No room for the two of us

Ask someone to talk about his or her college roommate experiences and you’ll get a range of stories from roommates turning into lifelong friends and raising their children next door to each other to roommates whose situations nearly escalated to World War III. Sometimes best friends who choose to room together end up hating each other after spending so much consecutive time together, and other times strangers become the closest of friends.

I’ve heard the best and worst of stories, and I’ve lived some of the worst. Those who currently have good situations aren’t necessarily in need of rescue tactics for when things become unbearable, but it never hurts to have options. Those who are living the horror stories or face the possibility of one day encountering a terrible roommate should be prepared to break away when the living situation becomes too much. Maybe they can look back on it later and be able to laugh at the crazy horrors no longer endured.

Some may wonder when a living situation is tense enough that it requires change. Some of the following instances I’ve heard from close friends and others I’ve experienced. Bad roommate situations can make college experiences seem more like nightmares when they could be freeing and exciting.

It may be time to get a new roommate when your roommate refuses to take out the trash and is content to let it overflow and pile up in areas that are not trashcans. When the smell and mess become so bad and the roommate always has excuses as to why he or she can’t take out the trash, it’s not going to work. Slobs don’t usually change, and they can make rooms feel like trash dumps, which aren’t good places for studying or anything else college-related. You can nag/beg, keep air freshener and keep taking out the trash yourself, or get a new roommate.

The partiers can forget that all roommates do not share the same interest in bringing home parties that last all night. If you come home and find strangers on your bed and loud people in every inch of your room, that’s a major red flag. Assuming that talking to the roommate doesn’t work, you may have to bust the party yourself, sleep somewhere else that night or call the police to break it up.

The truly self-centered, inconsiderate roommates may be the worst ones. They seem to have skipped the stages of growing up when they should have learned manners and compassion for others. If your roommate talks loudly to you (or anyone else in the room) while you’re trying to study, sleep or talk to someone else, that will get old very quickly. It’s usually not a conscious behavior that they can easily change, so that’s hard to deal with. If your roommate comes home drunk or constantly calls you late at night to let her in the building or do this and that for her, change your phone number and move. Really. There’s nothing like a drunk roommate coming home at odd hours and acting even crazier than usual to bring about a bad mood. If moving isn’t immediately available, it’s helpful to find a peaceful place away from the obnoxious roommate to quickly escape to.

Of course, not all roommate situations are horrendous, but the bad ones do exist. Some won’t understand the concept of communication and sharing responsibilities, so significant action may be required if truces can’t be worked out.

Consider yourself lucky if you’ve been blessed with a good roommate and few problems. Living in 12 ft. by 12 ft. dorm rooms can be challenging and stressful for anyone, and not everyone can live in harmony effortlessly. Whatever one’s roommate experience, it’s sure to have an impact on the college experience. Some of the wildest stories come from roommate experiences. Ask around, and you may be surprised.

Professor Kevin Sincerity Ph.D The decision to attend college is one that will always be appreciated, and will always in some ways be regretted as well. You hear about it in economics class all the time. Something about the total financial and personal expenses you cause yourself by sacrificing at least four years of your prime to attend classes instead of choosing to work full time after high school.

We all have those friends back at home who took that route. They kept their high school cars, snagged a decent apartment and some of their parents’ furniture and started working. As glamorous as that life may seem at times, especially at that moment when you realize that splurging to us college students is called Super-Sizing, take a step back.

The next four years for some, considerably less for others that still need to hear this, are going to be rough. They will be filled to the brim with part-time or full-time jobs, extra activities, more homework and study groups than you can stand and about one or two more relationships than truly healthy. On top of all that, whether you remember every day or not, there are those pesky class things that are a really good idea to go to as much as possible.

What is attained through all of it is not just a diploma, and certainly not simply the edge over those friends at home who will not be eligible for nearly as many jobs. This part of our lives is a period we did not necessarily have to go through. We did not have to spend thousands of dollars on classes we sometimes don’t care about, be constrained by an overwhelming schedule, or be forced to interact with people we would have nothing to do with on our own.

However, by going through this time in our lives, we will leave with more exposure to living not necessarily a harder life, but one that requires the ability to do a little bit of juggling. Our friends at home working full-time or more certainly have their crosses to bear, and its provincial to think otherwise. However, when we finally get our diplomas, pieces of paper that in our minds will acknowledge all the things we handled in these turbulent years, we will have gained much more than we lost.

You made a decision that, though it will temporarily make things more hectic, will have long-term benefits. You will be able to use your degree for the rest of your life, you will benefit from the many lessons learned in class and out, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have some amazing experiences along the way.

Congratulations on making the choice to attend, or continue attending, Sam Houston State University. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the caffeine.

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