I still remember that first night freshman year of college. Falling asleep in a dorm room with my first real roommate! We were giddy. It was like a slumber party every night!
Since moving away from home six years ago, I have lived with 19 (!) different girls. Some years I got to hand-pick them. Other times someone was just filling an empty room. Sometimes I was the one filling the empty room!
I love having roommates, and I love it for more than the obvious cheapening of rent or sharing dishes duty. Here are some reasons why:
1. It’s fun!
Even in my “grown up life,” it still feels like I get to have a slumber party every night sometimes! What’s not to like about that? Also, when we want to watch a movie together, there is rarely eye-rolling about it being another chick flick. We appreciate crafty things in the house, and even craft together- just for fun! These are the things I feel like I need to soak up.
2. Built-in Accountability.
This has not happened in every living situation, or even with every roommate. Still, if I announce I’m not eating chocolate, or want to run more, it gets difficult to hide if they watch me break my own rules. In deeper roommate relationships, the accountability is deeper too. It gets harder and harder to keep strict accountability with my best friends that live in other states, but I share a bathroom with a roommate now who cares for my heart and asks the right intentional questions.
3. Learn how others live.
Remember that first roommate you had that organized the dishes wrong in the dishwasher? Then you realized it worked better than the system you grew up with? That is what I’m talking about here. Growing up in one house, with one system of doing things is great. Until you realize you thought that was the only way to do something! Some roommates kept all their junk in the living room, and did not see that as an issue. Others mopped the floors every week. Yes, they are little things, but even small perspective changes help broaden my horizons. It has to start somewhere!
4. Rejoice & Mourn.
With friends and family, we learn how to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to mourn with those who mourn. It’s different with roommates. Roommates know the tiniest details- they celebrate the tiniest victories, they mourn the tiniest setbacks. They hear the random embarrassments or the “can you believe it?” moments we forget to tell others. This is a sweet gift, and a sweet lesson.
I see having roommates like having “practice time” before having my own family. The lessons I learn in this season have been so huge in my own growth and walk with the Lord. I never want to live alone. I would hate to miss these daily lessons and reminders!
((pretend it says “roommates” instead of “friends.” Both are true! credit))
Of course, all of these lessons come with the assumption roommates actually speak to one another. If they just head straight to the bedroom after walking in the door, without even a simple “anything exciting happen today?” then what’s the point? Take a roommate challenge. Cook a meal together. Too much? Chocolate chip cookies. Good things always happen with chocolate chip cookies.