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Roommate Roulette: Surviving College Chaos with a Side of Laughter

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

College life can be a rollercoaster, and one of the most thrilling rides is the adventure of sharing a dorm room with a roommate. While it’s not always smooth sailing, it can certainly be a hilarious and enriching experience. As a seasoned veteran of the roommate rollercoaster, I’ve seen it all—both the soaring highs and the occasionally turbulent lows. It’s worth noting that not everyone’s college roommate experience will mirror another’s, but that’s what makes it so exciting. In this guide, I’ll share the top 10 tips I’ve picked up along the way. Because while your college roommate journey may be uniquely your own, there’s one thing you can always count on: the power of laughter to make even the most trying times a bit more bearable.

Embrace the Quirks

Living with a roommate often means you’ll come across a bunch of interesting habits that make your living situation special. Your roommate might do things that seem a bit unusual, like staying up late to eat snacks or having some quirky routines when they study. At first, these habits might surprise you, but they can end up being really funny and enjoyable. And don’t forget, you’ve got your own unique habits too! Maybe you’re super good at organizing your bookshelf by grouping books by type, author, or color, or perhaps you just really love collecting rubber ducks for no apparent reason. Embracing these quirks, both yours and your roommate’s, can lead to lots of laughs and remind you that it’s these little quirks that make each of us special.

The Mystery of “Borrowed” Clothes

In the realm of roommate experiences, the enigma of sharing tops for frat parties is a classic tale. We’ve all been there: your favorite party shirt mysteriously disappears, only to reappear on your roommate just in time for a night out. This tradition is an integral part of the college roommate saga, sparking laughter and bonding over shared wardrobes. Of course, to prevent clothing-related drama, it’s wise to set some ground rules about borrowing each other’s party attire – because even in the coolest roommate dynamics, sharing clothes can be a serious point of contention.

The Battle of the Thermostat

In college dorms, one common source of friendly disagreement is the thermostat. One roommate might prefer a warmer room, while the other might prefer it cooler. It’s a classic case of “too hot” versus “too cold.” Despite the potential for conflict, these thermostat debates can also lead to some light-hearted moments. Picture your roommate wrapped up in a blanket while you’re in a t-shirt, simply because you can’t agree on the ideal temperature. These thermostat disputes can add a touch of humor to your everyday life.

The Late-Night Study Sessions

When your roommate is a night owl and you’re an early bird, you’ve got the perfect recipe for comedy. The late-night studier will go to extraordinary lengths to be stealthy, while you, the early riser, will attempt to move silently like a ninja in the pre-dawn hours. The resulting antics are the kind of stuff that deserves its own laugh track, turning every late-night and early-morning encounter into a comedy show you both star in.

Cooking Catastrophe

Cooking in a dorm room can be an adventure in itself, often leading to epic culinary disasters. From unintentionally triggering the smoke alarm with an overenthusiastic microwave popcorn session to confusing salt with sugar when making cookies, embracing these culinary mishaps can turn them into memorable bonding experiences. The ability to find humor in these kitchen calamities will not only make you laugh but also foster a stronger connection with your roommate.

Divide and Conquer

The division of chores can sometimes feel like a high-stakes drama, but it’s also an opportunity for teamwork and hilarity. The “who forgot to take out the trash” blame game quickly transforms into a comedy sketch, complete with exaggerated expressions and dramatic finger-pointing. These moments of playful dispute resolution will be some of the fondest memories of your college years.

Inside Jokes Galore

Living together in college often leads to the creation of a treasure trove of inside jokes that you and your roommate will find absolutely priceless. These shared laughs serve as the building blocks of your unique bond, strengthening it with each chuckle. Perhaps it’s those moments when you hear your roommate belting out Rihanna’s greatest hits in the shower with an enthusiasm that rivals a stadium concert or swapping stories about the cute boy down the hall who always seems to have a mysterious, ever-changing cast of admirers. These inside jokes become the adhesive that keeps your friendship story together, one laugh at a time.

Themed Movie Nights

Movie nights with your roommate are a perfect canvas for hilarity. Take a detour from the ordinary and make movie nights extraordinary by selecting absurd themes or watching films you both secretly adore but would never admit to in public. Whether you’re binge-watching classic ’80s action films or diving into a marathon of cheesy rom-com flicks, these themed movie nights promise to deliver laughter, bonding, and plenty of memorable moments.

Pre-Party Bonding: Roommates into Party Buddies

Getting ready for a night out in college isn’t just a routine; it’s a form of therapy. Your roommate often becomes your partner-in-crime in this therapeutic process. Picture the two of you, boosting each other’s spirits as you meticulously do your makeup, ask for outfit advice, and blast classic frat party anthems to set the mood. These pre-night out moments not only strengthen your friendship but also serve as much-needed therapy sessions to shake off the stress of college life. Whether it’s perfecting that winged eyeliner, or dancing to your favorite tunes, these roommate interactions become an essential and enjoyable part of the college experience.

Communication is Key (and Also Hilarious)

Conversations about sensitive topics are inevitable in roommate life, and they can lead to some unforgettable moments. Instead of tiptoeing around awkward discussions, why not embrace the humor in them? You’ll look back and chuckle at the two-hour debate over whose turn it was to tackle the mini-fridge cleanup operation. The ability to find the funny side of even the most awkward conversations is a skill that will serve you well in college life and beyond.

Jenna Park is a current junior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick double majoring in Journalism & Media Studies and Sociology with a minor in Korean. She enjoys outdoor activities and takes photographs during her free time.