The Daily Illini

Keep an open mind about living with someone new

Back to Article
Back to Article

Keep an open mind about living with someone new

By Karen Liu, News Editor

We’ve all heard the stories. The horror stories of showing up to college with the dreams and hopes of starting the best time of your life, only to find out you are randomly paired with a roommate who makes your life a living hell.

It was stories like these that cast a shadow over the otherwise joyous day when it was finally my turn to pick out the dorm I would spend my freshman year in.

As I scoured through the half-filled double rooms, I realized I have never shared a room with anyone in my life. And the prospect of sharing my personal space with a complete stranger made me anxious about what I will be facing in the near future.

I spent hours looking through the names of people who could be my future roommate, hoping to find a clue that would point to the right decision.

Time jumped ahead a few months to when I finally arrived on campus. I was both excited and nervous to meet the person behind the name I eventually decided on.

My roommate walked in, all dressed in colorful summer clothing. She held out her hand with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen and said, “Hi, my name is Anna.”

It felt as if a huge rock that had been hanging slowly fell back into place in my stomach over the next few days, as I learned more and more about my new roommate Anna. Not only have we bonded over common interests and dislikes, but we also formed a relationship that can only be built over sharing our intimate living space.

It didn’t take long before Anna and I became inseparable. Until this day, even though we no long live together, she is still one of my best friends in college, and my freshman year would have lost a lot of hearty laughs and late-night talks without her.

I lucked out with Anna, but I understand the roommate experience can vary greatly from person to person. However, don’t let the idea of living with a stranger get in your way of enjoying the dorm life.

While most of us are used to having our own rooms, and each of us will bring with us our own living habits, the lesson of how to get along with strangers who are different from what we are used to is an important one. It might not be easy, but it will be worth the time.

Besides, it’s only a year.

Karen is a junior in Media.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871