Q. College Roommates

Q. I want to move out of my dorm next year. I’ve been in it for two years, but I think it’s time to get off campus. I have two friends – a guy and a girl – who aren’t a couple, but are sharing an apartment. They’ve invited me to join them. I think we would make good roommates. We have the same major and share a lot of classes, so it would also be a natural study group. My parents are trying to discourage me because they seem to think this would automatically lead to premarital sex. I disagree. I need to let them know soon or they will find another roommate. How can I convince my parents this would be OK?

A. It sounds like you are faced with a decision that many other college students face. Allow me to offer a few thoughts for your consideration.

First of all, you may be absolutely correct that this sort of living situation would not necessarily lead to premarital sex. But there are other considerations worth reflecting on.

One such consideration, which may not immediately make sense to you, has to do with your parents advice. Generally speaking, most parents are much wiser than they are given credit for. They were your age at one time and probably understand your situation much better than you may realize. I’m sure that your parents also love you deeply. Therefore, I’m sure that their advice is coming from that love rather than anything else. I’m sure they trust you but they also know that the living situation you are considering will, inevitably, bring with it certain temptations that would probably not be healthy for anyone. So my first bit of advice is to spend some more time talking to your parents about this and try to truly listen to their concerns and advice.

Another consideration is this. Living in close quarters with someone of the opposite sex will, no matter what you do, bring with it temptations. I think this is especially true when you share many things in common as you’ve mentioned. So even though you may all have the best of intentions, a realistic look at this sort of living situation will lead you to understand that these sorts of temptations are very real. In fact, if you were to enter into this living arrangement you may not realize the challenges you would face until it’s too late. At that point things can get “messy.”

My primary recommendation to you is to pray and be open. God does have a good plan for you in your life and He has a good plan for you for next year. There may be some other options that you haven’t even thought of yet. So, I’d suggest you pray, sit down with your parents to look at all your options, be as open to all the possibilities as you possibly can be and then sit with those options for a few days. In your prayer I’d suggest you simply tell God that all you want to do is His will and ask that He show you what that is. God will speak to you by giving you great peace with the final decision you make. Whatever that ends up being, even if it’s not what you initially think is best, you will be happiest with that choice.

And I’ll say a prayer for your discernment also. God bless!