Roommates: The good and the ugly

Every stage in life has its own experiences that set it apart from other moments. The college years in particular provide many distinct experiences that have the potential to teach valuable life lessons. These lessons often come in the form of roommates—the good and even the bad can potentially shape who we are.

As students graduate high school, one of the new and exciting things they have to look forward to is moving out and living with roommates. Whether these incoming freshmen are choosing to live with previous friends or total strangers, roommates will often provide an environment to learn and grow.

Danielle Phoebus, a freshman at UVU, is ecstatic that her roommate is her best friend. Phoebus and her roommate met in 2007 and according to Phoebus, they have been “inseparable since.” So when they both decided to attend UVU, it was a “no-brainer” that they would be roommates.

“We get along great so of course we decided to be roommates,” Phoebus said. “I wouldn’t want to live with anyone else.”

Phoebus has heard of many failed roommate experiences, even among best friends, but she’s confident that living with her best friend will only strengthen the friendship.

“Some of my other friends told me to live with new girls instead of my best friend because sometimes it doesn’t work out, but we are such good friends I don’t see how it could be a bad thing,” Phoebus said.

According to Phoebus, it has only been one week since her and her best friend moved into their apartment, and so far they both love it.

“It’s awesome,” Phoebus said. “Who wouldn’t want to have your best friend live down the hall?”

Unfortunately, not every UVU student shares the same amount of excitement and optimism when it comes to roommates. There are many students who consider their roommate experiences as being “frightening,” “the worst,” “unfortunate,” “awful,” and “disgusting.”

Spencer Moore, a senior at UVU, has lived with approximately 20 different roommates since he started his college experience about four years ago. One would hope that within those 20 roommates, Moore would have lived with at least one roommate whom he enjoyed, but it is quite the opposite. It seems as though Moore has lived with every type of personality aside from a clean one.

“It’s so weird,” Moore said. “Every single roommate I’ve had [since I started college] has been dirty.”

Moore grew up in a house where it was expected the he and his siblings complete daily chores and keep the house clean.

“You know, I had to make my bed, make sure the bathroom was clean, do dishes and take out the trash. Nothing too huge, just basically make sure the house looked nice and clean,” Moore said.

According to Moore, when he moved in with roommates, he expected them to share his cleanliness habits, but that has not been the case.

Moore lived with five other male students during his first semester of college but according to Moore, they were the dirtiest roommates of all.

“They would leave leftover pizza on the counter for weeks and dirty dishes would never get washed. I would even see my roommates reuse dirty dishes over and over, without washing them,” Moore said.

Moore said he can still remember one instance that semester that “pushed him over the edge.” He went on a family vacation and returned to a completely trashed apartment. Moore explained the scene, saying there were Pop Tarts smashed in the couch cushions, Mountain Dew spilled on the kitchen counter tops, dirty laundry all over the floor, muddy shoe marks on the carpet and fast food wrappers everywhere.

“That was by far the worst roommate experience I’ve had. It was disgusting,” Moore said.

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