not always be easy. They may leave piles of dirty laundry on the futon or rotting food in the fridge. You might use all their shampoo and steal their nail polish. But trust me, in the end it’s worth it for the spur of the moment marshmallow popcorn, the company during all nighters, and the ability to communicate with cat noises instead of words because when you live with someone you just get each other like that. So come this spring, when housing drama ensues and that kid with the best pick offers to pull you into Crown, remember that even though the bathrooms may smell better or the air may be cooler, I would rather have the worst room on campus, hold my nose, and sleep naked to have my best friend as my roommate.