I entered college four years ago with the intent to find my best friends from my random roommate placements at Iowa State. I began college with the stereotypical view of many nights sharing a futon and laughing with a Cosmopolitan spread over our laps, pointing at all the sex tips that we’d secretly never try but daring each other to do. We’d go on walks together around campus and stick by each others’ sides while hanging at a party. We’d hold each others’ hair while we puked from the party we went to and my roomie would climb into my bed in the morning only for me to recall her crazy night she now doesn’t remember and laugh about all the dumb boys we encountered. We’d wipe each others’ tears when a boy broke our heart and we’d plot a revenge we’d more than likely get arrested for.
Well to be blunt, I never found that roommate. Sure, I had a best friend and we shared so many drunken nights we didn’t remember, laughs over sex tips, and tears over stupid boys, but it never lasted long enough. We never shared a poptart hangover breakfast together or borrowed each other’s clothes or talked until we fell asleep in our gross dorm bunks. So after two years of failed attempts at random roommates at Iowa State, I rented a one-bedroom apartment in West Ames secluded from the hustle and bustle, noise, and bitchy roommates. I tucked myself into a corner by myself and shielded myself with a wall. I pretty much blocked out everyone who I wasn’t friends with already. It just seemed like the only way to go.
I lived alone for the past nine months prior to moving to New York City and before that had only lived with roommates I’d rather stab than talk to on a daily basis. After such bad luck with the co-habitants, I gave up on illusion that those ideal roommates were even out there and the feeling of wanting to live with someone else. I thought I’d rather be alone than put up with someone else in my living space… basically I made up excuses as to why I wanted to live alone. Some were valid and some were just me protecting myself.
New York has changed my perspective. I no longer want to be secluded. I no longer feel as if no one can put up with me. I no longer feel as if I’m “too much” for some people. Sure, I can be a lot to handle sometimes, well, most of the time. But my roommates in New York can handle it. Des is almost an equal to my craziness and volume. It’s nice to feel at home with random roommates. No, we don’t climb into bed with each other in the morning to talk about dumb boys, partially because our beds are an extra-long twin and partially because we don’t have time for boys… especially dumb ones. Living with these roommates are not all those stereotypical things I listed in the first paragraph, but we click.
We click for different reasons one can only assume such as, 1) We have the same career interests (publishing), 2) We are all living in NYC for the first time and want to experience it all, and 3) We are all enduring the same intense, slightly long days of class. I’m sure I drive them nuts sometimes… in fact, I know I do. I’m loud. But when I think I’ve been too loud, Des tops my volume from the other room. It’s OK now. I haven’t changed who I am, and I don’t think they expect me to.
I’ve never been happier in my life than on those days of moving out of college apartments, away from the bitchy roommates. Here, I know once July 17 comes and we are forced out of our NYC apartment, I’ll be crying and hoping this isn’t goodbye. I’ve lived here for 10 days and already I know I’ve found three life-long friends. Those same friends I was looking for four years ago.