Living with seven strangers | Inquirer Opinion

Living with seven strangers

Ron, 22 years old, may 7 ka-live in.

A year ago, I was 21, alone, unemployed, and was so out of touch with reality. I had no direction, no vision, no plans of setting my life straight. Then two months ago, I made a decision that I knew will forever change my life—I chose to live with seven complete strangers.


Seven people I never even knew existed before that very moment.

So now, at 22 years old, I have seven live-in partners.


No, it’s (probably) not what you think. I live with seven other people from work. Important side note: This is the first time in my whole life to live with other people. I stayed in the province until high school, lived with my sister through college, and graduated online because of the lockdown. But the first time I went back to the world, I decided to go all in and spend 24/7 of my time with random people I absolutely knew nothing about.

I didn’t know their names, where they came from, how they like their eggs or coffee in the morning, their favorite Marvel superhero, their favorite color, do they believe in ghosts, what’s their go-to Jollibee order, etc. I didn’t know how to approach them, what type of things I could talk about with them, or whether I should tell them about that weird dream I had the night before.

Will they accept me, will they like my company, will they want to live with me?

I wasn’t excited. I was so scared and anxious that I almost backed out the day before moving in. I talked to some important people, and they said the same thing: “Give it time.”

So I did. And in time, I realized that I wasn’t just signing up for random housemates from work. What I didn’t know was that I would now have seven extra sets of ears who listen to my rants, seven more shoulders to lean on when I’m just too tired from life, seven pairs of eyes who look after me and try to make sure I’m always okay. Now I have seven more reasons to live.

Yes, I now know their names, the cities where they came from, and what time they set their alarm in the morning. Living with them has allowed me to know them alongside all their layers. While I may not have memorized their favorite colors, I know that one of them, for instance is loud as hell and would seem dense at times but has the softest heart and the purest soul when it comes to the people she loves.

I have no idea about their favorite desserts, but I know that one of them would oversleep on weekdays even when he has work, but would wake up to cook for us on weekends. One of them would pester you every chance he gets, then will offer you brownies when you start losing your temper.


I still have no idea about their favorite books, but I know that the quiet one would not stop asking you what’s wrong when she knows you’re not okay. I’m not familiar with their dream places, but one of them would wait for you while you brush your teeth just so you won’t be alone in the common area when everyone else has gone to bed.

Maybe the time I have spent with them isn’t enough yet to know this or that. But what I’m trying to say is that I feel extremely lucky to have found my perfect seven strangers. Because that’s one in a billion… They’re my one in a billion. And if life gives me a do-over, I’d still pick them over and over again.

Having seven live-in partners at the age of 22 isn’t so bad. In fact, not bad at all.

Maria Veronica Vispo is a 22-year-old engineering graduate who likes fried chicken and has no concrete plans yet for life.


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