Manners Matter: College Roommates

Dear Mary Pat,

I started college a month ago and I’m not getting along with my roommate. Honestly, she’s a little odd. I’ve been looking forward to starting my freshman year and hoped that my roommate and I would hit it off and be able to get to know the campus together. When I met “Jane,” I thought she was nice. But now, she doesn’t ever want to do anything except study and call her boyfriend back home. We don’t have a lot in common, plus she doesn’t have anything in her closet that I even want to borrow! This is not what I thought it would be like at all.


Different Strokes, Different Folks

Sturgeon Bay (& Madison), Wis.


Dear Different Strokes, Different Folks,

I feel your pain. Not only did I not want to borrow any of my freshman roommate’s clothes, I didn’t want to make direct eye contact. She freaked me out big time. The first time I met her was a couple of weeks before school started. We lived about an hour away from each other and found a place to meet. Since we were going over the most important details of who was going to bring what (keep in mind that mini fridges, futons, & CD players were a big deal), I didn’t really notice that she would be the type of person that would send me to my RA by mid-first semester begging for a room change. I don’t have anything against people who need to wear coke bottle glasses. I do, however, have something against people who wear pink coke bottle glasses while staring at me when I sleep. That’s not the first thing I like to see when I wake up in the morning. I moved floors and found a roommate that was a little more my speed. We had things in common and were able to be good friends.

I would give your roommate a fair chance. She may not become your best friend, but there is a lot to be said for someone who can simply share a space with you without driving you crazy. Sometimes the roommates who are the best are the ones that do their own thing and stay out of your way. I’m sure you will need to be studying a lot too. Before you know it, you’ll find your group of friends that will make your freshman year worth remembering.

Keep me posted. Let me know if things get worse, and then I’ll tell you about my roommate from senior year. Now she was a real nutter.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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