Your Homie Naomi: Welcome to The BuffaLow Down! It’s my pleasure to present this column to the CU Independent and the University of Colorado Boulder community – here’s to many conversations on the intricacies of life. I’m delighted to be of service to you all in solving burning questions or personal dilemmas in your lives. I also want to remind you that however wise I may be, I am not trained to professionally provide. That being said, if you are dealing with mental health struggles, you can dial 988 which will reach the National Mental Health Emergency Hotline or you can click this link that has resources that may help. Submissions for the advice column are accepted at The BuffaLow Down! All submissions are anonymous and we encourage you to spill anything that’s on your mind.
Roommate Dilemma: It’s been almost a month since we got to Boulder and my roommate still hasn’t made friends. During the first week, I asked her to come out with my friends and me multiple times but she said no cause she dislikes people. Then, this past weekend I said I met some new people in her major and she asked to meet them. I sent her their numbers and said they should hang out this week, and she did. But now she keeps asking me more questions about my friend group and frat parties. I’m sorry but I dislike my roommate, she’s crossed a ton of other boundaries and we just aren’t close at all. But when I told my friends this they said that we should invite her. Should I? I don’t want her to take my friends but is that too selfish?
Your Homie Naomi: I appreciate your question! Roommate troubles are the worst, although very common. You are not alone in these thoughts, and it’s very tricky to live with someone else. You mention that your roommate said she “dislikes people.” This is an interesting claim for someone to make. I’ve learned from my CU Boulder psychology classes and from personal experience that most people, despite what they say, desire social interaction. I might speculate that your roommate is disappointed she hasn’t found friends on her own. I’d bet she doesn’t want to admit it, but she might even be jealous of the relationship you have with your friends. I can’t speak for her, but I understand that making connections can be hard, especially for people who don’t naturally like to put themselves out there. Sometimes when people struggle with something or don’t know how to do something, they give up.
Another thing that drew me to this question is your fear that your roommate would take your friends. I want to mention that good friendships stick if they’re right. Even if your friends meet other people that they also get along with, if they truly connect with you and appreciate you as a friend, they won’t leave you behind. Good friends also wouldn’t make you feel insecure in the relationship. What’s more, if they do end up treating you differently, stop including you or become closer with your roommate (whom you’ve stated doesn’t understand or respect your boundaries) then they aren’t good friends. I’ve learned that in those kinds of situations, it’s best to let go of people and stop putting effort into relationships that aren’t beneficial. You’ll realize in the end that you dodged a bullet. My point is that good friends can’t be stolen, and if you do decide to invite your roommate out with you, I hope this can provide some clarity for whatever may happen.
Lastly, I want to touch on the meticulous balance of protecting your peace and conserving your energy. From what I’ve gathered from your submission, it would impact your enjoyment to invite your roommate, and that’s reason enough to not invite someone. If you’ve communicated with how she’s disrespected your boundaries and made you uncomfortable and you’ve seen no change, then you’ve done all you can. I don’t think this is selfish – it’s your choice who you want to keep in your company because it’s your choice who you invest effort in. It seems like you’ve tried to help her make connections with other people, so I wouldn’t stress too much about it. However, you are living with this person. If she were to find out that you were intentionally excluding her, it might increase tensions making living with her a lot trickier. This is when you might need your thinking cap to conjure a little white lie, “we wouldn’t all fit in one Uber and we don’t want to get two,” or “we’re going to an invite-only event this time.”
Experiencing tension between your roommate and yourself is a right of passage in college. You are not at all alone in this experience – I’m sure there are a lot of people here who are also unsatisfied with their rooming situations. The beginning can surely be the hardest part, but even with roommates that are a little bit at odds, generally, when you live together for a while, the tension decreases and you find a rhythm that allows for everyone to do their own thing. I hope it all works out for you!
Cheers to introverted roommates and steady friendships,
Contact CU Independent staff writer Naomi Morrison at Naomi.Morrison@colorado.edu.