Dear CollegeMags,

One of the first big milestones you’ll experience going to college is that of having a roommate. Many freshmen, including you, go the route of getting what is known on the street as “a randomly assigned roommate”. Sounds scary, I know. Never fear — your future self is here! 

Having a random roommate is a simple yet important way to get your feet wet in the infinity pool that is adulthood. It’s a baby step of sorts, so be sure to not overlook it. It’s a good test to discover early on if you’re easy to get along with or if you should give up and become a spinster/cat lady/hermit at age 18.

I won’t ruin the surprise of what we discover. Wink.

How are you assigned such a person, you ask? Well there is a highly scientific questionnaire you are asked to fill out prior to your arrival on campus. If I remember correctly it consists of the following soul-baring questions:

1. What is your name?

2. Do you consider yourself an early bird or a night owl?

The college-admissions gods take that questionnaire, match the thousands of incoming freshmen up, assign them to a room that from that glorious scent of bleach mixed with vomit, probably used to be a janitor’s closet, and hope for the best. It’s really a fail-proof method.

From one gal to herself, at least attempting to have a normal relationship with your randomly assigned roommate is preferable. Otherwise, you might carry the stigma of “that weird girl who wanted to do facials with chunky peanut butter” all throughout your college career. And it will stick (puns!!).

Yeah, let’s avoid any damaging rumors within the first few weeks of college, ok?

It’s common knowledge that we have a gift for making awkward comments too early in a relationship. In fact, if we were a super hero, that would definitely be one of our powers, along with “smiling when someone tells you their loved one has died” and “misjudging whether someone is going in for a hug or not”. 

In order to offset our inherent and astounding awkwardness, I’ve complied a list of things you should definitely never EVER say to your randomly assigned roommate. Now, before you die of future embarrassment, I have not actually said all of these things aloud to a random stranger that I have to sleep just 5 feet away from every night. Some, yes, are pulled from experience, others from cautionary tales, and some are just good ol’ fashioned common sense (we do have some!).

Before we start: You’re welcome. 


“Hey, cannibalism is kind of weird. But also makes a lot of sense, right?”

“I was really into The Backstreet Boys. Really.“

“Wow. Your family is like really, really good looking. I mean, I’d totally boink your Dad. Or your Mom. I mean, if she’s into that. How old is your younger brother, like, four? Yeah.”

“We should think about sharing an underwear drawer.”

“Fate brought us together. I’m sure of it!”

“I was really into Limp Bizkit. Really.“

“I was watching you sleep last night and I’m a little concerned you may have sleep apnea.”

“What’s fifty bucks between roommates?!”

“What’s a thousand bucks between roommates?!”

“What’s a toothbrush between roommates?!”

“I love you.”

“Look! I found some strands of your hair in the shower. Oh, no worries. I’ll hang on to them, just in case.”

“If I get pregnant this semester, I’ll totally name the baby after you.”

“Oh, him? That’s my boyfriend Harold. He’s just gonna crash here until he heals from his hernia operation. His social security checks will kick in next semester. He makes really good goulash. That’s cool, right?”

“Let’s eat frozen hot dogs and tell each other secrets!”

Now, please print out this list, laminate it, and memorize it. It’s for your own good.



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