American Apartment Horror Story: Roommates

In a poll on The Hub@TTU website, 32 out of 40 respondents said they have had a bad experience with a roommate.

Austin Brown, a junior microbiology major, is part of that 80 percent. He faced the difficult situation of living with a friend during his freshman year at Texas Tech University.

DormLife

Nicole Molter/The Hub@TTU

“At first, everything was fine,” Brown said. “But then he stopped going to classes, stopped leaving the room all together.”

Brown lived in Weymouth Hall and shared a suite-style room, where there was no separation of living space. One of the biggest issues Brown said he dealt with was loss of sleep due to his roommate playing computer games throughout the night, with the computer screen facing Brown’s bed.

“He would stay up all night with his computer screen on,” he said. “He only ever left the room to get food and then would bring it right back to the room.”

Brown said because his roommate was also his friend, he struggled with the decision to talk to him about his habits. He noticed his attendance in classes was non-existent and felt like he was wasting the money he paid in tuition to attend the university.

“I really worried about him,” Brown said. “I lost a lot of sleep. But before I could talk to him he decided to head back home and attend community college there.”

Brown’s experience with his second roommate influenced his decision to move out of the residence halls on campus.

“This guy would consistently ‘forget’ to tell me he was in the room with his girlfriend and I walked in on them more than five times having sex,” he said.

This second roommate also left spoiled food in the shared refrigerator, smelling up the whole room. Brown said they ended up never opening the refrigerator again.

“Living there made me decide to lease houses instead of continuing to live in the dorms,” Brown said.

Junior university studies major Sabrina O’Lin’s experiences made her take extra precautions when searching for roommates to live with.

“I was suite mates with one of my friends,” O’Lin said. “She stalked me and always wanted to be part of my day. She even dated my boyfriend’s best friend.”

Corley Peel/The Hub@TTU

Corley Peel/The Hub@TTU

During her time at the university, O’Lin faced some health issues and found it necessary to sleep a little more than usual. However, her living situation made it difficult for her to be comfortable.

O’Lin recalled that her roommate constantly had guests visiting the room and that her roommate also had loud sex in the shower.

After her experience, O’Lin moved into a house her parents bought for the remainder of her time at Texas Tech. The experience she had with this particular roommate caused her to lay out restrictions and take extra precautions in her search for people to fill the vacant rooms.

These clauses can be found in her roommate contract, which potential roommates are required to sign and date before moving in.

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Normally, rules such as cleaning lists, overnight guests and issues pertaining to alcohol are situations most roommates discuss between themselves, however O’Lin wanted it to be clear from the beginning what she expected from whomever she let live in the house, so that future conflict could be avoided.

“[The contract] has made it difficult to find roommates, but I don’t see myself compromising too much,” O’Lin said. “I have to be picky about who I am going to live with so I never have that type of experience again. It was horrible.”

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