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Social Contracts Should Not Expire

Best friends are one of the highlights of life, especially during school. Friends are there for us when we feel down and when we are looking to have some fun. However, many students who share an apartment or a dorm with their best friend have let their social contract expire. When two best friends who have endured a whole spectrum of experiences decide to move in together, one or both of them may find themselves getting upset.
The problem occurs when someone is so comfortable with their friend that they feel there is no longer a need to be nice, clean, or helpful all of the time. If two strangers move in together they usually try to keep everything clean and be quiet in the mornings to avoid any problems with someone who does not really know them. It is the same kind of feeling you get when someone is directly behind you when leaving a building so you continue to hold the door open for just a moment so it won’t shut in their face. There are unwritten social contracts between everyone that keep relationships with friends, or appearances with total strangers, intact.
When best friends have been around each other for a long time the terms of their social contract expire. One roommate will leave his laundry in the dryer for a week and not even realize his friend needs to use it.  The other roommate will have friends over until 1 a.m. on a school night playing videogames with the volume too high. After a certain point they just stop caring about their friend’s feelings completely. Two people who previously had enjoyed everything together now wish they could do anything to get out of the lease.
I went through this kind of ordeal my freshman year of college. I lived in the dorms with one of my best friends from back home and at first it was great. After a while though, the boundaries of a normal friendship began to fade away. We both started doing things that we would not dream of doing at our own home at the expense of our parents and siblings having to deal with it. I ended up giving him a broken nose, and he ended up making it to where I had to wear earplugs to get to sleep at night. The following semester we found other places to live and apologized. We are still good friends who hang out quite a bit, but neither of us will ever forget that terrible first year of school.
The terms of a social contract with a best friend should never expire. That is not to say we must always be the kindest, cleanest, most understanding human being in the world. It is okay to be a little messy or a little loud sometimes, but we should always be respectful of the people we live with, especially if they happen to be our best friend. Otherwise, we may end up with one less friend and a year we wish we could take back.