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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student

Real-life odd couple

Three and a half years ago, I would never have guessed that the girl I’d be sharing an apartment with right now would be the same girl I shared a room with freshman year.

I would never have guessed that we would live together (or at least next door to each other) for all four years of college.

But life has a way of surprising you like that.

We were randomly assigned to live together in Read Center for our freshman year. I had moved in a day early, so I waited anxiously on my lofted bed for my roommate to show up.

I knew very little about her – just that she was from Chicago and we had a few classes
together. I wasn’t sure how well we’d get along, because on paper, it seems we shouldn’t.

Despite being a part of the same Freshman Interest Group, our interests were starkly different.

She is a business major. I’m in journalism.

She can do magical things with an Excel spreadsheet. I’d much rather be editing audio clips.

Last night, I had roasted spaghetti squash with sauteed vegetables for dinner. She had crab rangoon.

She lives for the Chicago Bears. I bleed for the Cleveland Browns.

She is immaculately neat, with a perfectly made bed each morning. I keep my door closed in the morning so my room isn’t embarrassed to be near hers.

We shouldn’t make good roommates.

But somehow, we’ve made it work and have managed to stay close through four different living situations.

In May, when we move out of our apartment for good, we will probably never be roommates again, and I’m dreading saying that goodbye. But hopefully I’ve learned some strategies to make my next living experience just as fantastic.

As you prepare to step outside of campus housing, follow these tips to make sure you and your roommates are still on speaking terms by the time the lease runs out.

Take responsibility. I know when I’ve made a mess in the kitchen or when the contents of my book bag seem to have spewed projectiles around the living room, and I always know it’s my responsibility to clean that up.

Though that seems obvious, it’s easy to lose track of messes between classes, work and everything else. Take ownership of what you’ve done. Then, take care of it.

Take turns. We have an unspoken agreement — if I take out the trash this time, she’ll get it the next time. The same goes for the dishwasher and cleaning up the bathroom. It’s much easier when we both take the time to care for common areas.

Take some space. When you live with your best friends, the temptation to spend all your time together is potent. But if you don’t spend some time apart, you’ll be miserable by the time midterms roll around.

There is such a thing as spending too much time together, and you don’t want to hit that wall early in the year. My roommate spends time with her boyfriend, and I’m often off with my friends that I’ve met through the Indiana Daily Student. Don’t feel guilty for doing your own thing.

Take time to enjoy yourselves. We developed a ritual this year. Since we’re both steadfast NFL fans, we try to at least watch part of the Sunday night game together.
We swap stories from our weekends, pick at our respective dinners and vent about how inappropriately heavy our workloads are for the week.

And we talk about how much we hate the Packers, Vikings, Steelers and Patriots.
We might be nearly opposites, but at the end of the day we are able to appreciate one another's differences and relish the similarities we do share.

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