How My Roommate Dumped Me

     Sharing a room with someone is an integral part of college. For some, having a roommate is like living with a best friend, complete with late night food runs, giggly movie nights, and talking over the space between the beds in the dark.  For others, it means loud morning alarms, interrupted sleep, and passive-aggressive arguments when cranky and half-awake. 

     I was one of the few brave souls who chose to have a random roommate, and luckily for me, my roommate and I were both clean, quiet, and slept around the same time. For the first few weeks, we didn’t have a single meal without each other, and my inner chatterbox slowly came out. 

     Eventually, I got sick of having her around all the time and started migrating to the library. Little things started getting to me, like her refusal to buy a desk lamp when I wanted to sleep early, her invasive questions about the poor quality of my skin, and her loud, piercing singing that interrupted the music playing in my headphones. She had earlier classes than I did, so I often woke up to the sound of the door slamming. I figured these were little things that were to come with any roommate relationship. Then one weekend, she snapped and barked out with barely-concealed rage that the tone of my alarm made her physically angry. Annoyed with her outburst over a small issue, I avoided her for the rest of the weekend, knowing that everything would return to normal once she talked to me again. Except she never engaged me in conversation again. 

     For two months, we simply coexisted in the same place, offering each other nothing more than half-hearted greetings when we saw each other on campus. Communications became limited to texts, and the few times we did talk, it was banal and school-related. We were like strangers who just happened to share a room, never learning or caring about the other beyond sleep schedules and alarms. 

     Finally, she told me she had found someone else to room with next semester. I was stunned. 

     She told me it was because she could not express herself with me because of the language barrier, that my sleep-movements woke her up at night, and that she didn’t like how I went to sleep at midnight instead of an hour earlier. The last nail in the coffin was how she told me her new roommate was a math and science person just like her, so they would have more in common than she and did.  

     I hadn’t liked my roommate very much, but I had thought we had established a system that worked for us both. I had bought earplugs so her rustling would stop waking me up in the mornings, and I did my best to be quiet after late-night studying sessions when I snuck back into the room. I even did most of the cleaning in the room. In the end, it still wasn’t enough. I felt rejected. 

     I wasn’t the perfect roommate, but I did my best with the situation I was in. I remember earlier in the semester when I had gotten her a planner, told her about events, and talked about some of the issues I cared about like I would to any of my other friends. But she was never able to overcome our differences, and that’s something I have no choice but to accept. I don’t know who my roommate next semester will be, but I can only hope that I will get along with her more than I do with my current roommate. Maybe this time, we will even be friends.