Every stage in life has its own unique experiences that set it apart from other moments in life. 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, the bad and even the ugly have the potential to affect our lives.

As students graduate high school one of the new and exciting things they have to look forward to is moving out on their own and living with roommates. Whether these incoming freshmen are choosing to live with friends they already know or total strangers, roommates will always 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, 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 “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, Moore would have lived with at least one roommate who he enjoyed, but it is quite the opposite. It seems as though Moore has lived with every kind of personality out there, other than a clean one.

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

According to Moore, he 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 and 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 recalls one instance that semester that “pushed him over the edge.” He went on a family vacation and when he returned to his apartment it was completely trashed. According to Moore, there were Pop Tarts smashed in the couch cushions, Mountain Dew spilled on the kitchen countertops, dirty laundry all over the floor, muddy shoes marks on the carpet, and fast food wrappers everywhere you looked.

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

Other students complain that “BYU housing is a joke,” and “all the apartments in Provo are old and dirty.” But sometimes there isn’t much UVU students can do – they have to deal with what they have.

Students have found ways to improve their living conditions. With a little creativity, students have transformed many apartments from “drab” to “fab,”

Mallory Stein, a UVU freshman, is proud of her newly decorated apartment located in south Provo.

“When I moved in, it was really dirty and ugly, and didn’t feel homey at all.” Stein said.

According to Stein, Pinterest, a website full of craft and decorating ideas, has helped her create a more comfortable apartment.

“I’ve done a lot of DIY (Do It Yourself) projects to make my place cute. I buy a lot of used furniture for really cheap then repaint and fix them up to make them look nice and updated.” Stein said. “My place looks a lot better now.”