Your day was long. You have a headache. You’ve worked so hard on all of your exams, and all you want to do is make yourself some dinner and go to bed early.
But as soon as you walk through the door, you see a messy living room, dishes that aren’t yours piled high in the sink and the dishwasher is already full. Sauces and sticky substances are splattered around the stove and you don’t dare look into the microwave. The dining table hasn’t even been wiped down, and what the heck is on the floor? Do your roommates own a broom?
You might be feeling anger. Anxiety. Stress. Sadness. You certainly will have a hard time making your own dinner with the sink looking like a mountain of piled plastic and metal.
The problem with this picture is two-fold. Your roommates suck, but the expense of living is so high that you can’t live without them.
So maybe this isn’t a problem for everyone. Maybe you are well off and lucky enough to not worry about the price of living. Maybe you have extraordinary roommates. But too many of us are suffering with the exact opposite.
I’ve had some wonderful roommates in the past but am now currently part of the suffering class of students stuck with the roommates I have and unable to move out.
Before I continue, moving to a new place with new roommates is just not an option for me right now, so if you think you can provide an easy solution to this, please think again.
For me, I can’t just talk to my roommates to fix the problem. I have tried being the kind roommate, but it has gotten to the point where I am no longer the nice guy. I don’t say “hi” when I walk in the door anymore. I don’t offer food I cook anymore. Smite me and I smite back.
So now it’s a hostile environment where I’m open to verbal confrontation.
But I’ve never had something like this happen. I’ve never had arguments with any of my past roommates. Why now do I think burning through my bank account and food stability would be more feasible than living with roommates?
What if I shouldn’t be asking that question, but instead need to be asking, “Why can’t I live by myself without insecurity?”
I want my own place, with my own dishes, my own furniture, my own cleaning supplies (that actually get used) and my own air to breathe. No stress, no worries. The place remaining the exact same way I left it.
Don’t we all deserve that? That ability to have something so simple.
As students, we are plagued with the stress of essays and exams. Class discussions that make us clammy and feel like we should run in the opposite direction. Internships and jobs. Future employment opportunities. Shouldn’t we be able to focus on those things and not have to worry about roommates? Or the alternative — the expensive world which students couldn’t afford by ourselves if we tried.
The answer is yes. We deserve to learn what it’s like to live on our own. But let me be clear, suffering during this crucial time of our lives is not a rite of passage. Having roommates is not crucial to our development. Those experiences are not absolutely necessary to our college endeavors, at least not past freshman year.
Having access to the life you want to live is not a crime, and I want students to be able to have the option of living their life without needing roommates.