Roommates. They come in all shapes and sizes, with varying levels of emotional stability or lack thereof. I’ve had my fair share of “special” ones, too, from the guy who lost his key no less than 42 times to the guy that punched four holes in our walls over the course of a semester.
I’ve learned to regard my security deposit as a gift, something to be grateful for, but never expecting it to be returned.
Even the normal ones have their hang-ups, whether it’s girlfriends who decide to move in or parents who just can’t seem to let go. Some roommates just have no regard for privacy, such as the ones who used to break into my room or the one who made the joint decision with his girlfriend to use my shower because “It had a bench, bro.”
I remember a sub-zero day in December when my old roommate decided to leave his window open, his fan on, and his door locked securely for the next eight hours. (I’m looking at you, Kyle.)
But then I remember the more interesting roommates that I’ve had: the Swiss guy, the nutty half-German, that guy who drank jaw-dropping quantities of wine straight from the box. These are the people that, when my future children ask about my college years, I’ll just nod, smile and choose not to talk about.
In all fairness, I’m not the most normal roommate either. For some reason, the fact that I cook naked and sing off-key versions of Rolling Stones songs never seems to go over well with the rest of my dorm. I feel as if this needs to be a part of the roommate agreement, so that those who are uncomfortable with nudity and the desecration of classic rock can speak up early in the semester.
The simple act of rooming together sends otherwise normal, healthy people over the edge in ways that modern science just doesn’t understand. My first semester here was spent living with three of my best friends and, after four straight months of passive-aggressively trying to poison each other, we moved out and didn’t speak for months.
So in all likelihood, by now you’ve realized that at least one of your roommates is going to be “that guy,” or whatever the female equivalent of “that guy” is. I like to pretend I have hoards of female fans reading this column — just humor me.
But don’t let one crazed sociopath keep you from enjoying your time here, because for every terrible roommate, there is a completely normal one who has your back against the space case living in Room B. That’s just physics. (Admittedly, I have a very dim knowledge of physics, most of which comes from a single episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy back in the 90s.)
The point is, not every roommate is going to be a lifelong friend. In fact, some seem to be ripped straight from the pages of cheesy sitcoms. And I won’t lie to you: It’s going to be a huge pain in the ass to live with those people.
But if you don’t make the most of it — if you don’t mess with their heads, move their things around, steal the screws from their furniture — you’ll have wasted a golden opportunity.
That’s the true beauty of awful roommates. They help create some of the greatest stories you’ll ever tell. Some of my roommates have become local legends among my friends, simply because they gave me unbelievable storytelling material.
So don’t wallow in self-pity at the thought of your very own live-in psych patient. Think of all the fun you can have over the next four months as you slowly drive them crazier. You could plot new forms of revenge for any occasion that may arise and be ready to document the insanity for future generations to enjoy. You could even place a small speaker within their air vents to convince them that their room is haunted and —
Oh God, I’m “that guy.”
This actually explains quite a bit.
This is what you get for thinking that you could get advice from a humor column. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off unscrewing light bulbs and hiding spiders in our ice maker. Fake spiders, of course. Probably.