April 18, 2014

Here's the Thing About Having Friends as Roommates

Since starting college 11 6 years ago, I have lived in a lot of places with a lot of roommates. I have had 8 homes and 12 roommates.  Some of the roommate situations have gone better than others. The worst ones, I found, were when I lived with people I was already friends with. One of them I lived with twice, the first time when we were not already friends and again after we were. Because of how it went much better with her the first time, I have developed a theory:
Chore and Common Curtsey Relativity

Non-friend Roommates:
At first...
tiptoe around each other
overly polite
only responsible for self 

Over time...
become friends by hanging out 
forgo pleasantries
share responsibilities
continue to be friends

Friend Roommates:
preconceived ideas of what responsibilities are, probably never discussed and conflicting
expect more slack from roommate
feel they can do whatever they want

Over time...
Stop making time to hang out because you "see each other all the time"
conflicting ideas of responsibilities become exponentially irritating
displeasure is magnified
lack of pleasantries becomes rude and is taken as an attack and insult
cease to be friends

Moral of this story: Friends make the worst roommates.


  1. I just typed a really long reply, and it got eaten. Let's see if I can replicate it....

    I have a totally different experience with roommates. My freshman year I lived with one of my best friends and by the end we were closer than ever. We still talk a lot, and I wish we lived together this year. She lives by herself now. Boy, am I jealous. I shared this post with her because I think she'll enjoy the pictures. This year I am living with a friend, a semi-nice person being controlled by an evil demon who I also live with. We have had so many problems we have had several meetings with management. We're not allowed in the common area/kitchen after ten! At first I was really against it, but then I came to really like when ten came because they're the only ones to use the common area. I hide in my room. This year I always do my dishes right away, because it's just the respectful thing to do. I let them build up a little last year, but on the counter, not in the sink. This year they wait until both sinks are overflowing with dishes before even considering to do them. Then they move to paper plates so they don't have to! I've asked them to put them on the counter and to leave at least one sink empty, but apparently that's too much to ask.

    This semester I actually took a medical withdraw and am currently living back home (while still paying rent up there, $570 a month! ugh). We think a big part of why I had to was my hostile living environment. I guess coming home every day to such confinement/fear really hurt me. Next year I'm living with three random roommates. I guess I'll see how that works out.

    1. I wish you luck! I suspect it will be better than this year but you can never tell.

      I have one roommate who we started and ended as friends and now I'm going to be in her wedding but we also only lived together for one semester. Who knows if our friendship would have gotten better or worse if it were for a whole year!

  2. The nice thing about my college roommate/now best friend is that we both knew before we moved in together that neither one of us wanted to do the other's chores. For me, it's because I hated doing my own chores, for him, it was because he'd never had a sibling and never had to. It actually made things work out really well.

  3. Generally guys have less trouble than girls do being roommates. Unless you pick/end up with one that is a huge slob. It didn't occur to me to mention that these observations were specific to female-only roommate combinations. Girls are the WORST and I can say that because I'm one of them. My two male roommates have been the best roommates I've had. I refuse to ever have another girl roommate. Ever.