Roommates….oh dear…..or when a Princess isn’t really a Princess
What are the odds that both our daughters would have room mate problems, actually what are the odds that all three of our kids would? I have researched, no stats on this subject, yet I know it probably happens often that your first college roommate experience isn’t a good one. I suppose that’s part of the reason the job of RA was created.
Our oldest son went off to college pretty quietly and unceremoniously, his Mother pretty much overtook that deal so we really weren’t involved. We did hear from him though that he was unhappy with his room mate assignment. Our son lived in the dorms and worked the front desk there part-time to help pay his way….he isn’t a partier…in fact he seems fairly judgmental of those who are…he’s too smart for his own good in some ways, yet in my estimation has a social IQ of about 3. So who knows really? The situation between them worsened, we suggested he seek help from the RA there. They tried to work it but but in the end they separated. Our son has had a pretty good ride with regard to room mates after that as far as we know. We even met one or two through the years and they seem very nice. Our daughters….oh boy…
The planner, set about going on-line and finding a roommate. Apparently that’s how it’s done now…it’s like lefthomeforthefirsttime.com or something. She snagged what she thought was a good one and was just happy as she could be. I guess the first sign of trouble should have been where the new roommate was from. We have a certain County down the road from where we live that has a reputation for cranking out spoiled rich bratty sorts….and that’s where she was from. We reserved judgement with trepidation. Next sign of trouble I guess should have been that the girl wanted to control the “color scheme” of their room. Are you kidding me? Nope. So the planner comes to me and says uh….our color scheme is teal. I don’t have any teal….I have pink. Pink goes with Teal doesn’t it? To which I said well sure it does. She said with indignation “well I”m not trying to go out and buy all new stuff just so it’s the right color”. Bully for you I thought…it’ll all work out, I said. As summer wound to a close, and the college experience neared, our daughter decided to ask Missypoo to spend the night one weekend. In she walks….weighs about 80 pounds….all cute and stuff…..shorts up to her chin…said Hi. They shot right upstairs where they spent the remainder of the day until we offered to take them to dinner….she talked some at dinner and our little boy called her “girl with dark hair”. At the age he was, when faced with a stranger he’d hang an American Indian name like that on em. She neglected to thank us for dinner (a big one for me) and actually stayed Friday night, Sat, Sat night and finally left Sunday. She’s a twin it turns out….what are the odds? They talked about clothes, guys, all the typical girls stuff. Off she went and we’ll see you later on move in day. They agreed upon an arrival time and that was it. Let’s turn to our other daughter by way of comparison.
Don’t know how they found each other, she never discussed it with us. First we heard of any of it was when her sister said that she and her mom were invited to lunch with this new room mate and her mother. Ok nice enough idea. Our youngest girl was extremely nervous and anxious of the first impression she was going to make. They went in separate cars for their own reasons and lo and behold our daughter whose new roomie was sitting at a restaurant with her Mom waiting, also sitting with our older daughter and their mother waiting…..our other daughter shows up really late. According to her sister, she was aloof, sort of acted like whatever no big deal and it was a weird lunch. Impressive I’m sure and their Mother and her sister were bewildered at her behavior and embarrassed to say the least. See you on move in day, thanks for meeting us for lunch see you later. That was it. The Queen of the underwhelmed strikes again!
Move in day for the girls was one week apart. The girl leaving town went first. This was funny and pretty sad at the same time. Fist, the girls were supposed to ride together, we were to follow hauling some of her furniture and their Mother was also to follow hauling clothes. Our eldest son had shown up for support with his girlfriend. At the last minute our youngest twin abandons her sister and insists on riding with their Mother who already had two passengers, so our eldest twin drives off down the highway in her car by herself. Their Mother allowed this last minute attention getting stunt by younger twin, we would not have.
We get to the school, park and unload and it is HOT. I mean its August in Kansas. She’s on the fourth floor…yeah! Are the elevators working…I’ll let you take one guess. So up four flights of stairs we go and what do we find when we get there at the agreed upon move in time? The other Princess is already there, already moved in and her stuff is taking up the entire room. Her Dad is in there with her so we all stand there in amazement for a minute…I mean not only was this a crappy thing to do and a bad start, but it looked like this child brought everything she ever owned and her Daddy just stood there like what they had done was perfectly fine. So in this one inky dinky room and just outside of it we now have 6 adults, our two daughters, the other Princess and our 4 year old bouncing off the walls. It was awesome! So our daughter says to her new room mate, where are you going to put all this stuff because you’ve left me absolutely no room. We spent an awkward few minutes helping make an imaginary half way mark down the middle of the room and we said ok that’s yours…this is hers. They had to quickly agree to share our Daughter’s mini fridge which was the bigger of the two and her Dad took his back to his car. Princess and her Dad then silently moved some of her boxes out into the hall, asked us to keep an eye on them and then left for lunch. I assume they needed to go discuss how things were going from their perspective whatever that was. We were blown away. I mean I really think they saw nothing wrong with what they did. What a little…anyway we set about helping our kid get settled…moving her in to her half of the room…then as we headed out to go grocery shopping and to lunch, we lugged other Princess’s boxes back and stacked them on her side of the room. We later dropped our daughter back off, helped her up with her groceries and away we went. Our daughter (always the Princess in our house) had met her match…an even bigger Princess! Our youngest twin this whole time acted like she would rather be anywhere other than with us, and acted irritable all day. We chalked it up to separation anxiety and not being the one attention was being paid to that day.
The next couple of months I got a call from up the road once or twice a week. It was roommatagedon! Things like, borrowing and wearing our daughter’s clothes without asking; Taking all our daughter’s food out of the mini fridge to cram all hers in, putting our daughter’s frozen food on top of the thing allowing it melt, be ruined and made a big mess which our kid cleaned up; loaning our daughter’s clothes to other girls without asking; having her boy friend spend the night when our daughter was there trying to sleep 5 feet away; having her girlfriends over al all hours while our girl was either sleeping, trying to study, or trying to go to bed; re-arranging the room without warning multiple times; things started going missing; putting all her 100 neck scarves on the ladder our daughter climbed to get up to her bunk, our daughter taking them down, other Princess putting them back over and over and over; telling our daughter that she had been pledged by a loser sorority. Just mean, thoughtless, self centered things, a constant diet. I asked what it would take to get an RA involved, she decided to wait out the first semester. It calmed down a bit, but they still don’t really like each other. She’s just started the second semester, they still room together, but I am pretty sure by next year they’ll need to part ways or someone’s going to get hurt!
On move in day with the younger daughter we went in to her room and never to be out done by her sister, her room was on the 7th floor! Did the elevators work? Again I will let you have a guess! So up we go but this time all we had was a couple bags of groceries, some bottled water, a new mini-fridge, some clothes…really nothing in comparison to our other girl. When we got in there, the room was already mostly decorated by her new roommate….who BTW had bought matching comforters. Uh oh. Funny thing is I had always told this particular daughter of ours, the anti-Princess, the sloppy one…you know what you’d better hope your college room mate is like this because no one will put up with your mess. And by all accounts from the brief scan of the orderly way this girl had put her clothes away, the way she had decorated and the photos on her wall…she was NOT the same way. Quite the opposite. So what happens is that we hardly hear from or see this daughter for weeks at a time at first. We hear though from her sister up the road that it was not going well between these two room mates either. Then our daughter starts to come see us about once a week to do laundry, feed in the pantry and she’d drop little hints that all wasn’t well. According to our daughter, her roomy sat her down before school actually started and went through some rules…several of which I guess she had no intention of following herself. Our daughter was supposed to call before she came to the room at night, was supposed to check before bringing any friends up blah blah blah…of course roomie would have guys over who would be sitting on our daughter’s bed when she’d come in…she never made calls before coming up, never checked in but hey….So then our daughter says her room mate had a habit of coming back to the room drunk. Hmm. It’s either all true, partially true or none of it is. Next thing we know, we stop seeing her again so much for a while, and we learn from her sister that her room mate had actually moved out on her. We think it was actually before classes got really up and going. She hadn’t mentioned it, just a feeling. Also I guess according to her sister she was really depressed and having trouble connecting and making new friends. I hated the thought of her sitting alone in the dorm room, choosing to be lonely rather than come sit with us. Her sister said it was because she didn’t want us to have been right, that maybe she wasn’t really ready to move out. This went on a while until our daughter did finally come home and tell us that her first room mate hadn’t worked out but she was getting a new one. During this time our oldest twin and their Mother went to visit her, and for whatever reason our daughter didn’t want them to come up to her room. They sort of insisted saying it was no big deal. She’d been on her own for a few weeks by then. I guess on the way up she said to them, well I really didn’t have time to clean my room. Our older twin said the state of that room was alarming. clothes everywhere, even on the radiator which was on, old food….trash…just really gross. And this is what I had been afraid of for this girl since she was little. What would it look like when she was alone? So the new room mate moves in, by all accounts a nice girl, who has helped our daughter clean and keep the room organized. Our daughter really likes her and is now looking forward to her return for second semester. I do hope this relationship continues to go well because frankly this particular daughter doesn’t handle stress very well and it doesn’t help her perform as well as she might be able to if at least the room mate thing were going well. Socially she struggles but if she just has even one friend at first, she’ll be so much happier of course.
Now I know part of the reason I wanted nothing to do with living in a dorm and living with a stranger when I started out and went to college.
What does it mean when your room mate moves out on you before school actually starts?
Princess plus Bigger Princess equals Boom!
Princess plus anti-Princess equals gone Princess.
We’re in hopes that Understanding nice girl plus girl who sort of needs a friend equals success! Stay tuned.