Roommates: the good, the bad and the bizarre

By in Culture

If you’re anything like the average university student — broke, in school full-time and vaguely capable of social interaction — you’ve probably had roommates and some of them likely haven’t been the greatest.

From the noisy and the messy to the downright bizarre, it seems like everyone has a story in their back pocket about a less than ideal living situation and University of Saskatchewan students are no exception. We all know that living with other people can get a little slovenly.

Sometimes messes can be a source of conflict between roommates. But what about the cases when your roommates are too clean?

One student describes an interesting incident involving the age-old tale of washing the dishes. Her roommate had just run a sink full of water to do a few dishes. After the roommate was done, she went to wash her own. Before she could, her roommate let all of the water out of the sink. What gives? Apparently, her roommates didn’t want her washing her dishes in the same water as them because it was “unhygienic” to share the water. Needless to say, they did their own dishes from that point on.

Another student tells of the time her roommate didn’t buy toilet paper for an entire week. She bought her own roll and carted it back and forth to the bathroom but never left it. What was her roommate doing for those seven days? We’ll never know — and probably be better off for it.

Whether you’ve made it through weeks, months or even a year, there comes a time for change when someone has to go. Even though there may be some relief when that time comes, roommates can even be terrible when they’re moving out!

One story that came my way was about a girl whose roommate didn’t tell her that they were leaving until the middle of the third trip of moving stuff out.

So what should one do when faced with roommates from hell? Here are some suggestions, which may or may not be based on actual events.

There’s always the classic move of arguing exclusively by leaving passive-aggressive whiteboard messages or post-its for your roommates to read. Equally passive-aggressive but a bit more cruel: bake a big, delicious batch of cookies and don’t give them any. There are few greater agonies than the smell of fresh baking that you aren’t allowed to eat. Or better yet, host a regular Dungeons and Dragons tournament complete with capes, swords and very enthusiastic role playing.

For a more U of S themed approach, staking out a permanent spot in the Murray Library and spending most of your time there is an easy way to avoid roommate conflict. The sixth floor in particular is a great place to camp out because of the amazing selection of comfy couches to nap on.

This is one that’s certainly not uncommon in U of S residences: have really loud, passionate sex while everyone else is trying to study for midterms.

If you don’t mind losing your hearing prematurely, blast some loud metal — or Taylor Swift, no one’s judging here — in your headphones to drown out the noise of your roommates.

Perhaps roommate problems are just another part of the university experience. At the very worst, you move out at the end of the year. But you end up with some great stories to tell your next set of roommates.

However, always remember: no matter how horrendous, nasty or unpleasant your living situation might be, you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, both literally and figuratively.