Point/Counterpoint | Do friends make good roommates?

September 21, 2022


When choosing your living situation for next year, your closest friends should be on top of the list.

There are many benefits to having a roommate. For instance, it helps keep living expenses lower and can make your living arrangement less lonely. But you must carefully consider who you choose to live with because this choice could make or break your living arrangement for the foreseeable future.

If you room with a friend, you can anticipate their living patterns as opposed to living with a complete stranger. There is a sense of security and familiarity. The same cannot be said if you room with someone you barely know or don’t know at all.

Moreover, rooming with a friend would allow for a more intimate household environment, which research from George Mason University in 2014 suggests is important for one’s personal well-being.

Positive roommate relationships are direct protections from psychological distress, so live with someone you know you get along with, like a friend. Though the same results can be achieved with acquaintances or strangers, it is much less guaranteed.

Studies imply that friends are a vital factor to an individual’s support system. This is important because even just the perception of having a readily available support system has been associated with improved stress resistance and well-being.

Hence, by living with a friend, you would essentially have a “buffer” against the stresses of life.

But above all else, living with friends will make you happy. What is better than staying up all night talking to someone you trust and like spending time with? Not much.

By living with a friend, you get to come home to a safer and more intimate feeling household, with all the benefits that come along with such.


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.

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