Most people that have lived with a roommate, or a few roommates, could tell you that it is often quite the experience. Whether your roommates are your best friends or a randomly assigned person at the start of the year, it is often pretty difficult to live with other people.
I share a suite on campus with five other guys. They are some my best and closest friends. While I continue to have a great living experience with my friends, it can be difficult living with anyone, regardless of how close your relationship.
To give you more insight into my housing experience, it is important to understand the dynamics of having multiple people live in a confined space.
Let’s start with me. I have always been a neat-freak. Everything in my room is where it should be. If I eat something, I’ll throw away my garbage. If the garbage is full, I’ll empty it and replace the bag. I could care less if other people have a dirty room, but I refuse to live in filth!
As much as I want my roommates to be the same way, this is not the case. For some of these guys, having messy college apartments with garbage lying around doesn’t seem to bother them at all. If someone leaves a dirty plate or empty water bottle lying around, they’ll just tend to it later. If the garbage is overflowing, it will take them days to replace the bag. I don’t mind if my suitemates’ individual rooms are gross, as long as I don’t have to live there. On the other hand, I can’t stand when they leave their mess in our common room.
Our differences in personality have led to their share of small arguments (mostly me asking them to pick up after themselves), but overall we get along great. However, one fun story sticks out in my mind…
After returning back from Winter Break a day late, I noticed that something in my room smelled a little funky. I asked my roommates to see if they noticed the smell, which they agreed, did not smell good. At first, the smell didn’t worry me too much. I bought some Lysol and sprayed my room. However, the next day, the smell had intensified. I couldn’t figure out what it was, and neither could my roommates. I had maintenance examine my vent. The maintenance man changed my air filter and sprayed a lemony disinfectant.
The room smelled better for a few hours, but still had hints of an odor. I was baffled. I washed all my clothes, changed the sheets on my bed, kept the window open, and continued to spray healthy amounts of Lysol. Yet still, my room reeked. After some more time passed, the smell continued to worsen until I couldn’t take it anymore! Like a Basset Hound, I sniffed and sniffed until finally, I looked under one of the posters on my wall.
And there it was…a raw fish, duct taped to my wall. At first I was confused, but the longer I stared, the more my blood began to boil. After at least ten seconds of staring, I lost it. Furiously, I demanded that my roommates remove the fish and scrub my wall, which they did (laughing their heads off of course). I stormed downstairs to retrieve my clothes and sheets from the laundry room stewing in anger. But after a flight of stairs, my anger had turned to laughter.
I’ll give it to them; it was an extremely good prank. After living with me, my suitemates know what makes me tick, and they pushed my buttons. At the end of the day, we all had laughs about it and I guarantee that this is not something that I’ll forget in the near future.
This prank also taught me a lesson. Although you think you may be easy to live with, it’s important to look in the mirror and look at your faults. I’m not perfect. Neither are my roommates. We have different personalities and there is no way for me to impart my living habits onto them. In the end, it’s better to accept people for who they are and not let minor details or faults get in the way of what otherwise could be an awesome experience.