BFF: The age-old term we coined in middle school and scribbled all over the yearbooks of our 12-year-old counterparts. With them, any amount of time can pass and things will still be the same (or so we said at that age when nothing lasts forever, even though we thought our acne and awkwardness would).
The term carries a little more weight now than it did when we would so flittingly say it at recess, and it means one thing: Best Friends Forever.
Don’t let it turn into BFFS: Best Friends For Semester.
Following high school graduation, students often opt to leave their hometown in the rear view mirror and venture out into the “real world,” also known as college. However, starting anew isn’t always as easy as that inspirational (and cliché) graduation speech once made it seem.
College is scary, and it’s easiest to conquer when you have someone by your side. A silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.
OK, so we could probably survive college without Batman as a sidekick, as awesome as that would be, but it’s definitely easier to calm the nerves with your best gal or bro by your side.
One of the very first things a student has to do after being accepted to college is apply for housing. This includes the student’s preferences of where they would like to live, what kind of meal plan they would like and the ever looming question: Should I go random, or should I live with my best friend?
I’ve heard horror story after horror story about people going to the same college as their best friend and choosing to cohabitate in the dorms with them, only to never speak to them again once freshman year is over.
Some may take this opportunity to flaunt their He’s Just Not That into You wisdom and say that this is the rule. However, being a fan of Gigi and her eternal hope, I would like to argue that this is the exception.
It is possible to live with your best friend and still be best friends afterward. How do I know? I did it for a year, and I’m getting ready to do it for another.
Now, I’ve strung you along long enough, so I’m going to give you my secrets.
Step 1: Communicate
Communication is key. Up until now, you’ve probably had numerous sleepovers and all-day marathons of The Hills or Shark Week (that’s what guys like, right?). But none of this really gives you insight to how the other person actually lives. Because of this, you might have to have the awkward conversation asking your bestie to clean her makeup or hair off the sink, or do something with his dirty clothes that haven’t seen a washing machine in weeks. These talks are important. If you never tell your roommate that things are bothering you, you’ll just find more and more reasons to be annoyed with them until you’re begging your RA to let you move out at the end of the semester.
Step 2: Find yourself
I don’t mean this in the inspirational “go soul-searching” kind of way. I simply mean to branch out and do things for you. You’re living with your best friend; there’s no need to be in all the same clubs, have all the same friends and go to all the same parties. I promise you will not become strangers if you decide to join the Spanish club and they decide to go Greek. Having different friends and separate interests will help with a very important thing when it comes to living with a friend: You won’t get sick of each other.
If you’re worried about never spending time with them, set up a roomie night where you drink wine (if you’re old enough, of course) and watch movies or go to a sports bar and catch the game.
Step 3: Be respectful
If you’re having reservations about living with someone else, especially if you’re an only child or have siblings of the opposite sex, my best advice is to be as respectful as you can of someone else’s living space. Being best friends doesn’t make it OK to use their things or eat their food without asking. Lay down ground rules about what is OK to use — my roommates and I would designate specific food when we bought it or certain products we had as being up for grabs. Courtesy is important in any roommate situation, but especially in one with whom you want to continue to have a relationship with after the school year.
Step 4: Don’t burn bridges
If it turns out you really cannot live with your friend, don’t be bitter about it. Some people find that they just can’t live together. It’s OK. If this happens, your best friend shouldn’t become your mortal enemy. Don’t gossip with someone else about your problems and don’t let what happened in a dorm room (barring something totally crazy) have an effect on something that started long before college.
Step 5: Have fun
College is about having fun (and getting good grades, of course). Don’t let the little things bother you. You’ll be experiencing new things with someone who has been by your side through it all. Living with your best friend should ultimately strengthen your relationship, not tear it down.
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