When choosing a roommate for your first year away at college, many people will consider living with a friend from high school. Perhaps the friend is your best friend or perhaps it’s someone you think you’ll get along with. Either way, living with someone you know offers you that sense of comfort of knowing that you’re still connected to home in case you get homesick. It also might prevent a lot of the awkwardness of meeting a new roommate.
But do you end up missing out on the college experience of meeting new people by living with someone you already know? Here’s how to decide if rooming with your high school friends is the best choice for you:
LIVING WITH A NEW ROOMMATE
When you live with someone who you’ve never met before, you definitely take a gamble on how well you two (or more, if you’re in a triple or a quad) will get along. Many roommates get along incredibly well and end up best friends, others simply co-exist, and some hate each other and clash.
However, when meeting a new roommate, your social circle expands. If you two hang out together, you begin to share friends, and you meet many people you otherwise would not have. You’re also exposed to new ways of life, whether through sharing different cultures, coming from a different area, or having different tastes.
Even if you don’t live with a high school friend, you can always hang out with them around school when you guys want. Granted, you won’t see them quite as much, but at least you won’t be forced to be around them when you don’t feel like it.
If you’re looking to really branch out in college, living with someone new is probably the best choice to make.
LIVING WITH A HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND
Living with a high school friend is usually fine. Many people claim that living with somebody you already know really limits you socially, but this isn’t always true. If you lock yourselves up in your room or only hang out with other people from your high school, you definitely won’t branch out as much and you will miss out. However, if you two go out and socialize, you two already make up the beginning of a social group, and other people can gravitate towards you, expanding your circle of friends.
However, living together can strain some friendships. Two girls I knew in high school who were best friends lived together their freshman year and ended up mortal enemies. Just because you’re best friends doesn’t mean you’re compatible to live together. Make sure you two are compatible as roommates.
If you’re the homesick type, living with someone you already know is probably the best choice — it helps ease the homesickness a lot. You can still make friends, but you’ll have the comforts of home near you.
MAKING THE CHOICE
Personally, I lived with someone new my first year and it really paid off. I’ve also met others who have lived with people they were friends with in high school and who really enjoyed it as well. Most students will live with someone new.
All in all it comes down to what you really want your college experience to be like. If you’re looking to start fresh, don’t live with somebody you know, but if you and your best friend want to experience college together, then by all means, do so.