Roommates can be a pain, but usually are for the best

By By Matt Plummer and By Matt Plummer

By Matt Plummer

For those of you living in the Residence Halls for the first time, you will probably have to face the reality of a roommate. Whether you think your roommate is a good one or not, that person will benefit you in one way or another.

You might think my roommate story was a nightmare upon hearing this, but I assure you, it was simply an adventure. I met my roommate on the day we moved in. He came from Korea and had a single large bag and backpack. I spent hours moving stuff from my car into my room. He unpacked faster than I could get settled into a hotel room, so he came in and watched me in my room. He stood there, observing me like I was an animal in the zoo. As I brought in a bunch of items such as a television, microwave, refrigerator, he stood there…judging me.

After a while, he went back into his room and logged onto his computer. I didn’t see him for the rest of the day. During the next few weeks, we began mingling. We had meals and watched TV together. We became pretty good friends, and I guess this meant that we could share our things. Considering he had little more than a change of clothes and a laptop computer, most of the sharing came from my side. He used my fridge for his milk in the morning, my microwave for his Cup Noodles, my TV for video games, and my shoes because he thought they looked cool. He shared with me his remarkable skill at solving math problems when I’d get stuck doing my college algebra homework. I didn’t really mind him using my fridge, until milk spilled and spoiled overnight. I didn’t mind him using my video games, until I wanted to go to sleep at night. And I never actually knew he wore my shoes until I saw him wearing them one day. A size 12 wide did not fit into my size 10 narrow very well and they never fit the same afterward.

Even with the community of sharing we had developed, he was a great roommate. He never once complained about me coming in late, making too much noise, or having too many people in my room. He was easygoing. This made me skeptical about the U Housing and Residential Education website. I don’t really believe in the online system of choosing a roommate, plus I don’t actually think it does anything. My lifestyle was the polar opposite of my roommate and we got put together.

Taking a personal-life litmus test for a roommate doesn’t seem to be all that effective. And thank goodness. Campus living is a pinnacle of college life. Living with people too much like yourself just keeps you in the world you grew up in. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to get into an off-campus place where I didn’t have to deal with rules, but everybody has a roommate story.

Whatever your roommate turns out to be, just go with it. I believe in the quote “Life’s not fair, deal with it.” We have our entire lives in front of us and things will never go the way we want. Learn to deal with it now. Leave the whining and fussing back at your parents’ house; you can always make it work. And it usually turns out for the best. To me, there are very few things that are grounds to request a room change. Plus, there is always more to a roommate than meets the eye.

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