Over the last four years at George Mason, I have learned that roommate living is hard. No matter where you live or who you live with, disagreements will come up. I have had 9 roommates in the last 4 years at college. When I was a freshman, I went pot-luck to a double. When I was a sophomore, I was in a suite with good friends. I moved out of the dorms my junior year and lived in a really cheap, crappy townhouse. Now, in my senior year, I am in a house with 3 other girls, a dog, and a kitten.  I have done the pot-luck thing, I’ve lived with two boys (much to the dismay of my father), I’ve lived with a stranger who I found over the Internet (not my most shining moment), and I’ve lived with my best friend. It’s been interesting to say the least. I have tons of crazy stories. I have memories that make me laugh, and I have memories that make me angry. But, most of all I have tons of advice. Every year, every living space, every landlord, and every roommate has been a learning experience.

Learn from my mistakes; join me as I write a series of posts about roommates, residence life, and off campus housing. Ask me questions and you may even get featured! I hope to entertain, and maybe educate you.

For my first advice post… do not live with your best friend. No matter how much you think you 2 are different than all the other besties out there you will disagree at some point. Your friendship will be tested when you have other roommates. The thing about living with your bff is that you are always with each other – same social circles and activities and when you come home at night. This can be great, but you need to take a break from each other. You can be separated for a time and still be best friends, I promise.

The problem with rooming with each other is that your two different relationships – one as best friends and one as roommates – mix together. Eventually, it is hard to see where the disagreements started from. It could be a simple thing such as she didn’t wash the dishes. Then another thing happens and another and then you are blaming the entire thing on her not being a good friend and/or person. Kristen and I are still friends, but we don’t see each other often. It’s definitely a strained relationship. It’s sad but it happened, so we are trying to make things better.

Look out for Part II coming soon when I talk about…choosing to live with someone you found on the Internet.

Alissa Sheehan is a Member Outreach Intern at NSCS and senior Global Affairs major at George Mason University. When she isn’t interning or studying, you can find her coaching volleyball or playing with her roommate’s dog and cat. Follow her on Twitter at @alissasheehan.