College Q&A: I Don’t Want to Live With My B.F.F.

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Question
Help! My best friend from home has just informed me that she’s transferring to my school in the fall. (I knew she applied and I’m so excited to have her there, but she was on the wait-list and just found out). Anyways, she doesn’t really know that many people at my school and doesn’t want to live with all the freshmen in the dorms, so she asked if there was any extra space in my house for next year.

There is. The problem is, I don’t want to live with her. I’ve lived with friends before and it always ended badly, so I don’t want to risk it with her. Plus, I’ve got my life already set up here and as much as I want to have her in it, I don’t want to have her THAT MUCH in it. At least not right away. I feel like a huge bitch, but I just don’t want to live with her. How do I tell her that? And should I just suck it up and invite her to live with me? Maybe it’s not such a bad thing?

Any advice you can give would be grand…and help me sleep better at night.

GPA Girl
Yikes. I can understand the way you feel, but unfortunately, there’s really no way to explain it to your friend in a way that doesn’t make you seem like a complete jerk. At least, I can’t think of any way – maybe the other ladies can help out. But dude, I have to ask: Would it really be so awful to live with your friend? It wouldn’t be like you’re sharing a room with her. The two of you will be in a house with other people. As soon as she starts making new friends of her own (which you can facilitate much more easily if you share a house with her . . .), it’s likely that you won’t even see her nearly as much as you think. In any case, I think you should open up the house to your friend BUT have a tactful and honest discussion with her ASAP about how you feel. Let her know that you need to maintain a certain degree of independence in order to preserve your friendship with her, and specify the boundaries of that degree if necessary. I think (and hope) she’ll understand. Good luck!

Party Girl
First of all, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve lived with friends before, expecting the time of my life, but it always ended terribly. The only time that a friend-roommate situation worked out for me was the year that we both had full schedules and two jobs each (i.e. we never saw each other and therefore had no time to fight).
I also understand that you’re feeling super guilty about not giving your vacant room to your friend. Really, all you have to do is be honest with her. Grab a couple of margaritas and tell her that for the sake of your friendship, you absolutely cannot cohabitate with her. I’m sure she’ll see your point (and if she doesn’t, it’s nothing another pitcher won’t fix).

Busy Bee
I don’t think you should live with her. It would have been different if you guys had been planning to live together since you were 4 years old, but hearing your doubts BEFORE she moves in confirms that she should not. One of my good friends and I were supposed to get an apartment together for college, but it didn’t end up working out. I realized that I got really annoyed of the things she did when we weren’t living together, so I knew that it wouldn’t work out if we did live together. Roommates should be someone you are neutral with – if things go wrong in the house then it wouldn’t matter if you werent friends, and if things go right in the house then you could end up BFFs. Let things take their course, but don’t risk starting drama! I highly suggest not letting a friend move in.

You have two choices: be honest and tell her that you don’t want her to move in because your previous experiences have ended badly. Your other choice is to tell her that you’ve already found someone (and if you haven’t, then find one ASAP!). Don’t try “sucking up” and letting her live with you – I mean, you don’t want to come home every day after school dreading to be there. It should be a comfortable haven, not an uncomfortable situation.

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