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Sleeping with the Enemy

How to Survive Your Roommate

Photo: Ana Benaroya, License: N/A

Ana Benaroya


There’s no doubt that one of the most nerve-racking things about going to college is meeting your roommate on move-in day. If you’re smart, you’ve already looked this person up on every form of social media, just to make sure they don’t post pictures of their tattoos on Instagram or write Facebook statuses about finding true love. You may have even scouted out a roommate at orientation just to avoid the chance of getting stuck with your worst nightmare. At least, that’s what I did my first year of college. I found a roommate through a mutual friend, a totally sweet girl from Texas named Morgan, with great clothes, my size shoe, and an adorable Southern accent that made her impossible not to love. As I’d hoped, Morgan and I quickly became friends. We got drunk in our room off vodka we stole from frat parties and bonded about not having a major or a boyfriend. We shared clothes and shoes and embarrassing stories. She was the perfect, non-invasive, low-key roommate I’d wanted from the beginning—except for one, tiny, insignificant thing.

Our room was cluttered with mounds of dirty tissues. I’d find myself tiptoeing around them just to get to my bed. I’d clean them up, and the next day they’d be there again. I asked Morgan if she was sick, and when she said she wasn’t, things just carried on normally.

A couple months after the school year ended, I found out that Morgan was transferring to the University of Texas and had been working on her transfer application since December. She hadn’t been sick, she had been miserable. And just like that, my totally adorable, easygoing, non-invasive roommate disappeared from my life. I realized then that maybe I was the bad roommate, I was the roommate you move halfway across the country to get away from. And then I realized: That sneaky bitch still has my favorite shirt.

My point is, it’s important not to put too much pressure on finding “the perfect roommate” your freshman year of college. Chances are you’ll get stuck with somebody imperfect, because we all are, and even if you have to pick up a few dirty tissues here and there, you’ll survive freshman year all the same. And if you do find yourself moving across the country to get away from this person, at least make sure you get a good shirt out of it.

 

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