Living with a stranger


The adventure of finally leaving the nest can be a dream come true for some students, but living with a roommate you cannot get along with can quickly turn into a nightmare.

No more rules, curfews, chores or parental discipline are some of students’ favorite aspects of living away from home.

For Kyaisha Jenkins, a first-year biology pre-med student from Dallas, the newfound freedom is among the best parts of going away to college. 

“I heard the college life consists of being independent, and you have full control,” Jenkins said. “That’s better than being home. There, I had to do all the chores, and I was really restricted.”

However, sometimes the joys of independence can be halted by the harsh reality of a dysfunctional relationship with a roommate. Living in a small room with another person can prove to be difficult, especially when it is a person you have just met.

“My roommate and I have different personalities,” Jenkins said. “We sometimes clash because we don’t have enough space.”

To ensure that dorm rooms stay clean and safe, rules and regulations are enforced on campus. According to Christina Kale, Wheatley Hall community assistant, the rules do not always stop violations from occurring.

“We have had complaints on people stealing,” Kale said. “We hear this a lot. We also have complaints about the use of lights in the mornings and noisy visitors.”

Many dorm rooms are small, so cleaning regularly is an easy way to ensure you pass room inspections. It is imperative that all roommates make the effort to keep their side of the room clean.

“My roommate and I pretty much clean up every day,” Jenkins said.

Although there are many situations where living with a roommate can be troubling, there are advantages to living with someone you do not know very well. According to Kale, living with a random person can be an eye-opening experience.

 “It opens the students’ minds to meeting new people by learning the new person they are living with,” she said.

While some students have had negative experiences with roommates, others have been just the opposite. Many students, such as Shemeka McCoy, a senior health care management student from Jacksonville, develop lasting relationships with their roommates.

“I was a little nervous at first about living with my roomie, but now I love her,” McCoy said. “She is like a sister to me, and I wouldn’t trade her at all.”