Ten Things I Hate About You

Victoria Cubera

Now that the initial shock of terrible lottery numbers has worn off, the percentage of the student body not graduating this semester faces the onerous task of choosing roommates. Dealing with annoying neighbors can be terrible enough; obviously, no one wants to share their living space with a roommate who drives them off the wall. While you may not have any control over keeping that screeching she-devil next door from ending up in the same building as you again, you can help keep life civil inside your humble abode by avoiding the top ten transgressions roommates everywhere are guilty of committing.

10. Noise pollution. Having a loud roommate when you’re obviously trying to sleep or study can be a major source of frustration. Whether blasting music on their speakers, making exuberant phone calls at three in the morning, or insisting on keeping the television’s volume set to the decibel level of a shuttle launch, some people just have no regard for appropriate noise levels unless they are forcibly asked to keep it down.

9. Competitiveness. Constant comparisons between grades, class selections, circles of friends, hours spent sleeping, hours spent partying, post-graduate plans, weekend activities and personal backgrounds get old fast. Be secure enough that you don’t feel the need to continually try to one-up your roommate to boost your self-esteem.

8. Making decisions for all room occupants without consultation. Redecorating without prior notification is one example; maybe everyone doesn’t want to see a gigantic framed print of your family’s feet hanging in the common room. Similarly, buying a week’s worth of groceries and expecting reimbursement can be a problem if you fail to take their dietary habits into consideration. Vegans may not appreciate you stocking up on eggs, milk and bacon.

7. Eating food that does not belong to you. Get your own care package.

6. Constantly having people over. Walking into a room filled with your roommate’s friends can grow tiring after the eighth time that week, especially when all you want to do is throw on a pair of sweatpants and finish reading The Odyssey without having to worry if that cute friend of his or hers that you’ve been eyeing will come in while you look like a total slob.

5. Destroying the room. There’s a big difference between being untidy and creating an unintentional obstacle course out of your possessions. Also, kicking holes in the walls or breaking down bathroom doors generally tends to be frowned upon by suitemates.

4. Going through someone else’s stuff. Ask permission to look for something that may have gotten mixed in with your roommate’s belongings; otherwise, if they walk in while you’re riffling through their desk drawers, they may never trust you again.

3. Borrowing things and breaking them. Like cars, for example, though perhaps a more common example is irreparable damage to articles of clothing. Accidents do happen, but when your roomie has ruined three of your favorite shirts, you might want to think twice before lending them anything else.

2. Constant sexiling. While keeping hook-ups private and out of the public sphere is always advisable, that doesn’t mean hitting your room is necessary every single time. Your special friend is living somewhere too; go kick their roommate out for a change.

1. Being intentionally mean, discourteous or disrespectful. If halfway through the year, you realize that rooming together was a mistake, don’t let pettiness and spite turn the room into a battlefield. Stay civil and stay polite; it can save your friendship. Instead of hating the person you live with and internalizing issues, find ways to reach compromises on whatever is driving you all crazy. Communicate. Maybe you can channel your frustrations in a more productive way, and bond with the roomies at the same time.

After all, you did choose to live with them. Even if it doesn’t work out, just keep in mind that the real enemy is not the friend who ended up being a little too close for comfort; it’s still the annoying neighbor that no one ever wanted in the first place.