“I just found out I have three roommates instead of only one and I’m freaking out.”

I got a panicked call from my one of my college-bound friends last week.  She just received her roommate assignment and found out that she didn’t just get assigned to live with her friend but also 2 other random girls.

So instead of 1 roommate, she suddenly has 3.

4 girls in 1 room. Wow.

Maybe you aren’t in the exact situation, but a lot of us experience unwanted news when we receiving our freshman year housing assignments.  You didn’t get the roommate you requested.  You didn’t get the residence hall you wanted.  You were hoping to score a single.  You had 4 friends registered to live together and they split you up in pairs—and not even the pairs you really wanted!  The list goes on and on.

If this happened to you, this is going to be the first of many times something happens over the next 4 years that doesn’t match up with your expectations.

A big part of college is learning to be flexible and adapt–especially when your reality doesn’t align with your expectations.

So, what are we going to do in this situation?  Or any situation where our expectations aren’t met?

1. Take a deep breath.  I start a lot of my advice this way, but honestly, we always need to take a breather.  Before we start spinning out of control, take a few deep breaths and try to physically calm down.

2. It’s okay to grieve.  I know you are sad that your expectations weren’t met.  And that’s okay.  It’s okay to be sad.  It’s okay to be afraid too.  You might be afraid of what life will look like living with 3 other girls.  Everything you are feeling is justified.  So feel it, baby.

3. Let’s think positively. The WORST thing you could do is be devastated about this and decide it is going to ruin your life.  In fact, that’s what we usually do.  When things don’t turn out the way we imagined, we almost always jump to the conclusion that it’s going to be horrible.  Let’s fight that inclination.  You have a choice to be negative or positive about this.  Choose to be positive.  Choose to be hopeful.  We are going to hope that you love these 2 new roommate additions.  We are going to hope that all 4 of you are great friends.  By choosing to think positively, you are going to change your demeanor and entire outlook on this situation.

4. Remember God is in control.  I know, I know. It gets cliche, but IT’S TRUE.  God is totally in control.  Even over your housing/roommate assignment. He’s got this. Now is a time you get to practice leaning in and trust Him.  Remember the last time you freaked out because something didn’t happen the way you thought it would?  How did that work out?  Did God prove Himself faithful and trustworthy?  I know He always has in my life.

5. Think about others. Remember that your 2 new random roommates are just as surprised (and probably upset) as you are.  In any situation where you are experiencing unmet expectations, there are other people who are also affected.  Don’t forget that.  Don’t be so focused on yourself, that you forget other people are also disappointed or affected.  Be nice to those people.  Help them along.  Positivity is contagious.  Be the one who shows your friends how to be flexible and adapt.

You’ve got this. As in any roommate relationship, this is going to be one great adventure. The same goes for any other unmet expectation.  Instead of immediately assuming doom and despair, look at these situation as a chance for growth and an adventure to tackle and enjoy!

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