Roommate relationships: From strangers to soulmates

24Jun 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Roommate relationships: From strangers to soulmates

Over my first three years at the College of Business Education Dar es Salaam campus, I found myself with 12 random roommates having different roommates each year.

It sounds kind of obscene, but before you ask—no, I’m not a bad roommate besides not really loving that college culture of carrying each other as we termed it.The hospitality game where a student sells a side of the bed to another just of the sake of helping out a sister or a brother.

You know how challenging it is to study from home with traffic difficulties and transport expenses.Despite the relief a study from home student gets in relation to how much she or he spends on food which is just a lunch budget while the rest is consumed at home,their are still different difficulties a study from home student faces.

With that said,the hospitality game made my room feel like a market place at times, but the near-constant stream of new roommates each year actually gave me stories to tell literally!.

Like me, other college students often find themselves with a random roommate. Whether you matched with a student through the housing and selection or you found someone on the first day of orientation whatever but living with someone you don’t know happens all the time in college.

It sounds like a terrifying prospect, and it can be (I could tell some stories…), but most of the time, if you really try, random roommates work out just fine. One thing I learned amidst my countless randoms is that random roommates can teach you how to get along with just about anyone.

In my first year I lived in of three different hostel rooms and as a result, I roomed with seven different people my first year of college. (Side note: I am still convinced that communal bathrooms came from the mind of a building constructor who hates college students.)

Living with some of those roommates challenged my patience and sanity, but some became fast friends. I think the difference lays in my approach. Remember: You hold the power to make your random roommate story a disaster or one that starts a friendship.

Sometimes life sticks you with someone who seems destined to be your BFF, but it doesn’t always work that way. “Don’t be shy about starting a conversation or making plans, especially during the first few weeks.

They might not be the first to speak up, but once you find some common ground everything gets easier,” said UF senior Sonata Valaitis. Make an effort. If both of you decide to be shy, you’ll never get to know each other, and you could miss out on building a bond with an awesome person. You won’t know until you try.

If you manage to make the first move and initiate conversation, you’re off to a great start. You can’t throw in the towel there though. Showing interest in what matters to the other person helps bond people together.

If she absolutely loves Vanessa Mdee, riding alongside Morogoro road with every evening , ask her why. “I’ve always had random roommates, and I couldn’t be more different than all of them. Yet I’ve learned that I have a lot of things in common with them, or even that I enjoy things I never thought I would,”

“My roomies got me into exercising and sports. I learned a lot about video games and different apps and then when I want, they watch the gossip girls with me.”

While becoming friends with randoms sometimes requires that you each explain yourselves a bit, other times it happens without trying. I remember in my first year I roomed with a girl who kept to herself for the first couple of months (and so did I), but once we talked we became really great friends.

We even ended up doing some business together in the hostel buildings because we made really great roommates. Sometimes you just get lucky.

As with any human relationship communication is key for a happy and flourishing environment, you can’t really expect to live with someone and expect anything to get done if you don’t talk to them.

If you’re friendly with your roomies, it will be a lot easier to talk to them about the pile of dishes they’ve left sitting in the sink for the last week and a half. Conflict resolution comes with living in a shared space, so anything that makes that easier should be at the top of your to-do list.

Through my experiences, I developed a theory: Random roommates come into our lives for a reason. It sounds a little cheesy, but stay with me. Each one of my 12 random roommates taught me something.

My last roomate before I graduated from my three years of college always spends a lot of time in the gym, so I developed good workout habits to date.

Other roommates and I bonded over things like going out to the beach together, ice cream date ,night outs and play video games or just sit around talk about life.

Not every roomate will become your best friend, some come and go (sometimes thankfully and sometimes not), but the ones that you want to stick around you usually do. If you care, just a little bit, they probably will too.College roomates are sometimes hell but you could be just lucky enough.