Before and After Feelings About Your Freshman Year Roommate
Another academic year has come and gone, and with that often comes reflections of all that transpired. Particularly if you’ve just finished your freshman year of college, you’re probably looking back on everything that happened this past year, comparing your feelings and first impressions to your current feelings on the classes you took, the friends you made, and even your roommate.
After all, your freshman year roommate is someone special in many regards. Even if you won’t be rooming with the same person come next fall, there are some things you can’t help but reminisce over now that freshman year has come to a close. Read on for some before and after feelings that you may have experienced at some point relating to your freshman year roommate.
Before: You can learn everything about your roommate on social media before you meet them in person. After all, their pictures and announcements of what they’ve done in the past do a pretty good job of showing who they are, right?
After: By the end of the year (and hopefully well before it), you’ll realize that social media doesn’t paint a complete picture of who your roommate truly is. If you take the chance to get to know them, you’ll discover that your roommate is so much more than just their photos on Instagram or the posts they wrote on Twitter several years ago.
Before: There won’t be any conflicts or disagreements between the two of you.
After: You may end up getting along perfectly fine with your roommate, but there are still bound to be some bumps in the road. Maybe you two have drastically different schedules and sleep habits, which can potentially lead to conflict (e.g. if one of you consistently stays up until 3 a.m. while the other person is trying to get some shut-eye). Or perhaps one of you prefers listening to music while studying, and the other person can’t stand it. Thankfully, those minor disagreements can turn into valuable lessons that help you and your roommate figure out how to compromise. By the end of the year, you can hopefully look back on the dynamic between you and your roommate and realize that you were able to turn potential conflict into opportunities for growth and communication.
Before: Getting along with your roommate will be a piece of cake.
After: In some situations, this may be true, especially if you and your roommate happen to click as soon as you meet each other. However, as with most interactions and relationships, getting along well with your roommate requires showing respect and sometimes compromising. It’s always important to listen to your roommate, be honest with him or her, and treat him or her with respect.
Before: Your roommate will be your best friend, and the two of you will stay up late having deep conversations about life, binge on Netflix and ice cream together, and share clothes all the time.
After: Your roommate, quite simply, may or may not be your best friend at the end of the year. It’s easy to go into college thinking that the person you’ll be living with will be your closest companion, but only time and circumstances can tell. In many cases, you and your roommate would probably get along reasonably well and even spend time hanging out and bonding, at least in the beginning. You may end up becoming friends, but not the closest of friends. In some cases, the two of you might not even get along very well. And, in other cases, you may actually become best friends. The beauty of looking at the year in retrospect is that you can look back on the development of your relationship with your roommate and appreciate it for how it turned out, regardless.
Before: You may expect that your roommate will be very similar to you, whether culturally, economically, socially, etc.
After: Your roommate could very well be similar to you in all those ways, and perhaps the likelihood of such similarities is greater depending on the location and type of college you attend. However, in some circumstances, your roommate could turn out to be very different from you or from what you expect. Maybe they are a different ethnicity than you and come from a cultural background that you consider foreign. They could have a different sexual orientation. Or they might even have been raised with a different background and values. Whatever it is, this is a chance to embrace and celebrate your roommate’s differences by accepting them and taking the opportunity to learn more about them.
No matter how you feel about your freshman year roommate then and now, remember that the time you do or don’t spend with them is a chance for growth in many ways.
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