“So, you wanna get outta here?” Yep, it sounds like a great idea. Then you get back to your place, or his place, and suddenly it all hits you. That dumb poster of girls kissing on his wall. That box of tampons you kinda just left sitting out on your desk. That… roommate. College, land of raging hormones and sex-crazed coeds, is actually a logistical loving nightmare.
But we want you to overcome. Sure, there are obstacles. Roommates. Rodents. Single-sex floors at religious, uptight universities. Did Forrest Gump let knee braces and a speech impediment stop him from running for and marrying Jen-nu-eee? Did Mary let being a virgin stop her from giving birth to baby Jesus? Did this Japanese man’s remarkably petite frame stop him from consuming 53.75 hotdogs in 12 minutes? We think not.
You might live in a dorm room the size of a bathroom stall with a roommate who carpets the floor with dirty laundry, or perhaps you’ve got yourself an off-campus residence shared with several mice who make scratchy noises as they scurry through your walls at night. HC readers, none of these roadblocks should stand between you and the undergraduate good times. We give you our guide to setting the mood, even in the stickiest of circumstances.
Lock-Outs and Sock-Outs
Unfortunately college dorms do not come equipped with these signs. Good thing we all brought socks to school!
The situation: Perhaps you lucked out and scored a fantastic rando roommate. This is entirely possible, but chances are you’re one of the approximately 99.6 percent of people who ended up with some roommate with whom you have little in common except gender. Even if your daily interactions manage to be peaceful and unobtrusive, there will (hopefully for you) come a night when you’d like the place to yourself, or (not so great for you) when you arrive home only to find that your digs are… occupied.
The solution: You could try only hooking up with boys who live in singles. Otherwise, there’s only so much you can do to avoid accidentally walking in on each other (See: “You get walked in on while hooking up right here. Communication is key. Always text a heads-up when you’re en route home with a guy. If this is going to be a regular conflict, alternate weekends. That way your boy will know when to have his room ready.
Boys: only in college will a girl still proceed to your bed if you’ve got two half-naked women on your wall. But we’d still rather you didn’t.
The situation: The Starry Night art print you thought was cool, that Pink Floyd poster he thinks is edgy, the terrible lighting (really not helped by the tacky Christmas lights), the see-through plastic Target bins … if your room holds any of the above, you are officially a Collegiate Cliché. Just because we’ve all done it doesn’t mean it looks good.
The solution: To a certain extent, your room is what it is. But if you walk in and first thing you do is turn off the lights, he doesn’t necessarily have to see what it is. As for decorating, photos are classier than posters and personal touches will warm the sterile space. Get creative: wash out jam jars and pop those little T-light candles in them and get bedding that doesn’t make him cringe in fear of cooties.
On the undesirable volume-o-meter, phone conversations < Lady Gaga < sex
The situation: With the R.A. ten feet away from your door and walls thinner than Lindsay Lohan’s arms, you actually can’t be as loud as the hell you want.
The solution: Unlike when fighting fire, the best way to mask noise is with equal or louder noise. Have a few playlists at the ready (sans cheesy ‘90s pop music you secretly listen to all the time) or suggest a movie that you can watch for five seconds before moving on to muffled loving. Also feel free to whisper; it’s cute. On the flip side, if you have loud neighbors, banging on the wall a few times is absolutely fair game.
No Room in Your Room
The bedroom in the White House was so tiny, Bill had to use the Oval Office instead. Here, he points Barack in the same direction.
The situation: Not only is your dorm room so teeny that you and your roommate are one middle-of-the-night roll away from sleeping together, but your bed is barely wide enough to fit you, let alone you plus one. Twin extra-long? Really, whose idea wasthat? It’s like the entire university system is conspiring to keep you lonely.
The solution: A couple of options: You could try sticking to skinny guys or upperclassmen who have moved off-campus and upgraded to bigger beds. But if you’re stuck with the you-call-this-room-a-double scenario, you’ll have to make the most of the space you (don’t) have. Until you gain access to more mattress real estate, use it as an excuse to get close. Maximize surface area through strategic positioning.
Hot Mess (Because even college boys still get grossed out by girls)
Probably not his biggest turn-on.
The situation: You go out at night thinking you’ve covered all your just-in-case-I-meet-a-hot-guy bases. You wear cute underwear. You shave your legs. But when you bring said boy home, you realize that you left a number of embarrassing things on display. Maybe there’s a box of tampons, a used Crest white strip on your desk, a bra or two strewn on the floor. Not really the atmosphere you were going for.
The solution: While your initial idea might be to just shove all your private items in your closet or under your bed before heading out, you’ll regret that decision later when you have your period and no clue where the hell you stashed your supplies. You need a box. A non-see-through box. Pick an out-of-the-way place for it and when you leave for the night, just give your room a once over and stash any potentially mood-killing items inside. Simple yet effective; our favorite kind of fix.
How did you think your bladder was going to react to this?
The situation: You just made out. Clothes may or may not be accessible. You’re a girl, so naturally you really gotta pee (what else is new?). Making your exit to the restroom is sometimes no big deal, but other times it smells so very close yet seems so awkwardly far.
The solution: If you’re sufficiently clothed, tell him you’re going to run to the bathroom. Seriously, you don’t have to feel weird about it. He has peed before. For the slightly more naked among you who don’t want to dig through the covers for all your clothes, throw on a towel and make your way down the hall as though you’re going to take a shower. At 3 a.m.? Lucky for you, it’s college. Happens all the time. And if it’s an all guys’ bathroom, well … they should have known better.