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Expectations Vs. Reality: Living with Roommates in University

Written by Hannah Daley

Odds are that at some point during the time you’re in university or college you’ll have a roommate. You may end up with someone completely different than you expect, or you could have someone who fits the stereotypical idea of the perfect roommate to a “T” like Ross below.

Having a roommate or two is usually necessary in college or university. It’s part of the experience. Make the best of it and who knows, you may come out with a couple new friends. Or frenemies. Up to you.

Expectation: Best Friends

You and your new roommate are going to do everything together! You’ll get there on move in day and immediately bond over whatever TV shows you both watch and which posters of Gosling to hang where.

Reality: Complete Strangers

You guys may have a few conversations on the first day, but they’ll be brief and a little awkward. Soon enough they’ll just be someone you get post-it notes from (ie. get your laundry off the floor!)

Expectation: Sleep Won’t Be an Issue

We both go to sleep at the same time and our classes start at the same time so we wake up at the same time! *Insert ridiculously cheery face here*

Reality: No. Just No.

Some nights everything works out perfect and you’re both able to go to sleep when you want without issues. But this probably won’t happen every night. Invest in earplugs for the nights that they’re up later than you and remember their sleep schedule when you’re trying to pull your next all-nighter.

Expectation: What’s Mine is Mine

My roommate will understand that food is expensive and will always ask before taking anything of mine.

Reality: Sharing is Caring? How so?

You’re hungry. You’re tired from a 3-hour lecture. You remember you have a couple slices of pizza leftover from last night and you’re suddenly excited. Upon getting home and opening the fridge, a wave of disappointment crashes over you. Your roommate ate the last slices and the cupboards are empty.

Expectation: Studying in My Room Will be Perfect!

My room is going to be the perfect study space! I’ll have my desk organized all the time and my roommate will be perfectly happy to be quiet when I’m trying to do work.

Reality: Studying in Your Room isn’t Ideal

Beside the fact that your room is the perfect place to procrastinate, it will probably never be as clean as you promised yourself. You can’t expect your roommates to stop doing what they’re doing just so you can work. Your best bet is to go to the library or find somewhere quiet with minimal distractions.

Living with a roommate can be difficult at first, but once you both figure out what the other is like and learn their ways, it gets better. You’ll stop feeling like you’re obligated to like/hate them and you’ll find out what works best between you. Make the effort.

Just clean your dirty dishes!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.