After you graduate from college and complete the necessary three- to six-month stage of the depression cycle–for me, it consisted of drinking bourbon alone in the dark, watching “The Sopranos,” and sending out more résumés than propaganda leaflets dropped during WWII–you have to make some decisions. After securing your first job, the next move is locking down a domicile. For a moment, I considered moving myself into a one-bedroom apartment to spread my wings on my own. I imagined waking up bright and early on Saturday mornings, drinking coffee on my balcony, and reading the Wall Street Journal. Instead, I did the complete opposite. I decided to move in with three of my fraternity brothers from college. These are men who I spent the last four and a half (hooray for victory laps) years living with. Going from the dorms to a chapter house to off-campus housing, we somehow didn’t brutally murder each other. Thus, we decided that a postgrad living arrangement would work out just swell.
You already all hate the same people, places, and things.
“Hey, do you guys want to try this new, overpriced restaurant where there are zero light fixtures and you eat in total darkness?” No.
“Dude, I heard about this awesome club where every half hour, the emergency sprinkler system kicks on and you get completely SOAKED, wanna come?” No.
“BRO, my 17-year-old sister and her friends are coming to stay with me! You guys should come by!” Get the fuck out of here.
You and your roommates are on the same wavelength and you have been for a while. You weeded out the bullshit a long time ago and you couldn’t be happier about it.
You already love the same people, places, and things.
When one of my roommates came home from a thrift store with two gaudy, oversized, slightly damaged ceramic sculptures of black panthers and wanted them to be the centerpiece of our living room, you’d think we would have given him some pushback, right? Well, you couldn’t be more fucking wrong. Those big bastards are currently looming over every guest we have in our home, and the other three of us could not be more on the same page. I listed hating the same things first because that clearly takes precedent, but loving the same things are up there, too.
You can (hopefully) trust them with bills.
My roommates have earned my trust when it comes to finances. The first year or two, when a bill would arrive, I would check and double check math to ensure everyone was paying their fair share. When a bill arrives nowadays, I think back to something my grandfather would frequently say: “Don’t tell me about the labor, just show me the baby.” My roommates text me a number, I reply with charges and we Chase quick pay each other accordingly. No bickering, no whining, just grown men always paying their fair share.
It is very difficult to turn over a new leaf.
These roommates know you. In all reality, they know you too well. I am completely aware that after four days of sobriety, one of my roommates will make a statement somewhere along the lines of, “I’m going to make some big changes in my life this week.” However, after a Thursday happy hour and a weekend chock-full of Marlboro menthols, warm whiskey, and poor decisions, he’ll be right back at square one. It’s no surprise and I’ve frankly come to expect it.
Outsiders assume you have not matured.
This piggybacks slightly off of my last point. You’ve built yourself a reputation while living with these people in college. If you’re anything like I am–and I assume about 90 percent of you are–you partied a bit too hard, only attended class when it was completely necessary, and did a few things even Dan Bilzerian would respect. However, the majority of those days are well behind you. But try telling that to someone outside your inner circle and he or she will legitimately refuse to believe you. Do you still throw a theme party every once in a while? Of course. Have you skipped a day of work due to being incredibly hungover and/or still shitfaced? Obviously. But that doesn’t mean you don’t pay your taxes, contribute to your 401(k), and haven’t invested in a nice pair of book ends, because “that shit’s classy as fuck.”