Can’t Live With Them, Too Expensive To Live Without Them

Why roommates are one of the biggest college learning experiences


Living in a tiny dorm room is bad enough without an additional person.

Roommates are a part of the college experience that will either gain you lifelong friends, or teach you the finer points on the art of passive-aggressive notes.

Often times, it’s both. This is why as high school seniors we are warned to not room with close friends — by the end of the semester, you’ll hate each other.

While this is a terrible outlook on friendships, it’s not entirely bad advice. Especially in a tiny dorm room, spending every day within a few feet of another person can be frustrating and exhausting.

On top of it all, living with someone you’ve known for a long time can reveal personality traits you never knew they had. The kind, caring friend you met in kindergarten could turn out to be a kleptomaniac.

The common solution for freshman is to get a randomly selected roommate. This often begins college friendships that last for years. You are both new to the experience and can have that support of knowing someone else is in the same boat.

On the other hand, you could get placed with a fifth-year senior still living in the dorms that has a nasty habit of not vacuuming and keeping far too many crucifixes on her desk.

One of the toughest parts of living with a roommate is finding boundaries. What you can and can’t share, who gets to put their things in which places, and who is bringing the TV and microwave are all matters that sometimes are never really cleared up.

Tiny rooms have so little storage already that finding space for a roommate who brings half their house with them can cause an even bigger headache than your chemistry homework.

The boundaries of storage in a dorm room only escalate once you move into your first apartment. Dividing up usage of kitchen appliances, as well as which cupboards belong to which roommates’ food pale in comparison to the issue of cleaning the entire place — and, not to mention, whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher!

Every now and then comes a roommate who is super chill and open to sharing, sets boundaries easily, and is willing to clean every other week.

If you’ve been lucky enough to have this kind of roommate, I’m incredibly jealous of you. Please share them. If none of this seems relatable, I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably the terrible roommate.

Chances are, though, that you live or have lived with someone that has that one annoying habit that drives you insane. If so, just remember: it’s spring semester, and you can tough it out for a few more months. Just don’t think about all the dirty forks and bowls your roommate keeps leaving for weeks before realizing they can’t fit their laptop on their desk anymore.

If you can get through all these troubles and still not stress out, there’s still always the possibility that you end up living with someone that snores loud enough to wake the dead. Roommates in general tend to be a lose-lose situation. But then again, what college student can actually afford to live on their own?