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Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024
The Observer

Why are there so many roommate horror stories?

Dorm life is a big aspect of college especially at schools like Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross, with both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s having a residency requirement on campus, to ensure the full college experience for the students. But yet the roommate experience has a great deal of power to make or break your college experience. Think of it like this your room has different purposes depending on yours and your roommates view. Roommate one could view the room as a place to sleep after a long day of studying, and roommate two could easily alter that view by doing things such as interrupting sleep intentional or not.

The thing about having a roommate is that it’s essentially a lottery, in my opinion.

You can think that you are both very compatible but, yet you don’t truly know what it will be like. Reflecting with my best friend here at Saint Mary’s, I found myself curious about how she found her roommates. She simply responded saying that she found them on Facebook similar to how I found my roommate through the Saint Mary’s College Class of 2025 Facebook group. Some people were fortunate enough to find roommates that were truly a good fit for them but, others weren’t quite so lucky. At a school where you have a choice in rooming, the results still don’t yield accordingly.

What happens at a school like Notre Dame where the rooming is completely random? This greatly depends on the criteria used for making roommate pairs, the results of which I can’t help but think are warped by the transition to college. I almost found it laughable to look back at what I said on my roommate survey about my sleeping habits. I said I was usually in bed by 10 p.m. which was the norm for me in high school, not knowing that this would largely change. Cue me getting home at midnight or 1 a.m. because, I was participating in all the first-year events like Domerfest. The worst part for me personally was the guilt I would feel over the prospect of waking up my roommate. Being honest, when I’m getting ready to fall asleep I’ve often said that “I wouldn’t wake up even if it was my crush texting me” which, is actually true from when my crush texted me at 12:24 a.m. and I didn’t respond because I was sleeping.

In fact as my neighbor pointed out, there was one night a loud banging on my door and, despite the continuous noise, I refused to answer it. What I couldn’t help but wonder was who that was? The mysterious part was that a few nights after that I got an email about new keys. Can’t help but make me wonder if perhaps it was my roommate. Because the logic flowing was that none of my friends would randomly knock on my door, and if it was them I assumed there would be a text. I guess this might perhaps indicate a slight problem, oh well,, what better place to hash this out than the newspaper.  Despite what you might be thinking: I didn’t write this column just to complain, I simply want to make a suggestion. If things don’t work out with you and your roommate, they just don’t work out. Things such as mediation, in my opinion, will usually end with a small change being implemented temporarily. If your roommate lacks basic respect for you then, no amount of talking will fix that. And, yes I do have some knowledge on the subject. My closing thoughts are: Good luck to next-year’s freshmen on figuring out Residence Life.

Rose can be contacted at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.