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How to be the best bunk buddies
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How to be the best bunk buddies
By Erin-Conway Smith
Take a deep breath and suck in the sweet, slightly puke-soaked smells of residence, home sweet home for the next eight months of your life.
The fridge isn't stocked, the kitchen doesn't smell like warm apple pie and no, you can't borrow the car. But you can stay out all night and no one will check your breath for a whiff of liquor when you get home, or shine a light in your eyes to see if you've been into the funny stuff.
Not only have you moved away from the parentals, but you have also moved in with a random individual, potentially any one of the following residence archetypes: obsessive-compulsive neat freak, mute, alcoholic, exhibitionist, dirty hippie, suburban redneck, briefcase-toting Ivey student in training, three-toed sloth, valley girl, slut (male or female), jittery insomniac, militant vegan, obscurest, Star Trek devotee.
You might end up with a roommate who lines her pencils up the same way you do or you just might end up with someone who uses your desk supplies to pick his nose.
But before you make that bail-out call to mom and dad, read the following advice for living with a roommate and breathe a little easier as you take your first few steps into this big new playground that is the hallowed halls of residence.
When living with a roommate, the honeymoon stage comes first. This is the time to establish ground rules and lay the foundation for a happy year sharing cramped quarters.
Straight up, ask your roommate about his/her habits. Is she a morning person? Does he care if your girlfriend spends every waking hour hanging out in your room? How does she feel about late night phone calls? Living in residence, the most contentious issues are messiness, noise and sex. Try to talk about these key areas of dispute and arrive at some sort of agreement right off the bat.
After that, try to avoid doing things that knowingly irk your roommate. Don't stay on ICQ all night when Ben is a light sleeper and has a quiz the next morning in his 8:30 a.m. economics class. At the same time, don't expect Cooper to be dead silent past 10:00 p.m. so you can get a full night's sleep before your early morning meditations. It just won't happen.
When the honeymoon stage is over and you are no longer scared to yell at your roommate if he/she does something to really piss you off, there are three important things to keep in mind:
1. Like in marriage, open communication is essential to keeping a roommate relationship healthy. Discuss things that are bugging you (but don't nag) before you get so fed up you become twisted and evil, preferring passive-aggressive forms of revenge to simply telling Kristy you can't sleep when she talks to her boyfriend on the phone for an hour every night upon arriving home from the bar.
2. Don't have sex while your roommate is sleeping in the next bed over. I can't emphasize this enough. While I never had to deal with this situation directly, I have heard way too many roommate horror stories that involve some variation on this theme. Even though you think you are being quiet, they can still hear you. This is a sure-fire way to make your roommate hate your guts so take it to University College hill if you must!
3. Don't borrow your roommate's stuff without asking. This goes for their ball-point pens, blow dryer, flavoured condom collection, brand new Western hoodie, sexy underwear, clean socks or whatever else. It is almost guaranteed they will notice and guaranteed they will spread nasty rumours about you to the other people on your floor.
In the end, either you both will become best buds (and it does happen) or you will want to hang, draw and quarter your roommate's pretentious, smelly, obnoxiously loud, puke-splattered body.
You do have recourse before the situation results in homicide talk it over with your residence advisor. If you feel you need a mediator, a new roommate or even just to vent, it is your residence advisor.'s job to help you. You may or may not be able to switch roommates, depending on the situation. But your R.A. can help you deal with things if your roommate is really awful.
After all of this, if you still can't stand your roommate and if no one on your floor seems to be into the same stuff as you, I can make one final suggestion:
1. Buy a tent. Erect it in the woodsy area behind the Ivey building. Get out of residence and get back to your roots. Shower in the University Community Centre locker rooms (if at all). Booby trap your room before leaving so that your roommate gets what he/she has coming.University is about adventure, right?