Rooming with friends

Many high school students are warned that being college roommates with your friends from high school leads to drama and ultimately ruins relationships, but is it true?

Alex Rynard, a freshman at Florida Gulf Cost University, has seen this happen firsthand.

"I met one of my roommates at an FGCU open house last February, and she had a friend from high school that is our third. Honestly, we had a rocky start where she stole our food and we had a few other issues with her, but now she never comes home, so we don't have any more issues. They were not 'best friends' in high school, but they were friends and I would say that their friendship is now ruined," Rynard said.

Katherine Wroth, a junior at the University of Central Florida, has a similar story.

"My two current roommates have been best friends since babies. As of now, they can't stand each other and regret moving in. They were apart for the first two years of high school, and they are now both very different people. Now they have trouble reconciling their differences because they were friends at a young age and are now very different," Wroth said.

Despite what she's seen, Wroth advises that freshman room with a familiar face.

"I think it's best to choose roommates that are friends from high school in the beginning, at least. Letting the school choose your roommates can really be a hit or miss. I think it's best to be with girls you know, then when you meet more people, venture out," Wroth said.

Rynard gives the opposite advice.

"I would not [room with your friends] because I would say that nine times out of 10 you will ruin your friendship. You learn things living with people that you wouldn't previously know, for example, how messy they are or their sleeping habits. Also, rooming with your friends kind of gives you an excuse to not get out and make new friends. If I was rooming with my best friend, I wouldn't be as willing to go out and meet new people," Rynard said.

Alex Benitez, a freshman at the University of Florida, chose not to room with a friend, but said success depends on the strength of the friendship.

"Everyone is different and so are the relationships. The good thing is you can always get a new roommate the following year. Ultimately, it is a case-by-case thing, but there's definitely a better chance of success if the friendship is strong," Benitez said.

If you do choose to room with a friend, Rynard advises setting boundaries before you move in to keep the drama at bay.

"I would suggest that you set rules right from the beginning about cleaning habits, guest policy, and quiet study hours. I would also suggest that if you do get in an argument to get a mediator, like your RA. They are great at helping solve problems, that's what they're there for," she said.

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