Roommates, snore at your own risk

By Scott Green

Welcome to college! You and your new roommate will get along splendidly and soon be the closest of friends, unless he snores, in which case you’ll have to kill him.

Just kidding. You’ll want to kill him even if he doesn’t snore. This is because it takes a lot of maturity to live with another human being, and the reason for freshman roommates is that you lack the low level of maturity needed to live on your own.

The University housing employees have done their best to assign you to someone who is the your total inverse. They say this is to promote diversity, but it’s really because these people used to work in casting for “The Real World.” So if you are a heavy drinking, late-sleeping, agnostic male, your roommate will be a teetotaler, early-rising, Mormon male. They go for opposites on a lot of things, but not gender.

Most of you probably let the school go through this process and assign you to someone. You probably heard all those stories about best friends who were freshman roommates and were each other’s nemeses by the end of the year and decided to try to avoid such a calamity.

You were wrong. There’s a good chance you’ll wind up loathing your roommate no matter whom you pick. Who would you rather have as an enemy, some random weight lifting, needle using, revisionist-history enthusiast who keeps a pet viper in a rickety desktop terrarium, or the guy you’ve basically been brothers with for your entire life, on whom you’ve got so much dirt he could never risk doing anything horrible to you, because you would tell everybody about the time he was so scared doing the buckets game on the Bozo show that he wet himself?

I asked a bunch of undergrads about their worst roommate problems, and the number one complaint was: They didn’t want to be bothered answering my question. But number two was roommates with boyfriends or girlfriends who took over the room.

This makes sense. Nobody wants to live with a reminder of how much sex he’s not having. There’s also the problem of a lack of privacy for both roommates, not to mention the threat of walking in on something you don’t want to see. An example of this is a story someone shared with me that I will not get into here, except to say that it involved Saran Wrap.

Of course, there are ways to mitigate any roommate problems you might have. I speak from personal experience. When I was a freshman, there were two things that eased my roommate situation. The first was that I didn’t live in the dorms. I, instead, lived at Illini Tower, a University-certified private residence that has four-person suites instead of dorm rooms.

Each suite had a pair of two-person bedrooms, a furnished living room, a kitchen, a full bathroom, high-speed Internet and cable TV hook-ups, a butler, complimentary limousine service, a helipad, 14-ply toilet paper and a doorstop. You and your roommate might never even see each other, what with the 8 foot high piles of gold bars in every bedroom (complimentary).

The second thing that made my roommate situation easier was that I didn’t have a roommate. This helped the most. A few days before school started I learned that my assigned roommate, a guy named Aaron, had decided not to go to Champaign. No one else ever got assigned to my room. So I guess if I had to give advice from my personal roommate experience, it would be: have them assign you to Aaron.

The whole thing isn’t as bad as it sounds. School years pass quickly in college, so just be civil and cordial and it’ll be over before you know it. And don’t really kill your roommate for snoring. Your new roomie in prison would probably just snore as well.

Scott is a third-year law student. The Daily Illini regrets that you had to see his photo on this page twice today. Really, really regrets it.