By Brian Nelson
Staff reporter

I am alone.

That is what my dorm room tells me every weekend. When I accepted the position as the Broadhurst male R.A., I thought having my own room was an added benefit. The empty buzz of room 115’s fluorescent lighting argues differently.

I’ve had two roommates during my time at Southwestern. Two completely different roommates. One ironed his jeans every night. The other pulled his jeans out of a pile off the floor 10 minutes before class.

I got to know each of them in more ways then I desired. I had to deal with air-fresheners that made my clothes smell like “fruity raspberry,” with alarm clocks that were not turned off over the weekends and with late-night homework assignments while I was trying to sleep.

Oddly enough, I miss having a roommate. Sometimes it was frustrating, but we worked things out.

College is the time in our lives when we learn how to live and interact with society, and people who differ from us. The guy down the hall can’t live with his roommate because his bed is never made. If he can’t live with that, he can’t live with anything. Everything always has to be his way. As a result, he will have trouble with relationships. After all, Cinderella has already been taken. He will also have trouble finding a job, considering that he can’t work for anyone who does not mirror himself.

People are different, and should not be expected to conform to be like everyone else. So maybe it’s time for the guy down the hall to learn how to live with people. He needs to talk with his roommate, rather than brew over what is getting on his nerves. If he doesn’t like his roommate to parade around the room bare butt naked, then he needs to tell him. If he doesn’t want him to “share” his razor, he needs to tell him.

Talking is all it takes. Once they get to know each other, the two might have more in common than the previously thought. Who knows, maybe they’ll end up rooming together for their remaining time at Southwestern. Then again, there are some really bad roommate situations with no chance of improvement.

However, just because someone has had a bad roommate situation, doesn’t mean that they should cancel out the idea of ever having another. Private dorm rooms cost twice as much as a regular. That extra money could provide several years worth of cherry limeades from Sonic’s happy hour. Or, that could mean a smaller loan to pay off after graduation.

So get to know people. Consider yourself lucky to have a roommate. Some random person from Nebraska might be just the person you need in your life. If the situation is a lost cause try to stick it out for the rest of the semester. You may be pushed beyond your boiling point, but you will also have some interesting stories to tell your children some day.

Dorm life is short. Have fun.

Brian Nelson is a junior majoring in English.  You may e-mail him at