life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

roommate karma

Some of the most important lessons you learn in college aren't things that take place in the classroom.  Professors teach academics, but college teaches a whole range of life skills.

The dorms at Becca's college are set up as apartments -- 2-3 bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, bathroom(s).  Becca was assigned to a three bedroom apartment, which she was expected to share with 7 other girls.One of the girls moved out just a few days into the school year.

Initially everyone got along, but eventually there were disagreements.  Seven girls in a small space like that, and no one used to living on her own with roommates instead of family, and there are bound to be conflicts.   Little stuff, like who needs to buy paper towels and who forgot to do the dishes.  Bigger stuff, like who's having overnight guests and what level of noise is acceptable when others are trying to study.    the usual freshman stuff. 

By Christmas it was clear that Becca was not happy with any of her roommates. And I suspect the feeling is mutual.

I'm not going to speculate about what they think of Becca.  I'm sure there are things she does that bother them, I'm sure they have legitimate complaints about some of the things she does.

But Becca's biggest complaint was that she had nothing in common with them, that the other six girls had bonded and that they didn't include her in anything.  But they felt very free to use the things Becca brought for the dorm room -- her TV, her dishes, pots and pans, etc.  And they were very careless with Becca's things.  There was the broken coffee cup, the ruined frying pan.

The straw that broke the camel's of the girls went into Becca's closet and borrowed a shirt, and when Becca confronted her she said "Oh, is this yours?  I found it in my room, I thought it was my sister's and she left it here." 

Do not come between my fashionista and her clothes!

Anyhow, about a month so so ago, the other six girls told Becca that the six of them planned to room together sophomore year, and that she'd need to find a new roommate and apartment mates. I think Becca was a bit hurt, but she really didn't want to room with those six girls next year anyhow.

And then there were five.

It seems that one of the girls decided to bake brownies for her boyfriend.  but these were not ordinary brownies. There was a certain illicit herbal ingredient added to the batter.  The aroma from this herbal ingredient is unmistakable, and  it captured the RA's attention.  The young baker was barred from the housing lottery, but was randomly assigned to dorm space after the lottery was over. 

And then the fivesome broke up.  Two of the girls, dance majors, decided to room with other dancers.  The other three decided to stick together.  Of the six girls in the room, I think the three who plan to live together next year are the ones Becca likes the least.

Well, as with most colleges, housing at Becca's school is done by lottery.  You get a lottery number based on your class status -- students who are juniors this year, and who will be seniors next year, get to pick housing first, followed by sophomores.  Current freshmen are the last to pick housing for the next school year. 

Becca took a lot of AP credits in high school, so even though this is her freshman year, she's a sophomore for purposes of choosing her dorm room.  She got a very low lottery number, and she and her new roommate got one of the nicer apartments, on a good floor near the best study lounge.

I don't know where the dancers wound up, but the other one of the worst apartments in the building. 

Becca said "They would have done so much better if they'd stuck with me."

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