Okay, so I’d be lying if I were to say that every roommate experience is going to be a match made in heaven. In fact, sometimes our roommates do and say things that make us want to cry, pour peroxide in their shampoo and wonder if they are the spawn of Satan (or at least his girlfriend). Let’s face it, ladies: when you go to college, whether she “borrows” your underwear (gross) when you’re not in the room or is having a secret relationship with her bio TA, sometimes you end up with a roommate who causes you to question her mental stability. Welcome to roommate hell.
But before you book yourself a one-way ticket back home, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. College just wouldn’t be college without having a few Froot Loops mixed in a bag of otherwise Cheerios, so the best we can do is learn how to deal with those annoying/awkward/I-want-to-kill-her roommate situations and, more importantly, how to laugh at them. Here, we present to you some of the best of the worst roommate horror stories—enjoy!
“I ended up loving my roommate and she is my best friend at school, but it wasn't always that way! The first month we lived in our room together we kept fighting over the air conditioning. She would turn it up, and I would turn it off. Since we didn't actually speak to each other our emotions ran high, and it ended in a screaming match with tears and all. But after that, we bonded and everything was fine. I had friends in my dorm though that both suffered and caused bad situations. There were toothbrushes in the toilet and trash dumped on people's beds. I was just happy my roommate and I solved our issues early by telling each other what bothered us and what we could live with!”
–Katie, James Madison University ‘12
“My roommate and I actually met when I visited Elon for orientation weekend. We seemed to have a lot in common, and decided we'd make great roommates. However, I was wrong. The first few nights of school, we went out together and had a great time. But the third night, I came home alone, and she brought a guy home with her while I was in bed. She proceeded to hook up with him about ten feet away from my bed. The next morning, I freaked out on her and told her we needed to establish some ground rules. We did, but that was only the beginning of the problems.”
–Jackie*, Elon University ‘13
"My first roommate freshman year was a girl who thought that she was better than me just because she was from Texas. I've grown up in Southwestern culture in Colorado, so the first day I commented about how much I love Southwestern food, like tacos. She just looked at me scornfully and said, "Oh, that can't compare with Tex-Mex—the REAL Mexican food." And she showed me a jar of salsa, which was "the best" because (guess what?) it came from Texas. So for the next few weeks until room thaw (when we can swap roommates or rooms as needed) I remained polite but distant. Then one day I was taking a nap when I awoke suddenly to her stroking my back! THAT was creepy, and that night I slept over at my boyfriend's to avoid her. Thankfully, my new roommate was actually normal!"
–Emily, William and Mary College ’10
“One day, I came home from class to find a boy I didn't know sleeping on my roommate's bed. Now, I could care less what goes on in my roommate's bed as long as I don't have to hear it or hear about it. But I was not okay with some random guy having access to my room. I called her and asked her what was up, and she told me that her friend really needed a nap so she gave him her key. We had a talk that night, during which we laid out some ground rules (e.g., don't give random people access to our room. It's my room too).”
–Alyssa*, Elon University ’13
“My roommate’s boyfriend was visiting for a couple of days, so I told her to let me know if she wanted me to avoid the room at any point during the day and I would gladly do so for as long as she wanted, but that between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. I would be in the room and to keep it relatively PG (I had class the next day). Of course, she never asked me to be gone for any period of time (her fault—not mine), but I still was gone for most of the day anyways. Of course come 3 a.m. while I am lying in bed trying to finish up a paper, clearly awake (my light was on and I was on my laptop), they start going at it. It was extremely awkward because I face her bed and it was just the three of us in there. I didn’t know what to do so I texted my guy friend and asked for advice. He told me to blast “Let’s Get it On” from my computer so they’d get the hint. Well, I turned up my comp full volume and did just that, and pretty soon their “make-out” sesh was in perfect rhythm with the song, and the boyfriend started laughing and said, ‘OK, I can take a hint.’ My roommate was pissed at me, but I was thoroughly amused, and it got them to stop.”
-Emma, George Washington University ’13
“My good guy friend from high school also goes to school at Elon. My roommate started hanging out with him a lot, which was fine with me, but she did it really sneakily. She'd tell me she was going to the gym, then I'd see her around campus with him. I found it weird, but he liked her so I let it go. They dated for two weeks before she told him she couldn't see him anymore. Then she started bringing random guys back to our room. She eventually ended up hooking up with three of my friends and making a good deal of my friendships really awkward because of it. I'm glad I won't be rooming with her again next year!”
–Phoebe*, Elon University ’13
“One time, my roommate returned from a visit from home and I got a phone call from Public Safety, asking me to come to their office on campus because they had to ask me about a theft. Totally befuddled, I walked to Public Safety and walked into a room where my lovely roommate was sitting. Are you kidding me? SHE was essentially accusing ME of stealing her watch! I explained that since we were a tour room (a room that the tour groups would see while on tour) someone from a tour might have taken it because I was in the library all day. She told me that she wasn't accusing me of stealing it, but that I was the only one in the room that weekend (such BS!). Finally, when we were moving out my roommate was packing up her TV. We had used tape to tape the wires to the wall, and after she took the tape off the wall, she put the rolled up, used tape in my sneaker! Then, I found several of those 'twisty ties' in my shirt drawer!”
-Erin, Fairfield University ’11
It didn’t end well for these two infamous roommates…
“Although my two roommates were and are my best friends at school, I felt like the whole cleaning aspect of living in an apartment was completely ignored—thus, had fallen on me a majority of the time. Dishes would pile up in the sink and I told myself that I wouldn't end up doing them because I already had done them for so many weeks on end. However, I would crack because the stench of crusted black beans, melted cheese, and slimy noodles seemed to travel all the way to my bedroom.
The other roommate (the cleaner one) was a little louder in the bedroom. At times I would rather hear Marissa's screams than Tess's grunts, moans, and her boyfriend's noises that sounded like a kid with major Tourette’s syndrome. The walls would sound like they were about to fall down, the cat would stare at the door as if a circus was going to come through, and even Marissa complained of the noise (shocker). When her boyfriend's birthday came around, Tess got so drunk in her little leopard lingerie, brought some whipped cream in the room, and let's just say writing my Native American literature paper was going to take a little longer than initially expected.”
-Michelle, Emerson College ’11
“I used to go home every single weekend during my freshman year of college because my roommate was so awful. She was so unnecessarily mean to me, and I couldn't understand why because we were close friends in high school. I came back to the dorms one Sunday night after spending the weekend with my mom to find a disgusting nightmare on my side of the room. I flipped on the lights and found all of my roommate’s clothes, used condom wrappers and other random things strewn all over my side of the room. When I went to lay stuff on my bed, I realized that my bed was made over a pile of garbage! She had thrown her boyfriend's dirty socks, French fry cartons and other super gross things from her trashcan right into my bed! It was so disgusting that I thought there was no way it was an accident.
Things just went downhill from there (if you can imagine) and I ended up withdrawing from on-campus housing at the end of the first semester. I've been renting apartments off campus and missing out on the traditional college experience ever since.”
-Nicole, Temple University ’11
Think you can top these roommate horror stories? Share yours in the Comments section below!
Students from various colleges