- How do I figure out who to live with when I haven’t had a lot of time to make good connections?
This is a difficult question, and it’s one that lots of students are struggling with now that fall is upon us. There is also lots of anxiety around the tricky situation of figuring out your housing for next year where it can feel like a real “blink and you’ll miss it” kind of thing — it may feel like time flies by and everyone else has their housing figured out except you. The good news is you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling. As a fourth-year student myself, I remember the days of scrambling to sign leases and while I am happy I am not yet faced with my post-graduation housing woes, I am also happy to share some advice for those in your situation.
For starters, recognize that it’s okay to not have made the best of friends by October. I met some of my best friends three years into college — and based future housing decisions on these friendships. Also recognize that it’s unfortunate that there’s pressure placed on finding the best apartment with the best people when your college journey has truly just begun. All of that being said, it’s still tough to not know what to do.
First things first, let’s draw a distinction between friends and roommates. These are not mutually exclusive terms, but they are also not always synonymous. Sometimes living with a friend strains the relationship. On the other hand, you may make really great roommates with someone whose habits are compatible with yours even if there’s not much common ground outside of your day-to-day living styles. I’ve never complained about a roommate who kept their space clean and made my apartment an enjoyable place to be, even if we weren’t the best of friends.
Still, maybe no one’s coming to mind — and that’s okay. Don’t fear going random, either — when we’re used to making friends in shared classes or clubs it can be one of the only ways to meet someone entirely different from ourselves, and that can be a truly great experience.
If you’re unsure of where to start, you could consider living on Grounds for another year and putting it in the University’s hands, or searching on Facebook class pages for individuals still in need of housing. I met my first-year roommate on Instagram, and I can confidently say that it was a great decision. Or, if your heart is set on getting off-Grounds, check out the housing fair the University is hosting and maybe you will run into another student struggling with the same feelings and click.
Regardless, my parting advice is this — you are not alone in your search, and a lot can change in the many months before you move into your new place. So don’t fret, because in a year from now, you might be decorating pumpkins with a better roommate than you could have imagined.
- I feel like the person I’m seeing right now barely talks to me. Is it worth it to keep trying to have a relationship?
It is important to remember that all relationships are two-way streets. If you are consistently putting in work to maintain a relationship without getting the same effort back, it’s easy to feel unappreciated and begin to question if your attempts are worth it.
Before drawing conclusions, however, I think it is equally important to allow for open communication, at least once, in an effort to resolve the hurt feelings between you and the person you’re seeing. Have you tried discussing with them how you have been feeling about the current situation?
I know that when I am particularly stressed out I don’t always realize that I’m letting my relationships fall short, and a gentle reminder can be helpful in ensuring I am not hurting those around me. Your partner may become more responsive to and appreciative of your behavior towards them if it is pointed out how hard you are working for a relationship where they might not be.
However, if all else fails, and the person you’re seeing is not receptive to your feelings, then it is an entirely valid response to want to put your well-being first. It is likely that if you’re feeling unhappy with the attention they are paying you in the early stages of casual dating, continuing a relationship or allowing it to grow more serious will only bring you more unhappiness down the road.
If you continue to find yourself maintaining a one-sided relationship even after attempting to cooperate, the decision to step back and reevaluate the effort you are putting into this person may be the healthiest option.
Heart to Heart is a regular column written by Life columnists Katherine Schwartz and Jenna Onetto. To submit a question, fill out this form and our columnists will do their best to address it in an upcoming issue.