Roomie for Life – the First 3 Years

Maybe you know of Sabina Hamilton.

Maybe you don’t (if you don’t you should find her profile on this blog and recognize why I would write a post about her).

Last weekend, a group of friends and I spent time in Vancouver. An old friend from high school was visiting and we met up with another old friend who goes to UBC. I was nervous about how my old and new friends would get along. Then, this weekend for Thanksgiving I had my friends over to my Nana’s house. I hoped my Quest family and my actual family would love each other as much as I loved them. On both of these weekends, I was pleasantly surprised. My worlds came together seamlessly.

After reflecting on this discovery, I realized that Sabina, who was with me these weekends, actually feels like an old friend even though I didn’t grow up with her. Which makes sense: She’s been my roommate for three years.

Now, I’ve been told that being someone’s roommate for that long isn’t actually that common, so here’s why it’s worked.

  1. The Quest Gods
    We were paired together in 1st year with a fancy algorithm and it was a perfect match. She’s really messy and I’m really messy (she’s messier); she likes having glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and jumps on the bed with me to put them there; we agree to eat Annie’s mac and cheese with frozen peas as a grown-up meal; she doesn’t mind all that much when I wake her up in the middle of the night to watch cute bunny videos.
  2. Communication
    We talk a LOT. Although we don’t share a bedroom now, when we did in 1st and 2nd year we used to have nightly rants that included thoughts on feminism, the food quality of the cafeteria, fashion sense at Quest, our plans for block break (“When the others leave let’s rearrange our entire room!!!”). Since we talk so much, when conflict happens we’re also able to talk about that. “Sabina, you’re a slob. We need to talk.” “Okay Lila, you’re also a slob. Let’s talk.” On that note…
  3. The Same Standards
    We both have low standards. Her side of the room was always as messy as my side was so when I reached the ends of my filthiness limits, she would probably be at the same point and neither of us would take it personally that we needed to a deep clean (“Woah I just found a poptart box!!”) of our condo.
  4.  Hanging Out
    Surprise!, this is probably the most important way to keep a roommate for 3 years. Once 3rd year hit, we’ve both been so incredibly busy with entirely different schedules. In the past few weeks we’ve discovered how important it is to actually make time for each other now because we can’t just show up in the room having done all our homework and hangout. I mean now we just do a lot of homework together, but hey you do what you can. (We actually watch Russell Peters and laugh really hard and make snacks and gossip…)
  5. Support
    Sabina keeps me accountable. She checks on me to make sure I’m eating enough (healthy) food, taking breaks,  and not crying too much. At this point she can read me like a book so she knows what’s going on with me pretty much at all times and knows how to respond to each crisis. Basically she’s a good listener and cuddler, and she knows when to make tea and when to launch into a rant session. I don’t have to ask her for help, she’s always got my back.


I don’t know if these things work for everyone, but I think I’m on the right track to having a roomie for life, and for that I’m pretty darn thankful.

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