My College Roommate Was Worse Than Your College Roommate

I met my freshman year college roommate the way almost everyone does: over the telephone. It’s a preposterous task, handing an 18-year-old kid a phone number and saying “hey, call this person you’ve never met and know nothing about and get cool with the fact that you’ll be sharing a tiny bedroom with him for the next year of your life. Oh, also, decide who’s gonna bring the TV!” But, that’s what colleges do. And occasionally you hear about these conversations going well, like between a couple of really bubbly girls, or, say, two dumb people, but in my case it did not. I blame Dave Matthews.

ME: Hey man, I just thought I’d call so we could get to know each other a bit. How do I pronounce your name? Mmmm…

HIM: Yeah, dawg, cool cool. Gotta run though, going into the city to see the Dave Matthews Band.

ME: Oh, cool. Have you seen him before?

HIM: Before? Eight times this summer, dawg. Plus, I got 20 sweet boots from this tour alone. [I later learned that sweet boots referred to bootleg recordings, not actual boots belonging to Dave Matthews, which would have been much more fun.] I’ll call ya later!

ME: OK, talk to you later, Mmmm…wait, how do I say your name again?

Click. Dial tone. Totally awesome. As it turned out, his name was pronounced Mike-ah, which I learned on the first day of college and not when he called me back, because that never actually happened. But that’s cool. We were 18 and he was very very into Dave Matthews — I didn’t expect prompt call returning to be his greatest skill. His true talent, as I later learned, lay in a creative approach to cleaning and home repair.

People generally have very strong opinions about their first college roommate. Either they made fast friends and ended up in each other’s wedding parties, or they hated each other and talked shit from opposite sides of the cafeteria. One way or the other, it’s always intense, and people tend to get competitive about it. You’re probably reading this right now, thinking, “I don’t care what this jerk’s roommate did, mine was definitely worse.” But the thing about it is, you’re wrong. Not about the jerk part, I’m totally a jerk. But your roommate can’t possibly beat mine because Mica liked to drink, and when he drank, things went horribly horribly wrong.

I first witnessed Mica’s approach to alcohol about a month into school. I was heading out of the room around 9 p.m. as he in stumbled past me, far drunker than a person should be at 9, unless their country was just victorious in a world war. But hey, it was a Friday night, and he was very into Dave Matthews. You gotta make allowances. And honestly, I wasn’t even surprised when I returned home several hours later to find the room reeking of puke. That was the college life, and I found it oddly comforting to have found myself a distinctly collegiate roommate. Even if he was sort of a douche. But what I discovered in the morning was distinctly not comforting. Mica hadn’t thrown up in the garbage as I had optimistically hoped. No, Mica had apparently thrown up on the carpeting next to his bed. I say apparently, because in the space where the vomit clearly would’ve been, there was nothing but a large, jagged hole in the carpet and a discarded pair of scissors. That’s right, instead of cleaning up his mess, my freshman year roommate had simply cut the offending piece out of the carpet and tossed it in the garbage. Nothing remained but three sad feet of bald linoleum.

I quickly learned that this was standard operating procedure for the MicMan. He would hit the bars at 7, get Lindsay Lohan level intoxicated, then come back to our dorm and throw it all up onto our poor, innocent carpeting. Then, each morning, he would take out his trusty sheers and turn our floor into a giant piece of swiss cheese. It got the point where you could track his night’s behavior just by looking at the ground. OK, there’s a small hole next to the refrigerator, he must’ve gotten up to get some water. Then, judging by the polka dot cutouts by his desk, he stumbled over and tried to set his alarm and puked a little bit… and, yes, yes, it looks like he stopped to listen to a bit of talk radio. Who doesn’t love a little boozy Rush Limbaugh? After it looks like he sauntered to the middle of the room, and started dancing or maybe doing some jumping jacks? The spatter-mark holes are hard to read there. Then of course we head over to the bed whether the ever-growing, original hole had seen another night of heavy expansion. I swear, after the second semester the entire area around his bed was totally nude – not a stitch of carpeting in sight. It looked like he had built a moat to ward off tiny intruders. Like a great British king, or a tremendous, tremendous douche bag.

Overall, the year with Mica had its ups and downs. There was the time he had a prospective student sleep on our floor, then almost puked on him in the middle of the night. Or the night someone broke into our room and shaved his eyebrows off in his sleep. And… OK, I’m having trouble remembering any of the ups. But I’m sure they existed. My relationship with Mica ended just as it began, with a phone call. However this one was not between us, but rather to the Chaplain in charge of our dorm. Destroying large portions of your the dorm room was frowned up at my school, as it would be in any other, and just Mica’s luck, it was a Catholic school, so he had to explain his predicament to a priest. The only words I could hear from my end were “food poisoning” and “just seemed easier than cleaning” and of course, the long-held collegiate classic, “my parents will pay for the damage.” He got away with it of course, as the Micas always do, without even once having to explain that he listened to the Dave Matthews Band.

So whattaya think? Can you beat that? TC mark

image – Brian Donovan


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  • Jennifer Kathleen

    He sounds like a handful, but I’m not convinced. I’ve heard way worse roommate stories, mostly from girls. Even my college roommate was worse than this. She was so bad we both had to move out after living with each other less than a month.

  • Alex

    Hahahaha the carpet story is fantastic. I can’t believe you have to share rooms in America, that would never happen in the UK! I had college flatmates though and I once found one throwing up on a plate in the kitchen after a night out. She was classy. Also, not to be picky but “prospective” student, not “perspective”. Great article!!

  • Seth

    prospective students, not perspective students. and yeah that dude sounds like a dick

  • Bebe

    My first college roommate was completely unstable! One second we were sitting in a mutual friend’s room listening to Regina Spektor, and the next second she was trying to choke me because I said I didn’t like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. After that incident she would stare at me in the cafeteria and in the halls. Creepy Leighton Meester type stuff like in “The Roommate”. And then second semester move-in day came and she had apparently dropped out of school.
    Then I had an alcoholic who spent her days and nights with a drink permanently attached to her. She only lasted about 3 weeks because she was expelled after streaking across the lawn of the school’s main building.
    And finally I was paired with a sweet and wonderful girl who ended up becoming one of my best friends and my sorority sister.

    • Brian Donovan

      Wow, Bebe. I think you beat me twice.

  • Tom J Taylor
  • Only L<3Ve @

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  • Jacks

    Wow, thats crazy. Definitely worse than mine. My freshman roommate was just awkward as hell and a total wet blanket

  • sarah johnson

    I may have you beat.

    My initial phone conversation was better. I assumed she was somewhat normal, we didn’t instantly become best friends but she claimed to be clean and wholesome. No red flags.

    As most college students do, they come out of their shell and go a little crazy. My roommate, Helen, took that to the extreme. About a week after school started she was known around campus as that awkward drunk girl. I did crew in college and had practice at 5AM, that’s when she came back to the room, shtfaced, EVERYNIGHT.

    She puked all over my room too, except I went out for a night on the town with my friends come back and she decided to rearrange our room, bunking her bed over mine, you know in the ‘L’ shape. I was too tired to change it so I went to sleep. That arrangement left plenty of opportunity for her to puke ON ME while I slept. I promptly changed the room back. She promptly reported me touching her stuff…

    She would also have ‘friends’ stay over. Sleep on the floor but it just so happened they slept directly in front of my door. On more than one occasion I was trapped in my room by a very large, line-backer type. Who claimed to not know her in the morning.

    She would talk in fake Chinese because it was funny, leave wet clothes on my bed. I’m not sure if her room had a carpet you couldn’t see it with all her crap. She was an ‘art’ student. She would spray paint with the windows closed and I’m pretty sure it was just to get high.

    She liked to spread rumors about me but then be fake to my face. Steal my homework, not sure why, she never had any of the same classes nor did she even go to class. She also stole money even though her divorced parents sent her $200 a week, from each of them…

    I know your in college to have a good time and we all make those druken mistakes but there are somethings she did that are too disgusting to say. Some involved grooming, some involved bodily fluids and experiments, some involve food.

    Truth is I don’t write as well and your story may win.

    • Frequent Reader

      0____0 that sounds like a nightmare.

    • Crewww

      Roomates who are out late when you do crew is the worst. Payback is when you wake them up early for practice.

    • Brian Donovan

      I think getting puked on may put you over the top Sarah. But what I really want to hear are the stories you won’t tell…

  • Frequent Reader

    He sounds like a dick no doubt, but i’ve heard way worse stories. My own roommate was worse than this, I transferred out after first semester.

  • TheFriend

    My friend lived with her roommate in an apartment sophomore year of college. they had been friends during freshman year. However, she never anticipated the terrible psychoticness of this roommate.

    The roommate would get mad for no reason, once peed in a neighbors apartment (on the floor of course), had an annoying boyfriend who used dishes and didn’t clean them, and more.

    Some of my favorite stories:

    Whenever I’d visit, I would knock and the roommate, instead of answering the door or looking out the peep hole would just utter a timid “Hello?” like there was no way someone could be visiting her at her apartment. WHich was correct of course. only her boyfriend visited her.

    Another time, she got in a fight with her boyfriend. Now this wasnt just any fight. The boyfriend started throwing stuff around and threatening to knock over stuff and she started hitting him. My friend woke up to the sobbing roommate shaking her awake with the news that the police were coming. My friend had to get up, she observed the blood spattered room of The Roommate, and then had to deal with the police. Naturally, the roommate and her boyfriend broke up. but got back together a few days later.

    Later in the year, the roommates boyfriend moved in because he got kicked out of his fraternity. Naturally, my friend asked for him to help pay the cable bill and other smaller bills. she didn’t ask for rent. The roommate agreed. THen the roommate proceeded to separate everything. THe roommate bought a coffee table so she could have her own, hid away her dishes and pots and pans, and forbid my friend from using the toilet paper.

    This was a terrible roommate. Hopefully she doesn’t see this.

    • Brian Donovan

      I think having two coffee tables sounds kinda nice. Blood, though. Blood is hard to beat. I’m not sure it can defeat Sarah Johnson though. She’s my leader so far. She got puked on!

  • Nicole

    This is weak sauce. My first freshman roommate was obsessed with cats, to the point where she had a cat comforter, a sign that said “Cats are like potato chips, you can’t have just one”, and to top it off, she kept her cats’ hair in jars because she missed them so much. Needless to say, I moved out of there. Second semester, my roommate was obsessed with the Disney Channel, would watch Rollie-Pollie-Ollie from 11pm-8am in the morning and sleep the entire day. Oh, and she was also obsessed with Chris Brown. She would say goodnight to his poster and kiss him goodnight. Toss this in with the not moving from her bed except to make tuna and all of the hair dye smell and burnt end of her hair tossed about the room….and I think I had it worse. haha.

    • Brian Donovan

      Ha ha. Nope, I disagree Nicole. I’ll take weird posters over pukey holes in the ground any day.

  • R

    I love shitty roommate stories! My roommate Freshman year took “gaining the freshman 15” to a whole new level and ballooned up to almost 300lbs. She would keep me up all night crying that she was homesick (but she lived about 20 minutes away) while eating entire cans of Pringles at 3am and whining about how she was gaining weight. She wouldn’t go to sleep until 4am and she had to have the tv on to Nickelodeon or Disney so when I’d wake up for class a few hours later it would be to the Doodlebops or Lazytown at full volume. For some reason she couldn’t grasp the concept of buying a towel big enough to fully wrap around her body. Once while I was out, she pushed my dresser so hard against the wall once that it broke the wall and burst a pipe that leaked under my bed and made the entire wall moldy. I was sick for weeks from it before I saw the mold creeping up over the bed and she admitted what happened (but never even apologized for it, just shrugged and wouldn’t even stick around to file a report with the RA). And then at the end of the year her equally large boyfriend came over in the middle of the night and they had sex that involved whipped cream and a cellphone/camera/something with a flash on it. And he hadn’t showered in a week because he was pledging and I guess the hazing process involved not showering.

  • Jessica

    He may have been a douche, but this is absolutely nothing compared to some of the nightmare stories I’ve heard and experienced myself. At least he never had sex in the top bunk while you were sleeping in the bottom. Or was convinced a terrorist organization was out to get him. Or lived solely on chocolate covered espresso beans and whiskey. Or earned the name “The Whore Next Door.”

    And it’s way worse when your roommate is rushing a sorority because the hazing process is incredibly obnoxious towards non-Greeks. They’d show up at all hours of the night to scream, giggle, and actually say out loud how little my presence in the room mattered compared to the importance of handcuffing my roommate to her bed with a Delt.

  • Kt

    my freshmen year roommate shit on the floor. on the rug, in the shower, etc. at 7pm on a Tuesday (she didn’t drink). no idea how/why it happened. I got home and the whole apartment smelled, literally, like shit and she was in bed with the covers pulled over her head and the lights off. guess who had to clean it up.

    • Brian Donovan

      Wow. KT. Well, if KT can be believed, I’m not sure she’s beatable. Poop, guys. She cleaned up poop.

      • Thomas Dyke

        I was there. It happened. THAT SHIT WAS REAL.

  • Naomi

    My experience is not as bad. My current flatmate hardly cleans up after herself and expects me to clean the flat even though she spends more time at the flat (usually lazing around) than I do.
    Her drunken nights usually end with her and her friend at the flat (usually accompanied by a random guy) talking and laughing loudly at 4am.

  • Ruthied

    My freshman roommate was from an exclusive suburb of LA, dressed like a 1950s cat lady, and suffered from a number of diagnosed and undiagnosed maladies of the spirit. She left school, and came back. Left school, and came back. One Sunday evening, I returned from a sports trip away from campus and after 24 hours on the road, she wouldn’t let me back in my dorm room. Her best friend from home (who later became her lover and girlfriend) was visiting, and I was not-politely asked to find sleeping arrangements elsewhere. She took sleeping pills and often kept the room dark and unlit at all hours of the day. She organized her schoolwork by dumping her paperwork behind her bed and on the floor next to our bunk beds. She wore pill hats and women’s polyester suits in hot September weather and complained of the cold.

    But the worst was when I came back to the room at 5am, looking for snacks in the middle of an all-night paper-writing session, and found the room clouded in smoke. She had taken the aforementioned sleeping pills, and often chain smoked in bed. But instead of using one of the filled ashtrays, she ashed behind her head, onto a pile of her papers and a discarded blue throw blanket. Luckily for her, it was my blanket, purchased at a discount retail store, and made of plastic fibers. It smoldered, smoking up the entire room but had not yet caught fire, but was melting onto the stacks of papers and books it covered. She had dismantled the fire alarm to allow her to smoke cigarettes and joints in peace. I threw open the basement windows, kicked her out of the room, put out the smoldering fire, and emailed my professor that my paper would be late. I later moved my books and bedding and lived across the hall in an abandoned single like a sequestered monk, grateful for the light and quiet.

    • Brian Donovan

      My God. You people aren’t fucking around. And all women, interestingly. Why is that. I’ve still got KT as my #1, but Ruthied, impressive showing. If you really wanted the gold, you should’ve let the fire grow. A roommate who burns the room down is totally award-worthy.

      • Jessica

        Dude, seriously. Women are fucking crazy. And I say this as a woman. Men bottle that shit up so much better, women just let it fly.

    • dlw43

      Actually, Ruthie sounds like a very interesting character. I wonder what ever became of her. Clothing designer or something? …Writer?

  • Michael Koh

    Sheers or shears?

  • Meredith

    I woke up with my roommate sucking my toes. Transferred as soon as humanly possible,

    • R

      aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, winner.

      • Brian Donovan

        Yep. Meredith, that’s pretty damn strong.

    • Katie Christie

      yep. i concede my #1 status to this lady.

  • Teresa

    Georgetown? I was lucky, but I’ve heard horror stories.

  • relieved

    My exroommate broke lots of hostel rules and made me in-charge of explaining on behalf of her (our i/c was Chinese, and my roommate thai, so the language barrier), locked me out of the room once (while she was in the room, ignored my knocking at 2am and did not apologize), used my laptop without my permission when i was away, had absolutely no sense of hygiene (did not flush the toilet when she was done, threw used pads into the dustbin in the room & never empties them, left food in the dustbin when we were both away for a month, left her used pads open on the toilet cover), and best of all, she was my ex’s next girlfriend (and went on extensive lengths to show me that they were together – placing their couple ring on the toilet sink, pasting their love letters on her cupboard with their couple photo, making presents for him when i’m around).. Not seeing her again is probably the best thing for me.

  • Typical Freshman Year

    My college roommate tried to perform an “Exorcism” on me…she was home schooled her whole life and I was so drunk one night I was mumbling (which she thought was the devil talking through me) and my teammates (I was a college athlete…no idea why I was put with her) put me into bed on my side w a trash can. .When they left she proceeded to put me on my back, light a candle, read in latin over me, and attempt to ‘Exocist’ me. My suite mate stumbled into our room to check on me and found her hitting me with a bible while I was gurgling in my passed out state. I will always win. I felt bad because no one wanted to live with her…So I sucked it up for 2 semesters. NEVER AGAIN.

  • Brian Donovan

    Wow. Toe sucking vs. Exorcism. That’s a heavyweight bout. I really don’t know who should win. You could probably get arrested for sucking someone’s toes without their consent. But being hit with a Bible has a special existential creepiness to it. And you stayed for 2 semesters?!

    Really, these are far better than I ever imagined.

  • Casye

    My roommate left used tampons on the bathroom floor and the shower floor. It was horrid.

  • liz

    When i first started living on my own, i was a bit of a moron. I didnt know that when your lease ends in “September” that means that it ends Aug 31st, not September 30th. So about two weeks before September 1st, i realized that i needed a new place to live and quickly. There was a bartendar from my local dive bar who had always kind of had a thing for me, and when i went in one day to drown my sorrows, he told me about how his old roommate had just left and he had a room. i know, stupid stupid me for moving in with a guy who had a crush on me. but more stupid me for moving in with a guy who not only had a crush on me, but had several screws loose.

    while living there, i ended up getting back together with my ex boyfriend and we decided to go out of town for two days one weekend. I had two 3 month old kittens who i left with plenty of food and water and fresh litter. When I got back into town, i slept at my boyfriends house and went straight to work the next day, where my roommate barged into my work to tell me that he had changed the locks, had put all of my stuff on the front lawn, and thrown my kittens out into the street. all because he found out that i had gotten back together with my ex. let me repeat- this nutjob THREW MY KITTENS INTO THE STREET.

    i left work in tears and managed to find the kittens cold and hungry by a dumpster a block away, and a friend let me stay with her until i found a new place. But seriously- who throws kittens into the street?!

    • Brian Donovan

      Amazing, but post-collegiate roommates are disqualified. There’s too much opportunity there. I, for instance, lived with someone who preferred going to the bathroom in my cat’s litter box instead of the toilet. But it wasn’t college, so it’s a DQ.

    • liz

      Technically i was in college at the time, i just wasnt living on campus

  • Allison

    I can’t beat the toe sucking, but one of my freshman year roommates was suicidal. When she got out of bed after a week, she decided joining the ROTC was the answer to her problem. Not so much, she started throwing books at me, then stole clothes I had bought from her so she could pay her credit card bills. Then one night she showed up with a military rifle. Somehow that wasn’t the end. A couple weeks later, I awoke to her and VD infected boyfriend having sex in the bunk bed a foot above my head. She moved out that afternoon.

    • Allison

      Oh, and my suite mate was a Wiccan witch who used to have seances in her room and all kinds of weird shit would show up in the bathroom. Apparently, footwear is discouraged at seances as all of her fellow witches and warlocks left their shoes in the hallway outside our rooms and man did those people have some foot odor problems.

      • Brian Donovan

        You really buried the lead on the seances, Allison!

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