Dear 100 Hour Board,
I got accepted into BYU today! But now onto the next stressful thing: housing! I know I want to live in Heritage and I think I submitted my application early enough to get it (knock on wood) but I have to think about roommates. There are a few of my high school friends that have also gotten in. What are the advantages/disadvantages to living with high school friends?
Also I know you can ask to room with one person but what do you do if you want to room with a group of friends?
-Accepted Fall Applicant
Pros: You already know the people you'll be living with. You don't need to worry about getting some super difficult-to-live-with roommate.
Cons: If there's any sort of suppressed conflict with your friends, it will be exacerbated, and possibly cost your friendship. It's very different to actually live with someone as opposed to being friends. I can honestly say that making the choice to room with one of my childhood/high school friends directly resulted in one of the most emotionally traumatic experiences of my life, and shattered our friendship. We picked up most of the pieces with time, but our relationship will never be like it was before we were roommates (which isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case--it wasn't the most healthy relationship for me for reasons that I won't go into here).
As you might guess, this experience has biased me when it comes to giving advice about rooming with high school friends.
To answer your last question, I believe that you need to just get your friends to sign up for the same apartment as soon as it opens. As far as I know there isn't a way to reserve an entire apartment.
Best of luck!
Dear Soon-To-Be Freshy-Fresh,
Congrats on getting into BYU! Also, props for thinking about housing so early. I didn't start thinking about housing until around July and all the dorms were full. I ended up living off campus with a bunch of random strangers. I really loved my ward, but the people that I roomed with were all about 6 years older than me and really weird. This year I also roomed with total strangers, but they all are wonderful, classy gentleman. I feel like most people have really good roommates, but if you room with strangers you could end up with some people you don't get along with.
On the other hand, if you room with only friends, you could miss out on meeting new people and making new friends. Part of the college experience is getting to know new people. Also, like Anathema said, living with someone is a lot harder than just being their friends. If you all end up living together there could be some fights. That being said, I know some people that roomed with high school friends and had a great time.
If you all want to live together, maybe you could call and ask the apartment you are staying at and ask them. I don't know if that would work, but it could be worth a shot. Also, I know several people who have gotten their friends together and rented a house. It seems like it's a nice way to go, but it might be a bit of a hassle if you all are 18 so I wouldn't personally recommend it for your freshman year.
My personal suggestion is that you just all try and live in Heritage. The buildings are close enough that you could still hang out pretty easily. That also gives you some space so you can make new friends. Everyone I know that lived in the dorms made plenty of new friends. Sticking together you might miss out on that. Besides, if you and your friends all live in different apartments, you can make friends with their roommates too. Congrats again on getting into BYU! Hope this helps!
I just want to add on to Anathema's answer and say that, when you have major disagreements with your high school friend roommates, you'll either ruin a friendship or be unable to express what's bothering you. I was unable to express how frustrated and upset I was with certain things my roommate did because she was my neighbor at home, and ruining that friendship would also make my home life rather uncomfortable. So I wrote angry blogs and complained to my family but never talked to her. On the other hand, I felt free to express my frustrations (somewhat nicely) to my other roommates, because I knew after that semester I would never see them again.
However, if these are great friends and you've never had trouble expressing your true feelings (and annoyances) with them, then you shouldn't encounter that problem. And you might even feel more comfortable telling them what's bothering you, which is a great advantage!
-guppy of doom