The Voice

Roommates are like group projects…all of the time

Anne Berg, Features Editor

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     Let’s face it, college is hard. And roommates can sometimes make it even harder. We all know the struggle. We are just finishing the fourth week of classes and at this point we are starting to remember all of the grudges we forgot about over winter break. I know that after a month away it seems like you were maybe just making everything up in your head. Your roommates aren’t actually as bad as you thought they were. You decide to make amends. To start the year fresh. And for a while it works. But at this point in the semester you realize that you were right all along. Roommates suck. And it’s not because of one singular thing. It’s a culmination of everything that they do that is different from what you’re used to.

     Freshman year is hard because you’ve never lived away from home and you’re not used to the way that everyone else lives. And you think it will get easier in the years to come. You’ll get to know people’s habits, and you’ll start living with your friends, whom you love. But it doesn’t get easier; in fact it can get even harder. Because the second you move out of the dorms and into an apartment, a whole new set of issues arises. Sure you now have your own room, but there’s something far more important that you need to share. The kitchen.

     Dishes are the root of all evil. And in general problems with the roomies. No one really enjoys doing the dishes, but they kind of come with the ‘cooking for yourself’ territory. And it’s important for everyone to pull his or her own weight. I’m sure back home your mom has yelled at you a few times to do the dishes, and you never really understood why she got so upset. But now you understand. Completely. Because it’s absolutely maddening when you get home from class and the sink is filled to the brim with dirty dishes. Or you go to use your favorite bowl and it’s still dirty from when your roommate microwaved spaghetti-o’s in it last week. And you know by now that red sauce has a tendency to stain everything.

     When dishes are concerned the list goes on and on, and it seems like there is no solution in sight. Because either you do all of the dishes just to keep the mess down, but then you end up resenting your roommates because they NEVER clean their dishes. But then again, do you give them a chance to? Or you can say something and risk everyone being pissed at you, because lets face it you only ever text demands when you’re angry enough to risk their anger. And lets be real, these texts are usually a bit hypocritical because you definitely get lazy sometimes and leave your dirty dishes in the sink for a day or twelve. But you blame it on lack of time, although we all know that Netflix has its way with you for quite a few minutes of the day, that could be spent scrubbing dried on food off of last week’s dishes. Or do you just say forget it and let the sink pile up, only wash the dishes you used, and eventually run out of clean dishes so you end up having to clean them all anyway.

     And it isn’t only dishes. It’s basically everything about housekeeping that makes roommates the absolute worst. Doing laundry. It seems like a pretty easy concept. Put clothes in the washer. Take them out when they’re finished and move them immediately to the dryer. Then take those out when they’re finished. But somehow it is a very difficult system to understand. The first issue is roomies putting their clothes in right as you’re about to. Or heck right after you get in the shower. And then, even though they couldn’t wait to put them in the washer, they take their sweet old time switching them. In fact they leave their wet laundry in the washer for hours. Until you go to sleep. And then they decide to switch it even though the dryer is definitely louder than the washer and right outside of your bedroom. And then once its finally all dry, they decide, why not leave it in there for a few days? And in the end you never get to finish your laundry. And it’s a weekly issue.

     And then there is the cleaning of the actual apartment. It always seems to fall to one person, even though there are four people and four different vacuums. And even though that one person says that she doesn’t mind cleaning, you know that she’s silently throwing daggers at you with her eyes the second you turn around. Or maybe I’m just paranoid. Or that’s just what I would do. And god, I haven’t even gotten to the issue of taking out the trash. But that’s a whole other topic for another day.

     And you might be thinking, well this is just with random roommates. I’d never have these issues with my friends. But trust me, throwing friendship in the mix only makes it worse. Because how do you tell your friend that you want to smack them every time they put a dish in the sink and leave it for days. With random roomies it’s not really a big deal if they hate you and think you’re uptight. But you want your friends to still like you. And you don’t want to feel the urge to throttle your friend for doing their laundry at midnight after you just said that you were going to sleep.

     So yeah, basically there are a lot of instances in which you want to lock your roommates out and never let them back in. And maybe this wouldn’t be a big deal if you had nothing on your plate besides Netflix and dealing with them. But and college is actually a nightmare on its own most of the time, without the added stress of silent battles with your roommates. After a long day of hard work you want to be able to forget all your worries and watch that new Netflix show. You don’t want to wash all of your roommates’ dishes before realizing that you still have to wash your own. So what’s the solution? Dropout and avoid all the stress ever? Become a commuter and deal with a whole other set of stresses? Kill all of your roommates and only deal with cleaning up after them once? Okay, so maybe that’s taking it too far.

     The only real solution is to talk to them. I know, trust me, this is coming from the queen of never confronting anyone about anything ever. But sometimes you just have to say what’s on your mind or risk imploding. I mean definitely try not to explode on them about how irresponsible they are, because trust me that’s not solving anyone’s problems. But just have a talk, with everyone, about what has been bothering you. Even if they don’t change, at least you got it off your chest. Cause chances are not everyone is as weird about the dishes as you are and they don’t even realize that they’re doing anything wrong in the first place.

     But of course, in the end at least we can all commiserate with how much we sometimes hate each other. Here are two beautiful quotes that my roommate found for me on Pinterest. I think they are actually the best things I have ever heard and quite applicable to the roommate situation. “Living with you has seriously made me think about living in my car”-thought every roommate ever. “I’m not saying I hate you, but I would unplug your life support to charge my phone.” And the truth comes out.

 

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Roommates are like group projects…all of the time