Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Making the best of having a roommate

(Daily Collegian Photo Archive)

You have a roommate, right? Unless you’re an only child or you’ve been living in a single since freshman year, you either currently have or previously had one at some point. You’ve learned how to cohabitate with another human being and dealt with all the ups and downs that come with it – and there certainly are a lot of those fluctuations. Whether you love or hate your roommate, there are a few things we can all agree on.

One is that it’s nice having someone to come home to. After a nonstop day of classes and work, opening the door to your room and seeing a friendly face can be a blessing. It’s someone you can tell in full detail about your day – and you can’t even drive them away because this is their room too. Then again, it can also drive you crazy to return to a dorm full of your roommate and their friends when you’re exhausted and just want to binge-watch “Grey’s Anatomy” before bed.

You also always have someone to complain to. Whether you’re annoyed because your floormates never stop screaming in the hallway or because your ex is trying to get back together with you for the 100th time, your roommate is one of the best people to gripe with. It doesn’t even matter if you aren’t friends – complaining just brings people together on a fundamental level … unless they’re complaining about you, in which case you should just run away and avoid all confrontation.

A roommate gives you someone else to blame for your mess of a room as well. If you have your own room back home, you know what it’s like when your parents walk in and instantly start reprimanding you for your uncleanliness. But when family visits at college, you can shrug your shoulders and say, “It’s not my fault. My roommate is disgusting.” Even if it’s all your fault, the mold growing in the windows and the food you spilled in the microwave can just be passed off on the other inhabitant of the room.

When you have homework trouble, you (almost) always have someone to turn to too. Maybe your roommate has already taken the class that you’re in right now or you are currently in the same class. Either way, anything helps. Sometimes it’s even like having a live-in tutor that actually pays to be with you. (Warning: this only works if your roommate is both smart, helpful and not out to sabotage you for accidentally killing her plants.)

Your roommate provides the extra motivation you need to be a productive individual. Seeing them stumble out of bed at 10 a.m. on a Sunday makes you think that maybe you, too, should start your day. People naturally compare themselves to others, and if it means you get things done in the process then I think it’s okay. Unfortunately, this can also have a negative impact on your life if your roommate sleeps all day and does nothing with their constant free time – it might make you feel lazy and sluggish too. Either that or it will motivate you to get out of the black hole of a room as fast as possible.

Lastly, having a roommate means you will always have a place to visit and explore. During breaks, you know you can always head to wherever they reside and they’ll probably welcome you with open arms. They might live just a few towns over or across the country – either way is great. Your trip may be for the sole purpose of fun or so you can murder them and have a single for at least a little while, but there are no judgments here.

A roommate can be a blessing or a curse, but the experience all comes down to what you make of it. So make the best of it.

Gabby Vacarelo is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected].

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