BOSTON–Roommates are more than the people you live with; they are an essential part of the college experience. Whether it is in a dorm or an off-campus apartment, they have the potential to the best of friends, or at the very least laundry night partner. But, for many college students a dream living situation can turn into a nightmare as financial, social and work-related stress mounts over the semester.
Living with someone is typical for college students. In the United States alone, most young adults spend at least a year living with roommates after leaving home for the first time. The popularity of roommates is reflected in pop culture including movies and television programs such as “Greek,” which all emphasize the notion that roommates are best friends and partners in crime.
Most of the country’s universities even require first-year students to live in on-campus residence halls, and share a dorm room with a same-sex roommate. The idea is to provide incoming freshmen with a built-in social network for everything from exploring campus, joining clubs, or just going to restaurants. Studies have found that a good relationship with a roommate affects grades, study style, social behavior, and personality productivity. “Right now my grades are on point, and my social life is thriving and I think I owe most of that to having a little 13×11 room I can call my home away from home,” says one Georgia Tech freshman, who credits his roommate for getting him comfortable on campus. Continue reading