Caroline and I met freshman year of high school, during band camp. It was clear by the end of that year that the two of us were on our way to becoming best friends. We sing together in an indie folk band, she drives me around everywhere, I make mac and cheese for her after bad days of school, we invite ourselves over to each others houses. When people see me alone, they ask where Caroline is, and vice versa.
So when Caroline told me she wanted to go to Appalachian State, seven hours away from my first choice school, Ohio University, it was immediately heartbreaking. I started planning for what that would mean for us: all the FaceTime calls we would have, finding places that were halfway between the two schools, planning care packages I would send to her. She was accepted into the school before I was accepted to OU, and I gave up hope that we would be going to college together.
Then, I got a call in the middle of the night from her, telling me she hadn’t been accepted into the program she wanted, and that she would settle for her second choice, my school. My heart broke for her, but at the same time I was thrilled that we would get to be together.
Now for the entirety of my junior and senior years, advice about the ‘do’s and dont's’ were thrown at me by everyone from my parents to people from my church. The one that was the most common was the warning that rooming with a friend was a bad idea. I hadn’t really thought about it up until the point when I knew we would be at the same place, and my first instinct was to ignore it completely. Caroline is my best friend, my person, a sister to me. We would have the cutest dorm room ever because of our mutual tastes, I could cook all the time, she could help me find cute things to wear, and we would get to see each other all the time. What reasons did what have to not room together?
Fast forward to Caroline’s audition. She’s a music major, which means she has to audition to get into the program she wants. I went with her to support her, and on the way down we talked about the rooming situation. We had both been barraged by advice to not room together, including from parents. In fact, my mother had cited the time Caroline had stayed over for a whole weekend, and how sick of each other we were by the end. See, Car and I may have similar traits, like our tendency to be messy and our love of pasta, but for the most part we are total opposites. She is more social then me, and gets annoyed by my antics very easily. I like alone time and get stressed out when people seem annoyed with me. There are many more differences, but those were the ones that mattered in this case. We fight over little things, like one of us having an attitude with the other, or mean comments that are meant to be jokes but that hit a nerve. We love each other, but we suck at co-existing.
At some point on that trip, we got in a fight. I forget what it was over, probably something about driving, but it was a wake up call to the two of us. We might be best friends, but if we fight over so many little things and if our personalities conflict, we might not be best friends by the end of our freshman year. We both decided without really talking about it that we would find different roommates.
With two months to go and rooms already assigned, I still haven’t talked to my roommate. Caroline and her roommate just met each other at orientation this past week. We aren’t in the same building, but we are neighbors. We’re already planning to start a band once we get to OU. There are times that I regret not deciding to room together, because the waiting to hear from my roommate situation is stressful, and it still seems like a lot of fun. But it’s all worth it if it means we get to stay best friends.
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