Varsity freedom is nice but sharing digs can be daunting
When I was in my first year of university my roommate would lock up her laptop and speakers in her wardrobe, blasting Jennifer's Hudson and Ne-Yo's Think Like a Man on full blast. This would go on for hours while she went out or until her laptop battery died. I still have no idea why she enjoyed tormenting me to this sociopathic degree.
The reason I'm bringing up this horrid memory is that I know the honeymoon period at university residences is now probably over. Unfortunately, the realisation is sinking in that you have to share a space with a total stranger for a full school year.
At first you ignored that your roommate never makes her bed or leaves her dishes dirty until a green species ends up growing on them. All you could think of was all the freedom you could enjoy away from parents and high school teachers.
You were distracted by the beer gardens, fresher's week and all the orientation fun that can be enjoyed in the first few weeks of university.
But now, it finally registers that your roommate doesn't switch off the lights at night and has friends visiting at all hours.
Your roommate takes your things without asking and doesn't actually ever return them.
You notice that your favourite top has been worn, even though you could swear you washed and folded it away a month ago.
You come back from school and find the door unlocked. You finish your shower and find a strange man sitting in your room, as if it's his house.
It just never ends.
I learned from my experiences with my first roommate and started communicating with the ones thereafter. My mistake was thinking that there would be an unspoken agreement to respect each other, but sadly that didn't happen.
I told my next roommate what had happened the previous year and after she laughed at me for a full hour, she agreed to tell me immediately if I upset her instead of passively aggressively punishing me like my previous roommate.
Leaving home after 18 years of being treated as a child is quite difficult. Now you have to coexist with another person who was just until recently a child as well. Now these two new adults, who are complete strangers and have their own ways of doing things, have to live together in a shoebox. All while navigating through a new and tougher education system and surviving on two minute noodles.
During all the commotion of your first few weeks, remember to take a minute to get to know your new partner in crime.