Roommates Can Cause More Than Just Headaches
Prepare yourself because what you’re about to read may shock you. Some student’s transition into their first year of college does not go smoothly. And when I say the transition doesn’t go smoothly, I mean to say that it’s a fucking disaster. My friend, Carol, who was looking forward to getting to know her roommate, Chelsie, was instead ignored. She decided that she rather sit in silence and go about her business, refusing to even speak with Carol.
Obviously, the both of them were not on the same page, as far as the type of relationship that they wanted to have. And living in a room with constant silence made Carol feel super anxious. After a while, her anxiety built up to the point where she decided that she couldn’t take it anymore. And instead of trying to fix the situation, Carol decided that she was going to drop out of college, which will affect her future career path. So not only does a poor roommate relationship affect your present daily life, it also affects your future.
College Ain’t Cheap
Some of you, who are reading this, may be thinking to yourselves there is no way that a roommate would cause you to drop out of college. That it’s a huge waste of money to drop out only because you couldn’t get along with somebody. But as surprising as it sounds, it has been proven that “Conflict with roommates has consistently ranked among the top five reasons students drop out of college” (Tyler Kingkade). So why is it that students continue to leave, when the decision is costly? How do poor roommate relationships affect our lives?
Establishing a poor relationship with your roommate can negatively affect your daily life because it can lead to fatigue. For example, after Allexus, my roommate, moved in I began to have trouble waking up for my 8:30 psych class. This was due to the fact that I liked to go to bed at a decent time, and she liked to stay up until four in the morning watching Netflix without headphones. I could barely keep my eyes open during my classes and the only thing that I felt like doing was sleeping all the time. Eventually I spoke to Allexus about using headphones and she was totally willing to do that for me. All I had to do was ask. But if I hadn’t said anything to her, I can only imagine that my grades would’ve dropped because I never wanted to do anything but sleep.
Anxiety is another negative influence that can stem from having a poor relationship with your roommate. In an article about roommate relationships, Marie Hartwell-Walker says, “My first roommate and I could not have been more different had some sort of incompatibility test matched us. To her, the floor was a substitute for a closet, studies were something to be ignored, and the only thing worth majoring in was boys — lots of them. Her music was louder, her taste in decorations gaudier, and her interests far more rebellious than my own. I was aghast. I was overwhelmed…Introverted and studious, I both envied and feared the lifestyle that this creature from the suburbs of New York City thrust upon me because she was there — in my room — and therefore in my life.” So, basically because Hartwell-Walker and her roommate didn’t communicate living expectations, she was left feeling anxious in her own room.
Depression and Suicidal Feelings
Depression and suicidal feelings are known to be linked together. And in Carol’s situation I think that both anxiety and depression were two key factors leading to her dropping out. Carol was really looking forward to becoming good friends with Chelsie because she didn’t have many friends who were going to college with her. So, when Chelsie ignored her it made Carol feel isolated and alone, causing her to feel depressed. Of course this didn’t cause Carol to have severe, clinical depression, but if that were to happen it would negatively affect her future because suicidal feelings are often a result of untreated clinical depression.
Every situation varies, but if you have a poor relationship with your roommate, it seems clear that it will negatively affect your daily life as well as your future. Whether that be becoming so anxious and uncomfortable that you decide to drop out, or something more drastic like taking your own life caused by suicidal feelings. This doesn’t mean that you have to be buddy, buddy with your roommate in order to avoid stress or the negative consequences. A poor relationship can be avoided by communicating with one another so that you both understand the expectations that you have for each other. So, whether that be establishing a really strong friendship or agreeing to just peacefully live alongside one another is up to each individual.