If you have read the Wall Street Journal article on picking roommates or Maureen Dowd’s New York Times’ column, you’ll have seen the recent buzz about social media roommate matching systems that aim to pair like-minded roommates together. Messy with messy and all will be neat — that sort of thing. Primarily, it’s geared towards college students who are embarking on their own for the first time.
Dowd makes that point that it’s the experience of living with different people that hardens one up for the Real World of difficult coworkers and all the other difficulties of life. All she and her college roommates could all agree on eating was, apparently, corn (did she also walk 10 miles in the snow everyday to get to class?!)
As someone who’s had her fair share of lovely and awful roommates, her concerns also sound pretty illogical to me. The idea, that young college freshman wouldn’t experience adversity just because they have a copacetic roommate is pretty removed from reality. Um, what about the rest of the 1,999-40,000 other students on campus left to deal with? Let alone professors and employees/bosses at after school jobs? Growing up is damn, hard! I worked at our newspaper during school and, believe you me, I met plenty of weirdos covering campus-wide and Boston events. Give a kid some peace, Maureen.
One of the blessings of a first apartment, if making your own choices that work for you — no more housing match-up or parental micromanaging.
Should you look for someone with diverse tastes to be friends with? Most certainly. But, should you try to intentionally try to find someone of various different tastes to be your roommate? No way. It’s hard enough living with another human being, let alone one who prefers rap to your country, has different perception of clean, or wants friends over often if you prefer the quiet company of tea and a novel. That just sucks for everyone.
If only the rest of life was so easy, that we’d NEED a difficult roommate to ‘wise up.’