What Qualities Would You Look For in a College Roommate?March 31, 2016

I was warned about the freshman weight gain. I ignored it, as I was a lanky fellow. I was an active teenager, wanting to ride the bicycle. I even joked about sleeping next to it, which my mother didn't like at all. I was a normal teenager, who was about to set foot in the university. I understood my mother's worries, from my general health to my state of mind. I was unaware that a college roommate was what she had in mind.

I reckoned many incoming freshmen students wanted a roommate who shared many similar traits with them. I thought of the same thing, as I was an incoming English major. But the concept of opposites attract would appeal to me. It crossed my mind, many times, that a roommate who would be almost like me could lead to boredom. And I heard my mother once say that familiarity would breed contempt. I don't have a clue, as I was the type of person who could get along with anyone. I don't want to ruffle a feather except when someone drank my carton of orange juice in the fridge.

It was during O-Week when I learned about the different kinds of students who could be my roommates. (It wasn't difficult to be part of a conversation and learn a thing or two.) I was amused, but I imagined these personalities later that night. This would be my reaction:

The cafe buddy. I was familiar with this type of personality, as he happened to be my cousin. He couldn't have enough of Oreo chips, which my mother disapproved of. (I don't have a clue about diabetes.) Maybe there was a bottomless pit inside his body. I could put up with this kind of roommate, who would provide me with a distraction when I needed it. I couldn't imagine working on my assignment while depriving myself of food. But too many calories could have other effects. I might not be able to survive Reading Week.

The drinking buddy. It wasn't difficult to look for this kind of person. As a matter of fact, I anticipated another kind of peer pressure. A housemate would invite me to a party. I was hesitant, as I won't see a familiar face. Then again, this could be the best way to forget the deadline. We ended up in an animated conversation, from sports to science. (What are the chances of Australia in rugby sevens at the Rio Olympics? Good if you ask me. How about polar dinosaurs in Antarctica? It seems remote as the existence of the hollow Earth.) It didn't take long for some to pass out, while I was one of the few who remained seated and eager for more talk. They didn't know that I tried a bottle of red wine a few months ago.

The study buddy. This would be my kind of roommate, as I could need all the advice from someone who knew literature. I might have someone do a grammar check if I won't be confident with my proofreading ability. (Fatigue would play a part especially the last few months of the term.) The image of scattered books and papers all over the room didn't cross my mind, though.

My roommate turned out to be a quiet fellow. He tolerated my quirks, even gave me space when I was reading (or writing). He wasn't an English major.

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