Starting college in the fall? Well brace yourself. Because unless you were friends with your soon-to-be roommate in high school, it’s any man’s game. This could go one of a few ways, and I’m here to give you a real picture of a few possibilities.
I got lucky; literally couldn’t have asked for a better roommate situation turnout. And I’m very, very thankful for it.
I went random, because I knew I wanted to branch out and meet new people and I was willing to try my odds. After some early facebook stalking, I concluded my roommate was a total weirdo. But as we got to know each other, we quickly became the best of friends. After only a couple months of knowing each other, it felt like years. The level of weirdness we reached around each other as quickly as we did is astounding, and we’re better for it. He’s a friend for life.
What’s even more unfortunate about this story is that my best friend Jason (name has been changed) didn’t go random, solely in effort to avoid what ultimately happened anyway.
Jason used his school’s roommate finder website to find someone he’d never met before as a roommate for the same reason that I went random: to branch out and get to know someone new. The alleged advantage of roommate finder over picking a random roommate is that you can find people you’ve never met, but pick them based on compatible personality traits. In retrospect, it’s actually comical how excited Jason was about his new roommate Charlie (name has been changed) by the end of the summer. Jason had seen online that Charlie had very similar interests, hobbies and habits. They got in contact and decided to be roommates. Jason even had Charlie over at his house one time that summer to meet him in person (they live in the same state), just to make sure they really got along in person as much as they did over the internet. Things were looking great.
For the first couple weeks, things were fine, but they went downhill pretty quickly. First of all, Charlie had a long distance girlfriend, who Jason knew about and never saw as a problem. But after a week or so at college, Charlie began Skyping his girlfriend for hours and hours at a time, and at odd hours of the night. Jason said it got to the point that Charlie rarely left the room except to eat and go to class. Suddenly his roommate seemed more like a recluse than the sociable, outgoing person Jason thought he had met. But no hate, because how could Jason really judge?
Until Charlie made Jason mad, that is. The first real incident that occurred was when Jason was coming back from the bars one Saturday night with a girl, who he was bringing back to the room. Now, it’s important to note that Charlie’s girlfriend had already visited two or three times, and each visit Jason generously slept out at friends’ rooms to give Charlie and his girlfriend privacy.
So this was the first night Jason was coming back to the room with a girl, and he made sure to text Charlie with a couple hours of advanced notice. But when Jason and this girl returned, Charlie was asleep in his bed. Jason and the girl stayed anyway, and when they accidentally woke Charlie up, Charlie jumped up from bed, yelled at them: “Are you fucking serious?!” and stormed out of the room.
Various other issues between the two continued to build tension throughout the year. But nothing was as bad as what would ultimately happen second semester. One night Jason came back from the bars very intoxicated because had been taken out by his brothers for his birthday celebration. Responsibly, though, his brothers took him back to his dorm room and put him to bed, making sure he was asleep before they left. Charlie, who has never consumed alcohol before, told Jason in their roommate interview that he had no problems with drugs or alcohol whatsoever.
Well, Charlie was sitting there in the room playing Dungeons and Dragons with a few hall mates when Jason was put to bed. Unfortunately, Jason soon woke up (his brothers gone) and began throwing up in the garbage can. Charlie, completely unsure of what to do, decided to go to the RA to tell him “Jason is drunk so don’t come to our room.” The RA then claimed to hear Jason throwing up and went to the room, where he saw Jason throw up, so he was legally obligated to call the police. The police came, saw Jason completely intoxicated and took his wallet off of his dresser to search it and found his fake ID. Jason was arrested and is on one-year probation, of which if he breaks, he will be thrown in jail.
Double check everything your future roommate tells you! Recognize that habits may change so be careful.
My friend Scott’s first roommate was awful, and I’ll spare you that story. (I guess I’m the lucky one of my friends). Needless to say, that roommate moved out by the end of the first semester. Scott’s second roommate, though, was a trip. “Doesn’t speak a lick of english but we still love him!” I’ll let the following two text message threads speak for themselves.