Aside from choosing your major, choosing a roommate may be one of the hardest decisions you have to make in college. Unless you get lucky on the first try, choosing a new roommate every year is a toss-up. Whether you’re sharing the space of a 13’ X 12’ dorm room, a co-op full of people or a 2 bedroom apartment, there is plenty that can go wrong.
It’s like that twitter meme: You have $10 to build the perfect roommate.
$20 gets along with your friends in a non-creepy way
$15 respects that you need some alone time
$12 doesn’t slam the door while you’re sleeping
$4 wears your clothes without asking you
$1 brings someone new home every night
$6 won’t talk to you for a week if you have a disagreement
$7 doesn’t clean up after themselves
Out of the many possibilities, having a passive aggressive roommate ranks pretty high as being one of the worst qualities. If you’ve had a passive aggressive roommate, you have plenty of stories detailing the awkward encounters and if you haven’t had one, well you’re lucky. Here at Ing, we’ve had plenty of terrible roommates, so know that you are not alone.
You Could Say My Roommates Bugged Me
When I was interning in New York City last summer, I lived with three other girls in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. The building we lived in was an old factory that they turned into an apartment complex, so going into it we knew it was not going to be like a five-star hotel. Over the course of the four months that we lived there, we encountered three cockroaches. Finding a cockroach in your apartment definitely isn’t fun, but there is a huge difference between finding a few and being infested, especially in New York City. My roommates freaked out once we found the third, and demanded that our landlord call an exterminator. When the landlord didn’t deliver, they schemed and plotted to make them lower our rent for the next month that we would be living there. I’m no fan of bugs, but I didn’t think this was something we needed to get our landlord involved with. When I didn’t help my roommates try to plan a way to turn this non-situation into a full out catastrophe, they thought I was trying to work against them in some way. In reality, I just didn’t want to have to deal with the drama they were unnecessarily causing.
During the fall of my sophomore year, I was trying to figure out where I was going to live my junior year. I knew I’d be living with a guy who (at the time) was my friend, so I didn’t think there would be any problems there. He and I made an appointment to look at an apartment close to campus and decided we liked it. It was an easy decision. The next week, we were both supposed to go to the leasing office, fill out paperwork, and pay the application fees. When I called him to schedule a date we needed to go in and do all of that, he didn’t answer. I called, texted, and even went to his dorm room to see what the deal was. His roommate at the time then told me that my friend didn’t want to live with me anymore and I haven’t heard from him since.
As someone who has had terrible luck with roommates, I have plenty of my own horror stories to tell, many of them including a passive-aggressive roommate. In the words of Taylor Swift “I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me.” I try to be empathetic, inclusive, and non-judgemental, but none of that seems to make any difference. Between the roommate who wouldn’t speak to me for a week and a half when she thought I broke a leaf off of her plant, and the roommate who got mad at me for not supporting her decision to cheat on her boyfriend, I couldn’t be happier to have my own room next fall.
Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on Instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.