Off-campus housing: welcome to the jungle

This article comes from an anonymous student at Ohio University. It was done in this way at the request of the writer, in order to avoid recognition should people the writer knows read this article. After some discussion, editors at Speakeasy agreed to publish it anonymously.

Alright, so I’m a junior here at OU which means that I finally got to move out of the dorms and into an apartment. As many of you freshman are realizing, and as most sophomores already know, this is a good thing.

You finally get to have room to stretch without hitting your roommate, you get to eat better food (well, if you can cook it that is), you get to throw parties (and clean them up after, but that’s an entirely different issue), and for me the best of all was that I’d be getting to live with my two best friends (Jess and Courtney) and my fiancé (Drake). It’s also cheaper, but let’s be honest, that wasn’t my biggest reason to want out of the dorms.

So now I’m living with my three favorite people in the world, minus my parents, and you’d think it’d be easy street, right?

I know I did.

However, there were some things I didn’t realize about living with my friends, things I’d heard people warn about that I’d ignored because they warned me about the same sort of things when I decided to live in the dorms with my best friend. I had no issues when I moved in with her, and my fiancé and I had been basically living together the past year as well.

People always tell you, don’t move in with your friends; it can ruin your friendships, you learn things about people you don’t want to know, etc, etc. Well they were right, to an extent. I still love my friends, and my fiancé and I are getting along fine, but there are some tensions that I didn’t expect.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never thought of myself as a neat freak. I’m not a slob, but I’m ok with a little bit of a mess. Well, I was at home and I was in the dorms. However, I know that my friends don’t like things to be messy, so I decided to change my ways so I wouldn’t cause issues when we were all living together.

So now this year, both of my friends’ boyfriends are basically living here, making 6 of us in this house meant for, at most, 4 people.

We’re getting into the problems.

See, I don’t mind their boyfriends; I actually really like both of them. However, 6 people in one house produce a ton of dishes, and even if they are done daily, the sink and surrounding counters tend to be full. How this happens every day I don’t know, but it happens.

Now Drake and I don’t cook a ton, and we always do our dishes immediately after using them, because the mess is driving both of us insane. Courtney had to deal with this all summer, so she’s been kinda slacking off, but whatever. She at least rinses her dishes so they aren’t awful, and her boyfriend helps with dishes fairly often.

However, Jess cooks almost constantly. And most of the time her dishes involve baking and some sort of peanut butter or sticky food. As anyone who frequently has to do dishes will tell you, that stuff is nasty to clean fresh, and after it’s left out for a day, it’s damn near impossible.

As I type this there is, sitting on the counter, half a pumpkin cake, a nasty blender full of tomato gunk, a pot with some brown substance stuck to the bottom and the normal collection of plates, cups, bowls, and silverware. Drake and I have only been here two weeks now, and already we’ve started dropping hints to her about doing dishes, some more subtle than others.

The other day, while he was washing all the nastiness in the sink, Jess yelled at him from the living room to not use so much water. He barked back that instead of complaining about how he does dishes, she could do some herself.

Ouch, not to subtle there, eh?

Well, the response from Jess was basically a hell no to doing dishes, but she still complained because he was driving up the water bill. Now, I’ve known this girl since kindergarten. She’s now a super senior, and she’s never lived in the dorms. My freshman year she complained constantly about her roommates never doing dishes, and last year she did the same thing, but all the dishes left would be hers or her boyfriend’s.

If this was a stranger, I could just yell at her to do her own damn dishes. Since she’s my friend, though, I’m stuck with subtle jabs and hints, lest I lose a 15 year friendship (yes, she is one of those people that would stop being friends with you over something like this, or she would just complain relentlessly until somebody cracked).

So take my advice, make sure you are really sure you know a person before rooming with them, because 15 years of friendship didn’t prepare me for what it would be like living with Jess.

Do you have roommate woes? Share your stories below. Also, what do you think about anonymous writers? Please share your opinions below.

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