Freshman ‘15: The roommate

Opinion by Bianca Chavez
Oct. 10, 2011, 12:28 a.m.

I had a jam-packed summer. While many of my classmates were traveling the world and interning at Fortune 500 companies, I spent the break doing two things: watching every trashy MTV reality show ever filmed (I now feel so emotionally invested in the lives of the Teen Moms that I’m probably going to send them all Christmas cards) and thinking about my future roommate.

I wondered about her nonstop. Where would she be from? What would she look like? Would she be a party-goer or one of those kids who likes to be in bed by ten every night? Most importantly, would her room decor coordinate with mine? (Two months ago I had a dream that my roommate brought red skull-print bedding, voodoo dolls and a black light for our room. I woke up in a cold sweat with an intense desire to visit Anthropologie).

Then in August, my friends headed off to various University of California campuses (not Cal, I promise) and began getting the names of their roommates. I lived vicariously through them as we spent hours Facebook-stalking the strangers with whom they would soon be sharing rooms approximately the size of a tissue box. Out of my ten closest friends, nine were lucky enough to get fairly normal-looking roommates (and by fairly normal-looking, I mean they didn’t have Facebook pictures of weird shit.)

And then there was Mayra’s roommate. Within hours of finding out Mayra’s contact information, this girl emailed a long list of “Roomie Rules.” (Rule Number One: No microwaves in the room because they emit radiation). Even though this chick’s antics made for some pretty amusing stories, they also worried me — like, a lot. I wondered if my own roomie would have a bizarre list of rules or some other freaky habit. It also didn’t help that my older friends (who knew of my worries) loved to tell me roommate horror stories. (One knew a girl whose roommate would cut her hair and leave it in the refrigerator.) By the time I left for Stanford, I was torn between desperately wanting to find out who my roommate was and never wanting to meet her in case she was scary.

When the moment of truth finally arrived, I was stunned to find out that my roommate is…just like me. From our taste in clothes, to music, to our mutual love of high heels (together we brought close to 20 pairs), Emily and I are pretty much the perfect pair. Our similarities are almost creepy — we’re within an inch of each other’s height, wear the same size in both clothes and shoes and have the same type of relationship with our parents. Besides the fact that she’s blonde and I’m brown, we could be twinsies. Oh and her dorm decor? Perfectly coordinates with mine.
As other pairs in our hall have started butting heads, Em and I cruise happily along. Our secret? We’re nice to each other — even when we’re cranky/tired/ hungover as hell. We also don’t spend every second of every day together, which makes the time we do spend together so much more fun. Oh, and we share food. That last part is super essential.

Were you the person who worked to pair freshmen roommates? Email Bianca at [email protected], because she wants to send you on an all-expense-paid vacation to Aruba!

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