1. The Friends Who Were There
"Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I found myself phone-less and stuck in Jersey for a week. After a painful two-hour wait for gas and a four-hour drive back to campus in Connecticut, I was more than ecstatic to be back in my apartment. I unpacked my bag and hopped in the shower before my roommates got home. A few minutes later, they arrived and knocked on the bathroom door. 'Jess, your mom has been calling us,' they said, and I could hear the nervousness in their voices. When I hopped out of the shower, I was informed that my brother had taken a terrible fall in his wheelchair and was in the ER.
"I quickly started looking for a way to get home to Boston. Unfortunately, because of the hurricane, most of the state was shut down, and I couldn't find a safe route home. One of my roommates drove me two hours north to catch the only Amtrak train leaving Connecticut.
"Following a stressful week in Boston, I was ready to get back into a normal school routine. When I walked into my apartment, all seven of my roommates were making all of my favorites for dinner and dancing/singing along to some of my favorite artists. They missed me just as much as I missed them, and at that moment, the small gesture was all I needed."
2. The Whale Roomies
"The best roommates I ever had were two guys both named Kyle. They were SO WONDERFUL. One morning, I woke up, and one of the Kyles had balanced a scone on my forehead. We also invented a game that involved sitting in the living room with all the lights off and trying to scream at the highest pitch possible. Some nights we would all lie in bed in our separate rooms and sing whale noises to each other until we fell asleep. I could really go on and on and on forever talking about these two. They are the best roommates a girl could ask for and also the best friends I've ever had."
3. The Mutual Feelings
"I barely knew my roommate when we moved in — she was the odd girl out in an apartment of two guys who'd known each other for years — but we all quickly became great friends. We went out together, were each other's wingman and wingwoman, and had tons of fun. After about a year, my girl roommate and I became best friends. We cooked together, exercised together, traveled together, and had long conversations on the couch about whether Counting Crows were actually a 'good' band (they aren't).
"Slowly, I realized she was the best person in my life; suddenly, I was absolutely crazy about her — and immediately thereafter, I became very depressed, as I knew she didn't feel the same way about me. I tried to send her signals, but how could I explain my feelings without coming across as a total creep — the secret admirer who sleeps down the hall? Secretly, I decided to move out. Being with her without being with her made me feel completely alone. One night soon after, she confronted me: 'What's up with you lately? What's happening with us?' I decided to confess. I told her I was crazy about her, and I apologized for the awkwardness I was so sure would ensue. To my surprise, she said she'd always felt our chemistry and that, for many nights, she'd gone to bed alone wishing I wasn't sleeping down the hall. We've been happily dating since."
4. The Cake Maker
"My sophomore year of college, I found myself without a roommate at the last minute. Desperate, I agreed to live with a friend of a friend who I didn't know very well. It started out fine, but it was on my birthday that I knew I'd made the best choice ever — she decorated the whole room while I was sleeping, and knowing I liked cornbread, commissioned the school cafeteria to make me a gigantic cornbread cake. That was my 20th, and it was one of the best birthdays ever."
5. The Consideration Queen
"My first college roommate had all 8 a.m. classes, and she didn't want to wake me up in the morning. So she would pour her dry cereal into the bowl the night before (and add milk in the morning). I'm not sure if pouring cereal is that loud, but it's still the most considerate thing a roommate has ever done."
6. The Romantic Beginning
"It was Valentine's Day 2006, and my new roommate and I had no plans (romance was rarely in the cards for us). As dinner approached, we decided to go together to the on-campus cafeteria. When we got there, it was littered with lonely people, and even more depressingly, dates.
"We sat down and perused the menu and noticed that the special was a dinner for two, so we decided to embrace the moment and get it. The meal itself was unremarkable, with the exception of the delicious Bananas Foster dessert, but I remember that we sat window side, watching the Vermont winter swirl by. Little did I know that this guy I barely knew, with whom I shared this amazing Valentine's Day dinner, would become one of my best friends and eventually be a groomsman in my wedding."
7. The Brightest Friendship
"My roommate in my first apartment worked as an electrician. One day, while on the job, he found an old, busted-up chandelier in someone's attic and asked the family if he could take it home. Then, on my birthday while I was out, he installed the chandelier in my bedroom. I came home to find a super-old and messed-up but still very pretty chandelier making my room that much brighter."
8. The Travel Companion
"Betsy was the best college roommate a girl could ask for. We met by living together with a host family in Colombia and became inseparable very quickly. She was always there for me, and is still one of my best friends to this day. One day in Colombia when I wasn't feeling very well (both real sick and a little homesick) she went out and bought everything to make me an Oreo milkshake and brought it to my room knowing it would make me feel so much better.
"I've referred to her as my wife for years. Though she did recently get married to her longtime beau, I was right next to her while she did it."
9. The Surprising Connection
"My freshman year of college, I thought my roommate was going to be super conservative. She had already moved into the dorm before me and wasn't in the room when I moved in. While I was unpacking, I saw her books about religion and a book by Pat Robertson. To claim my 'turf' of the room, I plastered a Harry Potter poster on the wall (she probably thought it was the devil's book!) and put up a pirate's flag as decoration on my lofted bed.
"I eventually met her in real life, and she was completely different than what I imagined! She was actually quite liberal, loved Harry Potter, and only had that Pat Robertson book because she was taking a religion class where that book was assigned!
"We actually became best friends and roomed with each other almost every year in college."
10. The Likely Pair
"I was paired with my freshman-year roommate through a lottery system. The first time I ever heard from her, she left a voicemail on my family's answering machine that went something like this: 'Heyyyyy, Casey, it's Stacey! Looks like we're gonna be roommates.' I was fully expecting to meet an overly bubbly, preppy girl, and when we did meet in person, she was similarly hesitant when she learned I'd been a cheerleader. It took us a few days to move out of our awkward small-talk phase, but we quickly discovered (at our first dorm hall meeting) that we shared a very sarcastic and dark sense of humor. We remained roommates all four years of college and are still best friends."
11. The Important Things
"I was feeling really blue one day in my freshman year of college, just depressed and stressed and scared. I wasn't really talkative in the morning as my roommate and I got ready, and she could tell I was being out of character, but she didn't pry and left me alone. When I got home from class that day, on my bed there was a little stuffed animal of one of my favorite characters and a note from my roommate that said 'I'm sorry that you're sad, but just remember that you're amazing. Give this little buddy a hug until I get home to give you one myself.' It made me burst into tears, and it put a lot of things into perspective — no matter how crappy things are going, it's important to remember all the things you have that make you a very lucky person."