Have a fishy roommate? You aren't alone

It’s move-in day, you have all your belongings ready to move into your new dorm or apartment. You’re excited to start this new adventure, but in the back of your mind you just can’t help but fear that the horrific roommate stories you read on Buzzfeed or saw in movies may become your life for the next year.

While some roommate situations may spark lifelong friendships other scenarios may become a real-life nightmare.

It’s normal to feel anxiety about the anticipation of living with another person. You may ask yourself: Are they clean and organized? Are we going to get along? Are they going to blast their music while I’m trying to study? Are they going to bring back random people to hook-up with while I’m trying to sleep?

Many freshmen find their roommate through the ASU housing portal provided through your My ASU account. 

An ASU student, who would like to be referred to as “Christine” due to ongoing roommate issues is one of the students who met their roommate through the university’s housing portal.

Christine says she went through the portal because she heard you shouldn’t room with a friend because if your living habits don’t agree it may put a strain on the friendship.  She says when her and her roommate first met and decided to room together she could tell they have different personalities, but says that wasn’t really a deal breaker because she was looking for a roommate not a new best friend.

“We would get in a lot of little arguments because our personalities would clash,” Christine says. 

Whenever there was an issue or disagreement between the two her roommate would bottle her feelings up and act as if nothing was wrong. Whereas Christine tried to talk about their issues, resolve it and move on. 

When Christine came back to the dorms after spending a weekend at home, she discovered her roommate had moved out without telling her.

“While I was home my roommate got into a blowout fight with one of our suitemates,” Christine says. 

The tensions had built up for so long and everyone kept their feelings bottled up, leading to the “blowout” fight and her roommate moving out, she says.

Christine says she does not know exactly where her roommate moved to because they have not had much contact since she moved out. She heard rumors that she moved to another dorm on campus but is not completely sure, she says. 

It was little instances that led to the fight, she says.

“In the beginning of the year she brought a water cooler for us to share and one time after we got in a little argument she left a sticky note on it telling me I am no longer allowed to use the water cooler,” Christine says.

She says her roommate would have her long distance boyfriend come and stay for a week at a time. Christine says that this was inconvenient and uncomfortable for her because she felt awkward to even be in her own room.

Those were just the little arguments Christine and her roommate got into. Her roommate actually called the police on her after she moved out because of a fish— yes a fish.

Christine’s roommate had a pet fish she left behind when she moved out. She didn’t want to deal with the fish so she gave it away, she says.

When her roommate came back for the fish and found out the fish was gone, she freaked out, threatened to sue Christine and called the police.

Christine still receives messages from her former roommate threatening to sue her.

Christine’s advice for someone rooming random is to not move in with extremely high expectations. She says some people may completely click with their roommate and stay friends forever, but it’s more likely that you will just end up acquaintances down the road.

“If you have a difficult roommate, just don’t let their negative vibes bother you. You don’t have to get along, you just have to be civil enough to live in the same space," Christine says. "Chances are that they’re just trying to get through the year too."

Not everyone’s experience is like Christine’s, some people actually make it through a semester without calling the police or threatening to sue their roommate, and sometimes they end up becoming best friends with their roommate.

Leanna Wickson, sophomore psychology major, says her and her roommate will be lifelong friends.

Wickson also did not know her roommate prior to move-in day freshman year. Like many people, she feared her and her roommate would not get along.

“We hit it off right away and got along really easily,” Wickson says. 

Not many people can say they trust their roommate right away but Wickson says her and her roommate can trust each other completely.

“She’s one of my best friends and we didn’t have to think twice about rooming together our sophomore year,” Wickson says.

Sean Montijo, University Housing Management at ASU, says the immediate advice that they give students who are having issues with their roommate(s) is to talk to the Community Assistant (CA) on their floor.

“The CA assists the two parties in finding a resolution to the conflicting issues,” Montijo says.

If the two parties cannot come to a resolution with the CA, the other option is for the student to submit a Roommate Transfer Request so they can be moved to another space as soon as possible, Montijo says.

Whether you love your roommate or hate your roommate, don’t worry it’s normal to have disagreements when you are in tight quarters. If you and your roommate don’t get along, it’s okay because roommates are temporary. If you guys aren’t best friends or even friends at all that’s okay too— you’re not expected to be. In fact, those people who did find their best friend in their roommate, we applaud you.  

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