You’re graduating within the month and one Saturday night, walking back from a Bon Voyage party, your best college friend starts waxing poetical about how much she/he is going to miss you. If she’s a fellow womanhood sister, there are probably a few tears involved. If he’s a dude, maybe you shotgun a beer and belch in unison. Then, one of you says it: you should move somewhere and live together! It seems like the best idea since the merging of breakfast + lunch = brunch!
Well, amigos, be sure to re-evaluate that collegiate day dream once you’ve sobered up; living with friends has either strengthened or totally destroyed many a friendship. Do you have similar cleanliness standards? A.K.A. is having dishes in the sink but no crumbs on the couch clean for you? Maybe your friend expects the floor to be shining like the bald head of the guy on the front of the Spic ‘N’ Span bottle. Just be sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons and not just because you’re scared to live with potential strangers.
Three good friends of mine from home all ended up in New York post graduation and they were determined to live together. But. . .they couldn’t afford NYC rent, so they ended up having to settle for a 5 bedroom with two friends of friends in Washington Heights — not the best of neighborhoods, though certainly not the worst. These are issues that happened:
Action: One girl dated a guy the other two HATED. They refused to talk to him when he was in the apt and kept telling their friend how much he sucked.
Effect: They stopped being friends for about 4 months until the couple eventually broke up.
Level of Friendship Strain: 9
Action: One girl decided to move back to Chicago although the lease wasn’t up.
Effect: The other two girls had to live with a stranger they didn’t like — and who reneged on her rent.
Level of Friendship Strain: 6.5
Action: The girls became less social because they had each other for company without leaving their apartment.
Effect: When 2/3 had left NYC, the other felt like she had few other friends.
Level of Friendship Strain: 0, but generally stinky.
Does it seem like I’m biased against not living with your BFF? Well, it’s probably because I know from experience that roommates are a dime a dozen. Good friends, meanwhile, are hard to replace!