23 5 / 2012
You’ve heard of Google, right? How about the word the popular search engine was derived from, googol? If you’re familiar with scientific notation, one googol can be translated to 1.0 x 10^100; that is, the number one followed by one-hundred zeros. It also happens to be the number of possible outcomes one may encounter when meeting their roommate for the first time.
I had always been a firm believer in first impressions, but for reasons unbeknownst to me, those seem to go out the window in college faster than a lit joint when the RA on duty shows up at your door. Very few people I’ve met during my time away at school have turned out to be the same person I thought they were the day we first met. I have a theory that because you can “get a fresh start” and “be whoever you want to be” when sent off to college, people only take advantage for a short time before eventually reverting back to their normal selves. But I, for one, believe that any and all people appearing cooler upon first impression who later turn out to suck should be lined up and shot.
That particular death wish brings me to the cautionary tale that is my very own freshman year roommate. Where do I begin?
No way in hell was I about to be stuck with a rando-roommate. Overnight orientation had left me beyond reluctant to leave the fate of my freshman future in the hands of the random roommate gods. Being the go-getter that occasionally I am, I decided to try my school’s incoming freshmen Facebook group on for size and answer roommate wanted ads posted by anyone whose page settings allowed a proper background check. For Roommate #1, everything checked out. She seemed friendly enough, and after a few days of exchanging messages like we were on EHarmony, she popped the question. We submitted our final roommate assignments and I rested assured, enjoying what was left of my summer. It wasn’t until about a week before move-in she thought to bring up that her twin sister would also be attending our university and will be residing just a floor below us— enter Roommate #2.
Flag on the play. What? If this was to ever be taken as good news, what on planet earth took you two weeks to say, “Oh, by the way, you’re about to commit your first year of college to palling around with Annie and Hallie from The Parent Trap.” By the time move-in day came around, I had drawn the following conclusions:
Sadly for Roommate #1, although nice, had a personality that just about ended there. Completely boyfriend-obsessed, her three favorite topics of conversation were: beer, tv, and her boyfriend. If at any point the focus shifted away from either of the three subjects, Roommate #1 ensured that the course of conversation be restored.
As it turns out, Roommate #2 was the polar opposite. I wish by that I meant she was funny and completely interesting, but unfortunately, I’m talking apeshit crazy, full-fledged psychopath. And not even the fun kind. Initially, I sympathized for her roommate troubles since she spent the first half of the semester sleeping on our floor just to escape her, but I soon grew suspicious that just maybe her roommate was normal. Surely, that would explain why bipolar bitch twin was so off-put by her presence.
After hearing five identical stories about that one time Roommate #1 and her boyfriend watched tv while drinking 40s and sitting idly by while Roommate #2 rummaged through my collection of Easy Mac and granola bars like a feral animal, I was spent.
Then one day, while sitting through another World Civics lecture, I overheard a kid in the row behind me say to another, “She’s watching 30 Rock” in a condescending, pompous tone. At the same time, me and the girl sitting beside me turned to each other with a look that said, “Get a load of this asshole,” but while looking in her direction, I noticed Hulu opened on her computer screen playing the same episode. A girl after my own heart.
Needless to say, we became very good friends and the following year, roommates. With her by my side, we ran train on friend-making the second half of freshman year and continue to do so to this day. She is proof that good roommates do exist and college would be no where near the same experience without her.
Where are Roommate #1 and 2 now? Living in off-campus housing with a friend from their hometown and another girl they met on Facebook. God bless her soul.
22 5 / 2012
As anyone who’s been away at school for more than five hours is aware, the people you surround yourself with quickly become your family. No, no, I’m not talking about greek life. I’m talkin’ the long lost sibling you never know you had (the roommate), your grandfather (that quirky old professor who teaches your night class), and that one cousin on your mother’s side who you’re strangely attracted to no matter how many times you try to talk yourself out of it— the intra-friendship crush.
You can deny it all you want, but unless you came into college already in a relationship (and you’re super faithful, of course) we’ve all faced this to some extent at one point or another. One day you find yourself in a big ol’ co-ed group of friends. You’re all hanging out in somebody’s common room watching another rerun of Always Sunny and it’s alll fun and games— but it doesn’t last long. The fact of the matter is college is a cesspool of hormones and cheap vodka. Maybe the tension’s been building for a while, or maybe it’s Halloweekend and you suddenly find yourself snapping out of a blackout mid-makeout sesh with the Red Power Ranger himself, but somehow you’ve made it to the point of no return. You share more mutual friends at school than you have fingers and toes, and there’s no hiding from it now.
If you’re a delusional girl like myself, you can sit on the edge of your seat for the next several
weeks months waiting for him to make another move, because it couldn’t have just been a fluke, right? You might drunkenly hookup a few more times throughout the remainder of the semester, but since you have nearly all the same friends, you get the pleasure of hearing all the dirty deets of the Red Ranger’s attempts, failures, and triumphs with the ladies.
It’s a long road ahead, grasshopper, but it’s one you turned down yourself. So how do you escape? It sure beats the hell out of me.