A bad roommate can ruin a college experience.
Not being able to relax and feel comfortable in your own living space can affect every aspect of someone’s life, especially if that person is in an unfamiliar environment — a college student away from home for the first time, for instance.
“[My roommate] would go to the bathroom with the door open,” linguistics senior Ariel Van Patten said. “She would pop her back pimples in the mirror and wouldn’t even stop when I would walk out of my room.”
This is one of the more horrific examples of bad roommates. But there are other, more subtle cases of carelessness and disrespect that can be just as bad.
Theater senior Jordan Cox lived alone before three UTA students, all of whom knew each other, moved into her apartment with her. According to Cox, there was an incident involving her cats and some flowers her new roommates had purchased.
Cox said her roommates purchased tiger lilies, which are poisonous to cats, and left them on the floor. The resulting ingestion by Cox’s cats resulted in vet bills of $300. When Cox broached the subject with her roommates, she was met with indifference.
“They basically told me that they weren’t their cats, so it wasn’t their problem,” Cox said. “Even though they share the living space with my animals.”
She said it’s important for roommates to share at least a basic level of respect.
Public relations senior Christina Hamrick, on the other hand, has lived with her current roommate for four years. Hamrick says while she and her roommate bicker on rare occasions, they’ve never had what she considers to be a fight.
“I think the most that happens is, like, passive-aggressively leaving the trash out, or playing Jenga with it,” Hamrick said.
She said she and her roommate are good about trading off household responsibilities like trash and dishes.
For many incoming college students, it will be the first time they’ve lived somewhere other than home. In many cases, it’s the first time a student has had a roommate that wasn’t a brother or sister.
Not being respectful to each other and to each other’s property can make a bad situation worse and can make an apartment or a dorm unlivable.
Both Hamrick and Cox stressed the importance of keeping an open dialogue with any new roommates and voicing grievances.
“Just be brave when it comes to standing up for yourself,” Cox said.