Georgia State students recall their worst roommate stories

The trials and tribulations of living with roommates are universal. For most, freshman year of college means getting immersed in a new environment while living in a tiny dorm with someone new. Whether the roommate is a complete stranger or a best friend, butting heads with them is inevitable.

In the 2015-16 school year, a study by the research firm Skyfactor composed of 20,000 students showed that one in 10 students requested a roommate change that year.

Some Georgia State students are well-versed in the woes of random roommates. Run-ins include, but are not limited to, a roommate who didn’t wash his sheets all year, a kleptomaniac and a fistfight.

Junior Alora Fowler had a rocky relationship with her first roommate, with “so many terrible instances, I don’t even know where to start.”

When they first met, Fowler saw her roommate as free-spirited and uncaring of others’ opinions. She quickly realized this was a lack of boundaries in disguise.

The first time the pair met, just before the beginning of their freshman year, Fowler visited her future roommate’s house. Fowler describes this as “one of the strangest days of my entire life.”

Fowler said the house was so dirty that “you couldn’t even see the floor.” Still, Fowler was hopeful her habits might be “circumstantial” and didn’t want to be judgmental.

Fowler added that in the driveway, there was a wooden pallet and a pillow. She later met the owner, a shirtless man making ramen, who was introduced as “Sky the Driveway Guy.”

After moving in together, Fowler’s roommate and friends would regularly leave trash throughout their room, including Fowler’s bed. Another time, she saw her roommate and friends filling condoms with water and drinking from them.

Her roommate was also keen on stealing decorations from the dining hall, one time leaving a scary babydoll under Fowler’s covers.

Sophomore Damilola is currently in the throes of her roommate nightmare. She is living with a friend from middle school and someone new.

Over time, Damilola’s living situation has become uncomfortable, and the group met with their Resident Advisor, who said she could “cut the tension with a knife.”

“I don’t feel comfortable in my own room,” Damilola said. “It’s your space, full of your stuff and things that you need in order to get through life. The fact that I am not comfortable in that space is horrible.”

The tension came to a peak when Damilola came home to discover her roommate’s mom had thrown out some of her personal belongings, like her shower curtain and bathmat.

Like Fowler and Damilola, junior Cade Rushing also had issues with his freshman roommate’s lack of respect. One month into their first semester, Rushing received a text from his roommate asking for the room because he had a female guest. This message rubbed Rushing the wrong way.

“I’m [thinking], ‘I’m not going to be a guest in my own home,’” Rushing said. “I came back, and they somehow trashed the whole room, even my posters were knocked down. The worst part was … this girl’s hair was all over the wall of the shower.”

That night, Rushing had “never felt that much anger before, just seeing how disgusting the place was.”

That night the tension continued to escalate. When hanging out with his friends and other roommates, Rushing’s other suitemate was incessantly messing with him to impress a girl. Fed up, Rushing got into his first fight, just a month into college.

He later left the room and called his mom to apologize, he added with a laugh.

While not outwardly aggressive since the night of their fight, the two began what Rushing described as a “cold war.” His suitemate set up his desk in front of an air vent, then continued to complain about being cold. This may not have seemed like a red flag, except the suitemate had the heat bumped to “about 80 degrees” in May.

Another one of Rushing’s pet peeves was his suitemate’s sanitary habits.

“He would blow his nose into the sink like, hourly,” Rushing added. “This wasn’t just during the cold season, and he would just turn on the water and start blowing snot into the sink.”

Across the board, though, these Panthers recommend trusting one’s instinct.

“If you have a bad first impression of somebody, you should probably trust your gut,” Fowler advised.