1) Never make assumptions.
Questions like ‘Oh is it laundry day?’ Upon seeing your female roommate somehow gets translated to ‘Oh, so you’re gonna dress real scruffy today? That’s cool’ when she is hormonal. Also situations like: ‘You must be my new roommate, are you Indian? That’s so cool!’ Don’t tend to go down well when the response is. ‘I’m from Carlow’.
2) Don’t think out loud.
Even if you normally do at home. At home people probably understand your sense of humour. At College, this isn’t always the case. Comments like ‘That’s soup? Jesus, looks like shit, doesn’t it?’ Never go down as planned. You’ll probably never think of it again but your roommate is silently plotting your death.
3) Living with boys is NOT the same as living with girls.
When you’re having a bad day your female roommate will probably comfort you with a warm hug, some over-priced ice-cream and a movie. She’ll probably say things like: ‘I’ve been there!’ or ‘Should have seen me last week, I was so stressed out, I know how you feel, poor thing.’ A male roommate however will enter the living area and see the set of Carrie with some Steven King influences. He may not ‘get’ your mood and what will start as confusion will end with him in a corner holding up a chair as a weapon. This will only get worse when you wake up the next day in a great mood and enter the kitchen in a jolly skip. Expect him to flinch whenever you make sudden movements and expect him to mutter obscenities under his breath.
4) The walls are thin.
This usually won’t matter too much because students are realistic, tolerant and not very naïve. However it does matter when you and your boyfriend are jokingly messing around, fully clothed and laughing about something silly. It starts as you casually saying ‘I hate my feet’ and your boyfriend jokingly replying with ‘What? No? I love your feet, I just want to lather those babies up and feel them on my naked body.’ You know he’s joking but next door your roommate is sitting wide eyed, startled and mouthing the words ‘what the f*&$’ to himself.
5) Do some researching before deciding to live in Residences.
You’ve heard plenty of stories from friends and family. Your cousin lived with the nicest girl who baked, read to the blind and little birds dressed her in the morning. Everyone is just full of the happy clappy stories about wonderful roommates who touched their hearts and changed their lives but nobody mentions the semester they spent in fear for their life next to John ‘night terrors’ Murphy. He’s tried to kill you at least once in his sleep and you’ve started to lie about where you’re getting your injuries from. Another thing no one ever mentions is the angelic girl who bakes cookies for the homeless and leaves fresh flowers out every day broke up with her boyfriend mid semester and turned into a mix of Girl interrupted and a member of the Brady Bunch off set and on acid. Nobody mentioned any of these things!
6) Never say ‘what’s mine is yours’.
It starts out easy to handle. She’s borrowed your hoodie and doesn’t she look adorable in it!? Ha. Oh her. Then it gets a little more pushy. A towel here, a t-shirt there then one day as she’s bending down to pick something up you notice the black lace ribbon showing from her underwear. ‘That’s just like mi-’. Told ya, never say it.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to never experience any of these! If you have only ever had great roommates though, that’s because you’re the asshole. You are the all of the above. You are the ‘do you mind if I have a slice of the birthday cake you baked for your mother?’ Kind of roommate.