CollegeHumor is a popular Web site that many of us have probably visited when we should be doing our homework. One of the Web site's features is a weekly online article titled ""Roommate Confessions."" Roommate Confessions allows students nationwide to recount tales of passive aggressive revenge exacted upon the people they live with. Students can also choose to submit their name and school along with posts or post anonymously. Though many students submit their Roommate Confessions only a select few are chosen to be published on the CollegeHumor Web site for the rest of us to snicker at while ignoring our lecturing teachers in class.
One example of a Roommate Confession comes from a girl named Danielle here at the UA, published May 27, 2008: ""When you were moving out, I was mopping the disgusting floors because you never cleaned. When I emptied the water out of the sink, I used your silverware that you had left out in an open box to dig the clumps of cat hair and dirt and nastiness from the drain catch so I wouldn't have to touch it, then I put them back. Then I saw you eating pasta with them later that night.""
While the submitted story is humorous for maybe everyone except the roommate feasting upon dirty cat hair, I couldn't help but think about what incidences like this say about college students as a whole. The Roommate Confessions in the CollegeHumor archives seem to follow a very similar trend: Roommate A does something to anger Roommate B. Roommate B goes behind Roommate A's back and pees in their shampoo bottle, has sex in their bed, scrubs the toilet with their toothbrush and/or destroys their laptop. Roommate B then says to themselves and the CollegeHumor audience, ""That'll teach my roommate to brag about their looks, bring home random guys, be a loud mouth and/or play World of Warcraft while I'm trying to sleep.""
Channeling that voice in my mind that sounds suspiciously like my mother, I can't help but think to myself ""two wrongs don't make a right!"" As college students, many of us probably live or have lived with a roommate whether it be in a dorm room, house or apartment. And we have probably, at one point in time, had a disagreement with the person we are living with. Let's face it, no matter who we are, at some point in time, we aren't the easiest people to live with. We may have obnoxious habits, come home late, make too much noise, make a huge mess or not clean up after ourselves. We're only human.
One thing that Danielle from the UA might not consider is the fact that her unfortunate roommate might not realize that Danielle has that much of a problem with her lack of cleanliness. But instead of confronting the problem head on with conversation and communication, Danielle chose to swirl her roommate's forks in the drain and let her use them to eat. What problem does this solve? Sure this will probably make Danielle feel a lot better but when her roommate moves to a new place she will have learned nothing about dealing with roommate conflict and being courteous. All she'll have is hair in her teeth and no knowledge of what happened or how it got there.
Our roommates aren't our parents, and it's not their responsibility to nag at us to be more considerate. But that doesn't mean it's okay to rub your roommates facial towels on your nether regions.
With the impending doom of finals around the corner and schedules becoming more and more hectic, it's important to remember one word: empathy.
How would you feel if you discovered your roommate ate all of your food just as you're about to leave for an 8 a.m. class? And how would you feel if your roommate decided to turn off your alarm so you missed an exam for one of your morning classes as revenge? Let's stop thinking in terms of an eye for an eye and so on. We're all adults here. It's time to do away with the pettiness of our elementary school days and confront the problem head on with conversation which is a lot healthier than an endless cycle of meaningless revenge. While it may make a good story for CollegeHumor, it won't say much for your maturity level when you think about it later on in life.
— Arianna Carter is a creative writing junior. She can be reached