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ORIENTATION: COLUMN: Believe it or not, it's okay to not get along with your roommates

Most people go into college hoping to find a life long best friend in their freshman year roommate. But, that doesn't always happen and that's okay.

My freshman year, I thought I found my perfect roommate on the Schools App. We texted each other almost daily and even met up to shop for our dorm before move-in.  

We had a suitemate, neither of us had met, but I wasn't worried about it because I knew I could rely on my roommate. 

Sadly, as soon as classes began, I realized I was wrong. The two girls had teamed up against me and made our suite a living hell for me. They used my candor about some of my past mental health struggles and current anxiety against me, even reporting falsities to the university.

I cried more in those next two weeks than ever before. There I was two hours away from home, all alone, waiting for the mandatory two weeks of the semester to pass so I could begin my search for new roommates.

The Central Michigan University Residence Life Policy states, “Approved space changes may take place beginning the third week of the semester (after two full weeks of classes).”

A month and over 20 room tours later, I had made my final decision and all that was left was for me to pack and move. A week later, I was officially out of my dorm room and completely settled into my new one. After less than a day in the new room I had chosen, my mood was already lifted. 

Instead of dreading going home, I only dreaded having to a new roommate for the following school since they were all sophomores and planning to live off campus in the fall. I signed up for a room in Northwest Apartments so just in case I had an awful roommate, I would at least have my own room.

When I moved in August, I was so lucky. My roommate and I got along so well, I was amazed. The only catch was she was done on campus in December. 

As my new roommate, a transfer student, moved in and January, I was terrified it wouldn't go well. Luckily, I knew I only had to finish the semester and in the fall I would be living with my new friends and could always count on them if I need to escape her.

Although we had different lifestyles, we co-existed perfectly, we just weren't best friends.

Now, I live off-campus with four amazing roommates. They were all lucky enough to be randomly assigned to each other our freshman year and become best friends, it was like out of a movie. After I met one of them in class, we became friends and she introduced me to her roommates, the rest is history.

I almost transferred at the end of my freshman year fall semester, now I can't imagine not being at CMU. I learned that you can't let bad roommates ruin your college experience.

Finding good roommates sometimes take multiple tries, it's just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. At first I couldn't find the right room, and then I looked at my options and found the best fit for me.

Leaving home and trying to navigate a university is terrifying no matter, I can't even imagine having to do so during a worldwide pandemic. Just don't forget, you deserve to be comfortable in your own home. If you don't, it's okay to work with Residence Life and look at your options.

Alan Jones, associate director of the Office of Residence Life, said that although room transferring procedures aren't completely set yet and won't be the same as usual, students in bad roommate situations will still have the opportunity to change dorms.

So many people have had bad roommate experiences. No matter how we handle them, these situations really do end up impacting us in major ways.

The stress of taking care of myself, all the homework, extra activities and adjusting to college life were already too much to handle, let alone the negative experience from my roommates. Now, I have the support of my roommates during a bad day and people who will care about what I accomplish and what happens to me.

Not only am I happier in my room, my grades are better and every part of me just feels lighter because I am now able to be myself. 

In the end, I am glad I didn’t transfer. I now have some great roommates and although I won’t be living with them next year, I know that no matter what next year brings, I will have them.