College Culture Roommates – Draft

I say roommates are a part of college culture because this is the first time students will have a roommate in their life. A roommate is someone you share the same living space with. The space that you once called your own, where you went to be by yourself, the space that you found to be your most comfortable, is no longer just your space. Not only is it a new place that you haven’t called your own yet, but you have to now share this space with a complete stranger.

This is what happened to Brayton and Kaylin. They came to Morningside knowing that they were going to be roommates with each other, but had no idea what the other person was going to be like besides what’s on their Facebook.

“My first impression of Kaylin was that she watches a lot of TV.” Brayton laughs. “I knew she was a cheerleader, but that’s it.”

“When she first entered the room, she greeted me and immediately I thought, she’s friendly and is going to be really more outgoing than me.” Kaylin chuckles with a thoughtful expression. “And then the first thing we talked about with each other is how messy we are.”

Luckily, though, everything worked out because three years later Brayton and Kaylin are still roommates. Kaylin says what made it work best for them was that they weren’t spending every minute of the day together. The two had their own friend group that they hung out with during the day but at night, in the room they shared, they could be friends.

Some people though aren’t as lucky. Kari came to Morningside and picked out a roommate she went to high school with and things didn’t really go according to plan. They weren’t best friends, but they knew each other and got along. Yet, before the end of their first year living together, some things happened, and by the end of the year, they didn’t even talk.

The next year, Kari moved in with a friend she made in college and that didn’t go as planned either. Whether it was the different personalities or maybe Kari can’t have roommates, we don’t know. Things just don’t always go as according to plan.

As for my experience with roommates, I moved into a house with a bunch of strangers. The logic living there was I don’t have to talk to these people, I can just do my own thing and I sleep there. These people aren’t my friends, just housemates and I was fine with that.

Looking back at that time in my life, I call them my shitty roommates. I lived there with my boyfriend in the attic, on the main floor lived a drug dealer and a lesbian couple, and in the basement lived a college dropout and another Morningside student.

Living there was a nightmare. The kitchen was always a mess, strangers were always in the house, doors were always unlocked, no one ever helped with the housework, and whatever else could go wrong basically went wrong. There was a leak in the roof over the kitchen, there were two untrained dogs, the dishwasher was broken, the water heater broke, the fridge was falling apart, and the house just wasn’t built sensibly. The house wouldn’t be a problem if the person who had the landlord’s contact information wasn’t a piece of shit and care about only himself. Needless to say, I moved out before the end of the year.

Senior year, I now live with my friends and things are going very well, as they always do at the beginning of the year. What I hope will be different from my previous roommate experience is that I live with my friends. I hope we will be able to communicate with each other and not get into arguments that’ll ruin our friendship forever.

After college, I’m not sure if I’m still going to rely on roommates. If I do, what I’ve learned about roommates, thanks to college culture. Is that live with people you like but also give each other space. Don’t be afraid to talk about house things because it’s better to be handled sooner rather than later.