By Katie Beauregard
Every incoming freshman goes into college looking for his or her fairy tale, happily-ever-after roommate. Some find this “college soul mate,” that they will walk into the University of New Hampshire sunset with for four years. Others, like myself, learn how to coexist with a total stranger, deal with awkward encounters and make the best of a time which had more change than I knew what to do with.
Gone were the days where my parents told me when dinner was ready, if I could go out and when I had to be home. I was, in all senses of the word, a loose cannon that was discovering this campus and all of its freedom. And in an all freshman dorm, you can imagine that most of my neighbors and floor mates were feeling this same freedom. My randomly assigned roommate was not one of these people.
As somewhat of a social butterfly, I could not fathom the thought of my roommate, a total stranger, not wanting to conquer UNH the way I wanted to: one frat house and sticky party at a time. But the two of us could not have been more different. She went to bed at 9 p.m., which was when I usually just getting ready to go out. She wouldn’t want people in our room, and I always wanted to host friends. She liked to study with the TV on and I needed it off.
“Freshman me” thought that this was the end of the world. I needed my roommate to be my best friend, stay up with me all night and be a bridesmaid in my wedding. That was just how my college experience had to go. But as the school year continued and my roommate hopes dwindled, I started to realize how incompatibly compatible my roommate and I were. Instead of going out one night we would stay in and watch crappy cable, or go to “brinner” at HoCo because we both loved it so much. During breaks we would make sure each other got home safely and put the blinds down before bed, because we needed to sleep in the dark. All in all, it worked.
Neither of us saw hope in this living situation at first, but somehow we found our own weird and efficient groove. That is the biggest advice I could give to incoming freshman. It’s imperative to find that rhythm with the total stranger sleeping across the room from you. You may not want to, but neither do they. Compromising on the level of your music or how many people are in your room is just something that will force you to coexist and live with someone completely new. It is preparing you for the next three years to come.
I may not have gotten my fairy tale roommate ending, but looking back at my crazy, wild, life-changing freshman year, I couldn’t have lucked out more. I lived with someone who respected my study habits, going out habits and compulsive vacuuming habits. She also pushed me to grow up a little more than I wanted to, which I’m thankful for now. She may not be a bridesmaid in my wedding, or my most recently Snapchatted, but at the end of the day (or night, in my case) she was still waiting up to give me Tylenol and a Gatorade when I got home.