Things I Learned in College: Roommates

Hello, there!

A while ago, I wrote about my college experiences living in the dorms and the apartments. For this post, I would like to add a different, but related element into the mix- that is, roommates. If you are living or have lived in the dorms and apartments during your college years, then it is very likely that you share or have shared that space with another person. Or several persons.

Maybe your roommate experiences have been great, maybe not-so-great. But whatever case that there may be, they nevertheless happened.

My experiences with roommates have been relatively well; as I have said in my previous post, I lived in the dorms my first three years of college; it wasn’t until this year (my fourth and final year) that I moved out into the apartments. In any case, I will go through my rooming experience year by year:

First year: I was in a triple- meaning, living with two other people, including myself. One of them was a mutual friend from high school, the other a year above us. My mutual friend (let’s call her “Joyce”) and I would hang out pretty often, going to club events and socials. Wasn’t as close with the other one, “Esther.” She had her own life, her own friends (who actually lived right next door to us), and so she was out a lot. She was nice for the most part, although I blame her for getting me sick three times that year, once each school term. 😦 After that year, I would see Esther sometimes on campus, but we don’t talk anymore. It’s all good; no hard feelings.

Second year: Same dorm, different room. Roomed with Joyce again, and this time had “Nelly.” Pretty cheerful, chirpy and all. Like Esther, she also had her own life and friends, so we didn’t hang out as a trio. But I definitely talked to her more than Esther, and she was glad to talk to me during those times. My one big issue that I had with her was that she was messy. Not dirty or anything, but rather had all of her stuff strewn all over the dorm room- her clothes, books, whatnot. I had to sometimes pirouette my way through the sea of items in order to get to the bathroom; I wouldn’t be surprised if I had tripped once along the way. Sometimes, even her random things would somehow fall from the top of her bed down to mine (we shared a bunk bed). She wouldn’t notice and I would have to pick them up and put them on her desk. It wasn’t as if it made the rooming experience intolerable, but it was a big nuisance. I think that I had confronted her about her messiness, but it wasn’t major enough to get her to stop. Again, it wasn’t that bad, but it was pretty irritating. In any case, I didn’t really see her after that year; plus, she graduated early. An okay experience.

Third year: Once again, same dorm, but different floor and room. Another triple with Joyce (yes, you see a pattern here…) and with a new roomie, “Jane.” She was a transfer student, and so I kind of gave her some tips on the college system at our university. Didn’t overbear her with a ton of information, but just enough so that she had the autonomy to go out and discover the college experience. She was the one, out of the other roommates that Joyce and I had, to actually be integrated into this trio; we would all eat dinner together from time to time, and spent a long while talking about nothing in particular. Her then-boyfriend came to visit often, and she would tell me about their relationship problems. Lots of history behind it (and juicy, too), and it was just a good way for me to become a better listener. Aside from that, she was a pleasant, if slightly awkward, person to live with. One issue that I had with her was the fact that she stayed up late, and frequently. Sometimes, she would be studying or doing schoolwork; other times, she would be playing online video games. In any case, she had her lamp on the whole time, which was located right in front of my bed, where I slept (duh). I should’ve known to use a drape to block out that area so that I could sleep better, but I didn’t. So the light would be there while I was trying to go to sleep; it made it difficult. Ugh… But apart from that inconvenience, Jane was our only roommate who actually became pretty close to us. At the end of that year, I kind of wanted to stay in touch with her, even when we were going our separate ways. But summer went by and school start again, and life just got in the way. I ran into her several times over the year so far, on campus. Just a smile, a “hi,” and a brief chat. That’s it. But it’s fine. 🙂

*drum-roll for final year! 😀

Fourth year: Moved out and into the apartments! During our third year, Joyce and I found two other people to room with for that upcoming year; we went apartment-hunting during the Winter and Spring term and found one that was fairly close to campus. Requires a extra bit more of walking than from the dorms, but otherwise it’s manageable. We had already knew the other two soon-to-be roommates (let’s call them “Laura” and “Joan”) from the Christian club that Joyce was a part of (and which I would go to from time to time, although not seriously). We split our apartment space into several quadrants: Joyce and I shared the single bedroom, Laura took the den (a small room otherwise used for storage; it’s about the size of a walk-in closet, even a little bigger), and Joan took part of the living room, using a screen to delineate a barrier and give her some privacy.

For the most part so far, we are getting along. Laura and Joan love to laugh, and so I don’t go a day without hearing them talk and laugh about something. Sometimes, all four of us get together, out of random, and just talk about random things, from our day to upcoming events to our lives after college (we’re all in our final year). We’ve gone out a couple of times to dinner, but otherwise our schedules are pretty different.

Granted, there are some quirks from my roommates that I have noticed and/or irritated me. Not like they make living with the unbearable (not at all!), but just a little irksome. For instance, I don’t like the fact that Joyce (and Joan, sometimes) don’t wash their dishes right after eating, leaving them in the sink for several hours until they finally get around to it. It’s just me, but I was conditioned to clean up after myself right after eating and cooking, and so having bowls and utensils in the way when I’m cleaning (and which aren’t even mine) bothers me a bit. I’ve told them about it, and I think they’ve improved on that since then. Not a ton, but still some.

Also, Joyce and Laura’s all-nighters: seriously, their sleeping schedules are wacked. Their lights are almost always on throughout the night, into the early morning when I leave the apartment. It’s about conserving energy, yo! But sometimes, Laura falls asleep in the middle of her schoolwork, and so the light continues to be on. And since I share the bedroom with Joyce, I know when she’s pulling an all-nighter. I’ve stopped counting the times that she has done so this year; there are much too many. I get irritated because I worry for her health; it’s not good to constantly be up, sometimes even until I myself get up for the day. But that’s who she is, and I don’t have the right to tell her what not to do; I can express my concern on the subject, but I can’t tell her not to stay up late all of the time.

I know that this post is going on way too long. But then again, it is a survey of all my four years rooming with different people (or, in the case of Joyce, the same one). I want to end by saying that, although each roommate had some things that enervated me, it wasn’t malicious; they weren’t trying to make dorm/apartment life a living hell- no way! They just weren’t aware that they were doing them; I probably even have some quirks myself that might irritate them, too, but I don’t notice them! But despite all of that, they were good people, and I am glad to have met them as we went through the college system together.

Have you had any interesting roommate experiences? I would be curious to know about them. ‘Til then, take care!

– The Finicky Cynic



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