Sophia Meador, Opinions Editor

Don’t live with your friends if you want to keep them.

At the University of Iowa, finding a living arrangement is stressful. Most student housing options start leasing in October and November — almost a year before summer move-in.

Living with a friend seems like a convenient option. But it often adds tension and stress on friendships, making a 12-month lease feel like a lifetime. 

The thought of living with a stranger or acquaintance is scary. However, living with someone you don’t have a close relationship with can be a practical option.

In friendships, it can be difficult to address problems when they arise. You may want to avoid conflict or awkward conversations, which only exacerbates the problem. But when living with someone you don’t hold a strong relationship to, there is more ease in addressing problems because you have less to lose.

Getting along with someone is easy, but living with someone is hard. That’s why it’s just as important to assess your living standards as it is your personal relationship. When looking for a roommate, you can cater your search to someone who has the same living patterns as you. 

A messy roommate does not mesh well with a clean roommate. A loud roommate will not match with a quiet roommate. In friendships, you may not know how your friend’s living patterns. If your habits do not correspond well, your friendship is likely doomed. 

If you’re fortunate, your random roommate may become your friend. But it is also OK if they are merely an individual you share a roof with. 

Many people will meet their closest friends in college. It’s important to cherish the friends you have and not risk losing those friendships. Live with an acquaintance, not a friend.