The One About Roommates - University of Valley Forge

The One About Roommates

The One About Roommates


You know the nightmare you have? The one in which you go off to college, meet your roommate, and find out they’re crazy? No? Just me? Well this is awkward…

Anywho, even if you don’t have nightmares about a nutty roommate, finding out who you’re going to live with for the next four years can be a bit daunting. To help you out, allow me to share a little about my experience and give you some survival tips.

My freshman year was riddled with uncertainty. I hopped off a plane in Newark, New Jersey and once I hit campus I started the orientation tango. Run here, sign there, grab this, say cheese, listen up! It was all quite hectic.

Amongst the chaos, I looked around at the other girls trying to figure out which one of them could be my roommate. I was nervous. What if she doesn’t like my music? What if she’s super dirty and never cleans up after herself? What if she has a problem with my ethnicity or culture? All these thoughts swirled in my head but I didn’t get distressed. Why? I’m glad you asked. I didn’t freak out because of my mother – she’s a praying woman.

Tip #1: Pray

You may have heard this before by someone speaking Christianese: “Pray about it.” Praying about your roommate(s) is one of the most vital things you can do. It prepares your heart for what may come. Don’t stress, God’s got it under control.

I met my first roommate, a young Hispanic girl in love with dance and music. When we met for the first time in our dorm, she was playing Andy Mineo and I said to myself, “Praise Jesus.” We engaged in the expected formalities and as we spoke more, we both breathed a sigh of relief. God did something wonderful. To this day, she is still a treasured friend.

Tip #2: “Can you hear me now?” (Communication) 

No one can read minds. As much as we’d like to believe we have superpowers, engaging in healthy communication is important. How will your roommate(s) know you can’t sleep with the window open? Or that you were saving that snickers for later? You must be willing to speak up in love. Teach and learn. Maya Angelou said, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

My second semester, I had a new roommate. This roommate would stay with me all four years. By the grace of God, I got to experience the perks of rooming with your best friend. We’d hear about roommate issues and chuckle to ourselves because we knew God had truly blessed us. No one wants to live at odds. We survived because we were patient, flexible, and forgiving.

Tip #3: “Let it go! Let it go!” (Patience, Flexibility, Forgiveness) 

Your roommate(s) are not you. They have their own likes, dislikes, and ways of thinking. It takes effort to get along with someone who seems so different. The most important thing is learning to be patient. Don’t get upset too quickly. Learn to be flexible. Ok, so you like to blast music around the time they’ve chosen to study? Be flexible enough to find a middle ground. Finally, learn to forgive. You will hurt and be hurt but Christ died and rose again to enable us to forgive and love those around us. “It’s easy to love you, because the image of God is stamped so beautifully on your life, that it’s not hard.” -Dr. JoAnn Smith

You can do it. I believe in you.


Written by Deborah Phillips