I'd like to tell these freshman kids who've just met their new roommates: It sucks to be you. You'll see in about a month, maybe three weeks, that your rooms are the size of a McDonald's bathroom, and that your Crazy Roommate uses a suspiciously large amount of toilet paper. Really, I don't see how Schools have managed to sneak this whole "double-room" thing past us all these years. I thought we were supposed to be done with bunk beds in B.O.-soaked Middle School Summer Camps.
The only good thing about sharing a double room is that it's probably just as insufferable for your roommate as it is for you, because everybody's a Shitty Roommate. There are no exceptions. At the end of a year, if your Roommate still seems like a normal person, they've probably been doing some pretty freaky shit behind your back.
When I was living in a double, I wasn't even bitter about being sexiled every now and then. I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do. But Roommates are as horrible as human beings can get. They'll judge you for how you chew your food and how loudly you type on your laptop, and make you self-conscious about how you breathe and shit. They'll either make you go to sleep at 9 p.m. or watch you sleep at 9 p.m. They might apologize for vomiting tequila/nachos on your new sweater, but they won't wash it for you.
And then Schools have the guts to turn these half-rooms into forced triples. Aren't they charging a couple thousand bucks too much to put three kids in a room that a real landlord would feel guilty renting out to just one person? What are you actually even paying for? Resident advisers meddling in your life every Friday night? Campus security? Safety is Overrated. Just give us the Single Rooms.
But maybe I'm forgetting about the pleasantries of living with a Stranger. One time, I came back from classes to find my Roommate's girlfriend napping, which should be up there in Awkward Roommate Moments. You can't wake her up, but now you can't do anything in the room without being a little Buffalo Bill creepy. So I pulled the fake cough and "Sorry, did I wake you up?" routine, which might seem pathetic now, but what would you have done?
Of course, you Delusional Freshman kids might say that you wanted to have a roommate because it'll help you make new friends. Like you know what's good for you. The only "socializing" that ever happened between me and my suitemates was the half-nod in the bathroom before 9 a.m. classes.
And as if Schools even care about what we think in the first place. When it comes to housing policies, they aren't exactly holding school-wide referendums every year. Goucher has an insane rule that full-time, undergraduate students are supposed to live on-campus for all four years. Towson doesn't have any mandatory housing, but you can see why they shouldn't. They barely have any Single Rooms. Your best bet for a single is to devote a year of your life to being an RA and spend your nights wondering what new hell the freshmen you watch over will bring you tonight.
Johns Hopkins refuses to admit that they've accepted too many damn kids, so most juniors and seniors can't live in dorms anymore. Of course, you still have to stay on campus for the first two years. Where's all the Freedom gone? It just makes no sense. If you take out the Underclassmen who want to live off campus, and allow back the Upperclassmen who want to move back in for some reason, everyone is happy, no one is complaining, and no one needs to write this column.
But that should maybe be the last of Johns Hopkins' concerns right now. When you first enroll in Hopkins, you have to fill out a Roommate Questionnaire that asks you about things like your sleep cycle, messiness, interests, etc. to match you to a roommate. Which is harmless and great.
But come on, Johnny Hops, is this the best you can do? You're asking all the Wrong questions. How about "Do you believe in white privilege?" or "Does 'no' always mean 'no'?" Let's gather up our Racists and Rapists and put them in special dorms, like Special-Interest Housing for Dummies, or, as I call them, frat houses. •