The buzz and excitement that comes every year of deciding where to live and who to live with is part of the college experience. But the question of who to live with and if living with your best friend really is a good idea may cross many peoples’ minds.
What do you do when you have to decide between living with your best friend or an acquaintance? Well, you should draw upon other peoples’ experiences and their “been-there-done-that” advice.
I personally have never lived with my best friend and do not plan on doing so. I have never experienced bad roommate incidents and have always kept my home in peaceful tranquility. Countless horror stories have outweighed the positive success stories by a landslide. I cannot recount how many times I have seen the best of two or more friends have a happy go-lucky relationship until they start living together.
A victim of this situation, Jane*, describes her relationship with her current roommate and ex-best friend.
“Friends require much more attention than family,” she said. “Family you will always care about no matter what, but for friends, you have to care for their needs and their feelings 24/7.”
Despite the fact that neither of them changed fundamentally, Jane wasn’t prepared to spend all of her time with her former best friend and current roommate.
“She’s not any different before or after, nothing’s different,” Jane said. “It was just easier to hang out with her before because I had control and would regulate when I wanted to hang out. But after we’re living together, she’d have this expectation that we’d always hang out.”
Another fatal friendship casualty, Jennifer*, agreed.
“I never expected the cliché to come true, but unfortunately it has,” she said. “Living with my best friend of four years seemed ideal and an unquestionable thing to do during my first year in college.”
You may be surprised to find that hanging out with a person everyday is completely different than actually living with him or her. Since you have to see that person every day, you’ll eventually feel the desire to be anywhere but with your “best friend.”
“I’ve come to realize, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been best friends for five years, ten years, or two months. Problems are bound to happen,” Jennifer said. “When tensions start [to build], any minor behavior will become extremely distinguishable and trigger your resentment. That’s when you decide, ‘maybe, I didn’t know this person as well as I thought.’”
Call me a pessimist, but realistically speaking, the excitement of living with your favorite person in the world will soon wear off. In the end, you will come to realize that your favorite person is just a human being who comes with his or her own individual baggage. I definitely acknowledge the success stories and the possibility of living peacefully with your best friend, but you don’t find many of those situations compared to the numerous situations that have gone wrong.
Jennifer would have made a different roommate choice if she had known how different it would be to live with her best friend as opposed to just spend time with her.
“I would’ve kept my distance by not living with my best friend and instead, made it a habit to catch up with her once a week,” she said. “That way we not only have something to look forward to, but we would preserve our friendship in a way that gives us more to talk about.”
As the month of housing situations are quickly approaching, this article is for anyone who is debating if you should or should not live with your best friend. Just keep this advice in mind: it’s better to take the safe road and keep your relationship with your best friend rather than risk it and lose it.
*names are changed due to privacy
Photo By: Rosana Liang