Your Roommate Doesn’t Have To Be Your Worst Enemy

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I’m supposed to be homeless right now. That is, I should be dormless this semester in college. Curse my strained relationship with the housing department. Imagine my surprise when after much pleading (and facing the possibility of living in my car), I received word that there is an available spot for me on campus. Hurray! But wait, I have one . . . two . . . three roommates? Oh boy.

I am nervous at first. Four girls living in one tiny room for two semesters? That’s a tall order, folks. Still, I felt grateful that I held a spot in my dorm for the next pair of semesters. I’m going to take what I can get, and if that means sharing a dorm with three other girls, so be it. I love my car, but not so much that I’m willing to cuddle myself to sleep in the back seat every night. College students are stereotyped as broke, but the prospect of living in my car stretches the limits a bit too far.

Imagine my surprise when a few months before college started, one of my roommates contacted me on Facebook. It’s a huge surprise she went out of her way to reach out to me. After getting contacts from all three roommates, we all stay in touch until we meet each other for the first time on move-in day. Picture yourself in a small apartment-like setting with three other families buzzing about getting kitchen supplies, bed covers and clothes ready for their kids. My roommates and I dodge parents, siblings, cousins and a grandparent as we settle into our new home. It’s quite a cozy atmosphere, to say the least.

I heard horror stories of roommate interactions and I probably carried this prejudice with me the first few days of living together with my new roomies. However, I’m treated to the opposite. Instead of writing passive-aggressive notes about the dishes, my roommates wash their dishes and utensils and leave mine in the sink until I get to it. Instead of late-night disruptions, my new friends go to bed at decent times and ask if it’s alright to turn off the lights. Instead of arguing and fighting, we get along perfectly fine, sharing stories and jokes with each other as we sit down to eat or study.

Dorm life with roommates is not always paradise though. Two of my roommates have lost their keys to either their room or their car. My roommate and I scour our room to find her missing keys to no avail. I shuffle around in my rainbow slippers with hair that puts Medusa to shame, searching high and low for her keys. It is an interesting way to start the morning. Last week, the four of us roommates had to grab whatever we could and rush out of your dorm for the unexpected fire drill.

“Wait! Let me change!” one girl screams. She hurries back to her room to change her shorts for pants.

“Oh my gosh, if this was a real fire drill, we would be dead by now,” another roomie says. The four of us scurry out of our dorm and wait in the chilly cold. I am, again, in my rainbow slippers and cover my rainbow bathrobe with a jacket. I smile when my roommate took a picture of the scene and uploads on Facebook our current situation.

Life with my roommates is amazing. I live with kind people who look out for me and cheer me up whenever I’m having a bad day. One of my roommates says that whenever she smells eggs, popcorn, or soup, she automatically thinks of me—sue me, those are my fave three foods. I’m there to offer a listening ear whenever one of the girls wants to talk about their day. In the first week or so of college, we all sat down together and watch a movie. We make silly comments and laugh at every other scene. I hadn’t had that experience in . . . well, ever.

The four us come and go from the dorm for our classes, appointments and dates. Whenever I can, I try to say, “See you. Have a nice day!” It’s my way of trying to be a good friend and roommate to the other girls before they head to another exam or quiz or lecture. While we continue to sleep in late for a big exam the next day, cook burnt popcorn in the microwave (again), and frisk the entire dorm for missing keys, I’ll continue to appreciate my roommates, my car-sleeping days already put out to pasture.

Rocio Cosme is a sophomore majoring in English at University of Florida. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, crushing over fictional boys in her favorite books, and free hugs.

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