I was one of two students from my high school’s graduating class attending UNC. Unlike many of my friends who were going to the same college, I didn’t have a lot of options for a roommate. So I turned to Facebook.
I talked to dozens of rising freshmen and ultimately decided to live with a girl who I had almost too much in common with to be true. We had similar habits, preferences, and styles, I knew we would be life-long best friends.
Of course, it didn’t turn out that way. When we moved in, we quickly realized we had very different definitions of ‘going to bed early’ and our college lives didn’t match as well as our high school ones. We got in a handful of petty disagreements which was less than ideal, but what was most disappointing was that I’d never get to tell that story of how I met my maid of honor on freshmen move-in day.
Selecting a roommate sophomore year was a situation that felt all too familiar. While most of my friends stuck with their current roommates, I was stranded. But this time, I had a much better sense of what my life was like in college and what it’s like to be a roommate.
I reconnected with a girl I talked to a year before, Victoria. We met up on-campus and decided to live together on a whim. At that point, I was desperate and figured it couldn’t get worse than my current living situation. We didn’t talk much for the rest of the year until officially moving into our North campus shoe box the next August. Given my first experience, I had low expectations for my sophomore year roommate.
But the year started off much better than freshman year, and things only went up from there. In our first few days we went out together and immediately hit it off, even if Victoria did fall down a few stairs that night. The weeks and months that followed were no less chaotic, but that’s not at all how I’ll remember my 2018.
Our sophomore year was filled with crisis, and we somehow seemed to be at the heart of it. But in a way, all of it only brought us closer together. Moments like waiting outside at 3 a.m. because our RA set the fire alarm off trying to make deep fried oreos, watching historic events like the Silent Sam protests and Davie Poplar bombing from our window together, and hiding from the never-ending colonies of wasps that invaded our room are moments that you can’t help but to bond over.
By the time Victoria and I lived together, we both already had found our places at UNC. We both had busy lives and our own friend groups, we didn’t have to spend every waking second together. But at the same time, I knew whenever I had a hard day, I could come home and rant about it to her – and it would make me feel significantly better.
College survival tip #16: Don’t try to force things to fit your perfect college experience. Things will work out eventually if you have patience and let them happen.
Finding my lifelong best friend to do college with may not have happened my first-year, but I think it worked out exactly how it was supposed to. I truly don’t know if I would’ve gotten along as well with Victoria if I had to live with her freshman year when I was still trying to figure out who I was.
Victoria and I have lived together since sophomore year, and it truly kills me to think about finding another roommate next year. These few weeks we’ve spent apart have shown me exactly how hard it is to get through a day without being able to debrief on the couch at home once it’s over.
From our shoe box on North campus to our other, slightly bigger shoe box on MLK, thank you for helping me survive all the ups and downs these past three years. Thank you for all the laughs and tears, the waffles and tots, the Bachelor episodes and TikToks, and everything in between. We’ve made memories to last a lifetime and I know there are many more to come. I can’t imagine doing college without you!