Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekly Whine: Bad Roommates (Part 1)

I've had a lot of bad roommates over the years. I've had a lot of good roommates too. I've had roommates that I adored and made my life so much better. But somehow I remember the bad ones better.

When I started college, the students were assigned freshman roommates based on our interests. That's how I ended up in a suite with five other "science" girls, even though most of the other girls on our floor were English or History majors. By "science," I mean that two of us were math majors (me and one other girl), three were chem/bio (i.e. premed), and the other I'm not sure about but she was definitely taking chemistry.

Despite our "similar interests," we didn't really get along. We were the only room on the entire floor that decided to all live in different dorms next year... and basically, never speak to each other again. Mostly, I thought the premed girls were batshit crazy.

I wish I could remember every detail of their craziness. I wish I had recorded it for posterity, but I didn't. But I do remember that the two that I actually shared a room with had really weird sleep schedules.

My sleep schedule then was what I'd consider typical for a college student. On weeknights, I'd hang out with friends till midnight or so, mess around on the internet for a half hour, then go to sleep. I'd then wake up 15 minutes prior to my first class the next morning. Weekends or nights of big assignments due, I'd sometimes be up much later.

One of the premeds I roomed with had the sleep schedule of my grandparents. She would go to sleep at like 9PM every night and wake up around 5AM. To study. Every day. On weekends, it was particularly weird because I'd generally be arriving home just as she'd be waking up for the day. She also spoke with zero inflection in her voice. It was sort of like living with Rain Man.

The other premed I roomed with did appear to have a life outside of being premed, but she was also very intense about studying. One thing she used to do that drove me nuts was she'd set her alarm to go off in the middle of the night so that she could study. Like at 3AM, her alarm would go off. And because she didn't really want to wake up at 3AM, she would snooze it a few times. At 3AM. I wanted to murder her.

The second roommate had a nasty temper and the rest of us were all terrified of her, but she only inflicted it on me a handful of times. One of those times was when there was a fire drill in the middle of the night and I failed to wake her up, and apparently just left her there to die. I thought she should have thanked me because the fire alarm in our dorm went off like 4-5 times per month and I wished I could have slept through it.

Anyway, even though I was taking premed classes, I was technically a math major. Near the end of the year, one of my premed roommates found out I was taking chemistry and orgo, and she was shocked that I was considering med school. "That's impossible!" she said. "You're too laid back to be premed!"

She probably meant it as an insult but I took it as a huge compliment.

Part 2 (someday): My batshit crazy med school roommates


  1. Part of the reason I chose my college was because you could have a single as a freshman. I dealt with enough roommate BS during high school to know that I would NEVER live with another woman again.

  2. My grad school roommate was an intense hypochondriac and allergic to fish. One day she decided to be charitable and wash a bowl I made caesar salad dressing in (which contains ~1tsp of anchovy paste). When I told her that and recommended she wash her hands thoroughly, she flipped out, started hyperventilating and insisted that I watch over her bed with an Epipen in-hand all night. ALL NIGHT.

  3. I was the type of roommate with the early to bed, early to rise schedule. We had a lounge room right across from my dorm room, so I went there to study. No reason to inflict my schedule on my roommate. Lucky for both of us, I could fall asleep with the lights on and people in the room.

  4. My old roommate in first year was a finance major who basically spent most of his second term playing World of Warcraft and drinking. I'm pretty sure he flunked out.

  5. My undergrad roommate was relatively tolerable until she started bringing home a string of frightening internet men, causing me to worry about being murdered in my sleep. I have never had a roommate since.

  6. My freshman year roommate was awful- she would talk about me in chinese while i was in the room. And we didn't get along so it definitely wasn't nice.
    Luckily my medical school roommates are amazing- though it helps that we don't share bedrooms like in college.

  7. I had a World of Warcraft-playing roommate as well. She would be talking to other plays in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep. She also had a boyfriend who stayed over on the weekends, sleeping on the cold tile floor until she dumped him for being "too emotional." I am pretty sure I never saw her exhibit any emotion in real life, when she wasn't playing WoW.

    I also had a roommate who played the same Flogging Molly CD at a high volume all the time. Then she came back from winter break lugging a record player with her...

    Having batshit crazy college roommates has led to me living alone in med school.

  8. I had a couple of crazy roommies in college and also when I was nursing in the Arctic (they always put the nurses in the same apartments).

    One woman ate *only* boiled macaroni noodles with praline ice-cream on top (three times a day--actually! Her hair was falling out, can't imagine why?!)

    Another one used to hide the *one* bowl in her bedroom so she'd always have access to it when she needed it.

    Another would completely disinfect the bathroom with bleach prior to EVERY TIME she used it.

    I started taking contracts purely based on which communities had single unit accommodation for nurses.

  9. Ugh.. my freshman year roommate was a guy whiney preppy kid from Smalltown, Colorado, who kept telling me how his dads a really rich lawyer, and what a badass he personally is. It was terrible. And it got worse after his girlfriend from home (who decided to go to our school too), dumped his ass, and he went all Bluto from Animal House on me...