A weekly column for the 100 Mile Free Press

I read somewhere that young people today are more likely to have a roommate than ever before. I think that is true.

It is too expensive to pay rent, insurance, student debt and other bills on your own. If you can do it all on your own, good for you, but for those who can’t, it’s okay because a lot of us can’t.

A roommate can be a blessing or a curse and if you are lucky, they are both. Mine, however, leans toward being a blessing simply because he can tolerate me.

I can’t explain why the way I am or why I chose to do the things I do. As I became older, I developed a non-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive-disorder tendency to keep everything clean and organized. I like to nip a mess in the bud. Everything has a spot and if it doesn’t, everything will seem displaced.

In my short, twenty-something years, I have learned it’s better to be proactive from the start in order to enjoy the fruits of your labour later.

I can’t tell if my roommate loves it or hates it when I begin vacuuming the floor in the middle of a movie because I saw a hair or crumb, but regardless, he puts up with it.

Living with a roommate is a learning experience. You can either do it or you can’t. In the beginning, I didn’t know how well it was going to work and I think he felt the same. We knew each other but we still led different lives and behind our doors, we lived two completely different lifestyles.

It has been a month and a couple of weeks since we got the keys to our apartment and it is going well. When I break out the vacuum he knows it’s time to clean. Lately, I have been watching Grey’s Anatomy and that show is a roller coaster of emotions, so when I start crying, he knows I am alright and it’s just the show causing me to sob.

Our taste couldn’t be any further from the opposite but we take turns playing music. I am learning that when you live with somebody, it’s all about finding a balance.

Sure I enjoy my alone time, but it’s nice to have somebody around to talk to or laugh at things that really aren’t that funny.

There’s only one thing I don’t like. It’s October, so we have been watching scary movies quite frequently. I don’t do well with them and I tense up. My roommate does this thing whenever a suspenseful part in the movie plays, he screams and then I scream because I am terrified.

I found a solution and it was simple. I told him, the next time he does that, he will be sleeping in his car with his dog. He hasn’t done it since.

I have learned instead of letting the things that bother you fester up, to be open with your roommate and communicate. If you don’t, well that roommate who is a blessing at first can quickly become a curse. I am sure a lot of people have lived with a roommate at one point in their lives, whether it was in college or just after.

Since living in the Cariboo, there has been a series of first times for a lot of things and this is another one of those firsts. I never expected to have so many of these experiences but each one of them is helping shape the man I am becoming.

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