I’m About to Be a Freshman in College. What Can I Do To Prepare to Live With a Roommate I’ve Never Met Before?

Hanna Seymour: Well, first I said, “I’m just so proud of you.” Even if it’s not your choice, which for most of us our freshman year at least, we lived with someone randomly assigned to us. It’s not really our choice.

Michelle Ankerberg: Right.

Hanna Seymour: But I’m still proud. I’m proud of you for doing this, for taking this step. This is so counter-cultural. We live in a world where it’s all about me. It’s what I want and it’s trying to find the most comfort possible. I want to live comfortably. And living with a stranger, living with anyone in a teeny tiny room is it going to be uncomfortable at times. So, you know, I think more than anything just remembering it doesn’t matter if you are living with an angel or someone that is going to drive you crazy every day. It’s going to be difficult because you’re living in a small room with someone that’s not you.

Michelle Ankerberg: Right. Exactly!

Hanna Seymour: And so, it’s going to be a challenge. But it’s a great challenge. The things that you learn if you will press into your roommate conflicts, it will mature you and grow you beyond maybe anything in college.

Michelle Ankerberg: Right, yes. And I know being an only child I looked forward to college, you know, because I thought, oh good. I get to have sisters now in the room, you know. Not knowing what I was going to face. And, you know, I went to a small Christian college and we could have up to four girls in a room, you know. So, you’re thinking, it’s not just me and another person, it’s four of us in there who have never lived together. And, you know, how are we going to handle the situations and problems that arise? And so you talk a little bit about that. So what are some of the problems that girls, when you are living with a stranger, experience?

Hanna Seymour: OK Well, as you said, we’re we’re living in a tiny space with one, two, three, four other folks that we’ve never met before. So not just personality conflicts, but a lot of times I find the most generic conflict is just a night owl versus a morning person. So, we have different schedules. We have different things we want to use our room for. Some of us want to use our room just for socializing. Others want to use our room for studying. So, the idea of interacting with someone that’s different from you, whose bed is literally feet away, who might want to go to sleep at 8 p.m. or stay awake until 2 a.m., all of those things can bring tension into that room.