Roommates (and how to live with them)

Independence Day is always on July 4. April Fools is always on April 1. Christmas is always on December 25. And so it is that one always expects BJU’s textbook and roommate information to be released on August 1. Ish. Hopefully. If all goes well.

This is my fifth year waiting for that valuable information. Legend says that the roommate info appears at midnight. In my recollection, it’s only happened once. That was my freshman year. And that was the year the system messed up and put seven or eight people in one room. Picture a bunch of scared freshmen staying up all night, refreshing the page, seeing that many roommates, and taking to Facebook to express their terror. It’s funny to look back on, but at the time, I think we were wondering if it was too late/soon to transfer.

It has been a common joke around The Bob that Facebook sees a sudden jump in traffic every year on August 1 as BJU students stalk their new roommates. There is a great extravaganza of friend requesting and inboxing. You envy the people who are already friends with at least one person in their room. You pity the person whose roommate doesn’t have a Facebook account–because that means they’re either too conservative for the internet or a conspiracy theorist. Possibly both. (Supposedly. Stereotyping runs rampant on August 1.)

I will not be staying up until midnight this year. I have to be at work at 8am. And if–if–the information actually gets correctly released at midnight, it will not have changed by lunch. How soon I see the info will make no difference.

Am I curious? Not really. Not anymore. I’ve been assigned roommates for the last six years, and this is year seven. This summer marks the first time I’ve had a room to myself since I was eight, and it’s been odd.

I’m not trying to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. If you want to stay up all night to find out who you’ll be living with, go for it! Make it a party! It’s exciting and a little scary, I know. Especially if it’s your first year.

By the way, do other schools have a similar system for releasing roommate info? I don’t even know.

Anyway, in light of the fact that it will be August 1 in just a few hours, I thought I would give some tips on roommate relations.

  1. Respect. Respect their space, their time, their stuff, their friends, and anything else that’s theirs. They will be infinitely more inclined to do the same to you.
  2. Be quiet in the morning. If your roommate(s) are still sleeping, blow dry your hair in the bathroom. Don’t press snooze 13486136412 times. Get water for your coffee from the drinking fountain in the hall. Learn how to close the door silently. And avoid turning on lights whenever possible. Also, don’t bother talking before everyone has had coffee. Life will go more smoothly that way, I promise.
  3. Before you bring everything you can think of to college, start Facebook messaging or texting. Dorm rooms are small. Do you need more than one mini fridge? Some people like to have their own, others would rather save space and share. Who has a trashcan? Microwave? Comfy chair/beanbag? Area rugs? Set of plastic drawers? Figure out who’s bringing what so that you don’t end up with a super cluttered, cramped room.
  4. You can also establish who gets which bed and divvy up closet and dresser space. Be fair. You can’t have the best of everything.
  5. Understand that your stuff and your roommates’ doesn’t have to coordinate. This is probably more of a girl problem, but seriously. No one expects your dorm room to look like a Pottery Barn Catalog.
  6. Before inviting friends into your room, taking a phone call in your room, playing music out loud, or doing anything else that makes noise or could be distracting, be sure your roommate is ok with it–not studying, napping, or making their own phone call.

Happy roommate release night! Here’s to having a great year!

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