The Benefits of a Completely Different Freaking Roommate
Workable roommate relationships are important. Those who go the extra mile to make sure their friends have their best interests at heart help create new life experiences and expand mental health.
But every student who’s ever considered their first year of college and considering their student friendships didn’t mention the core idea that those friendships can absolutely mean the difference between college success and failure. One source of that success? Relationships with people you didn’t spend the first year with – including, yes, your roommate.
The three types of roommate relationships are:
1. People you met through friends
2. Friends of friends
3. Friends with similar or identical backgrounds
Just like in real life, people from similar backgrounds are at their best. And that research shows that people do better in college if they can join together in activities of like interests. If not, other risks can arise: the likeliness of some group of friends developing an intensity rivaling the best of the best.
On top of this, if your diverse academic background are magnified by friends with similar backgrounds, we’re noticing that diverse academic backgrounds correlate to similar critical thinking skills. In other words, the world thinks your level of success is elevated. This level of success may help the rest of your life as well.
So why are college friends important?
For one thing, you didn’t meet them in high school. Not to put a negative spin on it, but what a great start high school is. You’re drawing on experience and experiences you’re in the midst of, not limiting yourself to what’s already been shown to be your essential tool.
You need to find out the difference between the good stuff in life and the not-so-good stuff, as there are some discoveries you won’t have had at all if your BFF is your two-year roommate.
Another reason is obvious: we learn how to deal with life problems when we learn how to deal with life problems. But people who have shared experiences on that front help you do so better because you’ve built up confidence that everyone and everything around you is working the way it’s supposed to.
If you’re concerned about your cost of living with a roommate, let’s focus on that. What do you like? What do you hate?
Nothing about your roommate should make you feel gross and a responsibility for the cost of your room. All of that indicates problems on the surface.
So what can you do if you find yourself feeling apprehensive about your roommate?
Step away from the direct confrontation. That’s a tough choice for many college students. But if you’re really going to stand up for yourself, he’s not going to change. And seeing through the facade is one of the greatest moments of valor you’ll ever find.
See the big picture. There are always circumstances outside of your control that influence the way a relationship works. However, your new roommate is a part of your new life. So instead of using this as an excuse not to do anything, see that moment that pre-dates the relationship and find lessons in how it might have a bearing on your experience now. It’s a good chance to grow, and it builds confidence as well.
So go ahead and try to be honest with your roommate. But let him know that you’re going to choose quality over quantity. In other words, if you see things in your “passion catalog” where you should find a roommate, get it done. However, be sure to provide some competition.
Let him know that there’s more to life than his food preference, especially if it’s sending you off to sleep every single night when it starts to get dark. That kind of competitive spirit tends to push people out of your world of predictable comfort.
Foster creativity. Once you’ve figured out what you like in terms of people, hobbies, and interests, you can give room for a multiplicity of new possibilities.
Most importantly, even if your roommate is on the same level of success as you, don’t equate that to success. The three percent of the population that’s highly successful is in large part how they meet and interact with people. Don’t limit yourself to people who are close to you, particularly if your options are limited – or if you have a lot of options.
If you think you’ll end up as far from your dream roommate than you ever imagined, no problem: no one’s going to miss out on a chance to grow creatively, stay healthy, or make good friends.