Thoughts on living with your best friend
Johannah Ward | Tuesday, January 28, 2020
During senior year of high school as we all were preparing for college, I remember one of the biggest pieces of advice floating around was to never room with your best friend.
For plenty of people, I am sure this advice is necessary. Being roommates with your best friend can be a shock to the system as you discover new and nasty things about each other’s living habits or grow in separate directions.
Many of my friends and peers struggled with this advice as they all went to big local universities with many friends and acquaintances from high school following their journey to college. As the only person from my graduating class to attend Saint Mary’s, I did not have to worry about the drama of living with high school friends and instead was worried that my tiny single room would prevent me from making any college friends with which to live.
Incidentally, I met my best friend Emma (also known as the human embodiment of sunshine) on the first day of Welcome Weekend activities when I waltzed into her quad and complimented her crystal necklace (she complimented mine right back). Being inseparable all of freshman year, we knew rooming together was an absolute must.
Sophomore year, we studied abroad during opposite semesters. She was in Maynooth, Ireland, during the fall of 2018, and I went to Maynooth spring 2019. Even roughly 3,600 miles apart, we got to experience the same wonderful temporary home and excitedly facetimed each other to pick our room for junior year.
Our friends call our room the hippie cave. When you walk in, you are immediately met with the scent of patchouli and lavender oil. You’ll immediately notice twinkling fairy lights, tapestries, dried sweetgrass, star lanterns, a teapot (used at least three times a day) and a gigantic poster of Barack Obama’s face!
After a full year apart, our room feels like a shared sanctuary. Symbiosis anyone? I think yes.
Emma makes me laugh until we both snort, and then laugh even harder at said snorts. She blasts BTS in the car, exerting genuinely impressive effort to belt out Korean lyrics — but she ALWAYS queues a song by The 1975 just for me. She even learned the words for optimal car karaoke.
Whenever anxiety takes over, Emma is ready with essential oils and fluffy blankets. She has tea and hugs waiting for me when I get back late from Folk Choir and was the first person I turned to when my community was shaken by sudden, tragic loss. She can tell when I am upset because of my scratchy, quiet voice. We pass up going out to cram into one of our beds and watch Disney+, sipping Diet Cokes.
We sit on the carpet in the middle of our floor to do homework because our desks are too far from each other. Separation anxiety? Never heard of her!
When I am inevitably running late (and somehow surprised by it even though I intentionally snoozed all six alarms), Emma makes the coffee and makes sure I have time to eat before rushing out the door. According to my mom, we happily function much like a little old married couple.
Living with my best friend happens to be one of the brightest parts of my life. There is a line in a poem by Emery Allen that says, “Maybe we’re from the same star.” Sometimes in this wild life, you get lucky enough to find a person who is made of the same star stuff as you. Someone who knows you deeply, and who loves you exactly as you are.
When you get lucky enough to find them, hold them close. Tell them you love them. Say thank you. And, gosh darn it — live with them!
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.