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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: Being a roommate is like being the president

Graphic by Noah Van Soest

Are you wondering how you’re going to deal with having a roommate this year? Opinion writer Isabella Garcia gives five easy steps for a successful living experience — or presidential term!

The only thing more certain than death and taxes in College Station is that you’re definitely going to have a roommate at some point. On top of that, unless you’re one of the 11,000 Aggies (including the Corps) that manages to secure a dorm, the other 64,000 will probably be stuck in an apartment.

Your roommates can make or break your living experience, but achieving the highly sought-after peace of apartment life is easier than you might think: just be like the president!

Step one: Win over the people

Getting off on the right foot is vital to starting any presidential term, just as it is with new roommates. When you first move in and realize your bathroom doesn’t come with a shower curtain, this will be the perfect opportunity to invite your other roommates to go to the store with you. Since apparently, these apartments are too cheap to even have trash cans, it’s likely they will need to go to the store as well.

Some may dismiss winning the affection of their roommates as unnecessary. They’ll regret it when they’re fighting for their life in the restroom after Taco Bell and realize they have no one to text for toilet paper.

Step two: Announce your agenda

Every president must have clear goals while in office. Likewise, creating laundry schedules and setting up a system for small chores, such as replacing paper towels, can only set your apartment life up for success.

Though I’m sure you’re planning on making Sunday laundry day, your roommates probably are as well. While you may be willing to spend the entire day waiting to start your load, there’s no guarantee they will do the same to take out theirs.

In addition, it would be good to reach out before move-in day and communicate any bulky items you may be bringing. Speaking from experience, you don’t want your kitchen to end up with four toasters.

Step three: Be ready for problem-solving

Okay. I’m going to say it. Yes, Emily, it doesn’t matter how loud you play The Weeknd on your speaker, I can still hear what — sorry, who — you’re doing at two in the morning.

We all would love to bluntly speak our minds when others annoy us, but one wrong word could quickly make an enemy out of yourself. On the other hand, feigning ignorance of exactly what noises are being made at the witching hour isn’t a viable long-term solution.

Instead, voicing your grievances with the eloquence of, say, a president, is much more likely to yield swift results. Subtly bringing up the structural integrity of the walls — emphasizing the lack thereof — whenever a “friend” is brought over is a classic remedy. If not, a passive-aggressive “could you keep it down please :)” text is a good last resort.

Whether discussing the terms for a peace treaty or kindly telling your roommate that just because a four-course meal is in a to-go box doesn’t mean it’s trash, effectively communicating whenever a problem arises is a critical skill for roommate diplomacy.

Step four: Commander-in-crisis

Apartment fire alarms go off at the most inconveniently random times, so your roommate won’t always be there. As such, you must be prepared to engage in a gruesome battle to save their cat.

Though the president may be commander-in-chief during war, your roommate’s cat certainly won’t follow your orders to just get in the damn backpack while the fire alarm blares at an ear-bleeding volume.

Though you may come out permanently scarred, your roommate will greatly appreciate such a gesture and acknowledge your bravery.

Even more menacing than the fire alarms, however, are the tow trucks. If you are required to speed after one at midnight with your roommate frantically pulling out all her cash so she can keep her car from being impounded, so be it.

Step five: Always equal 100

One of the biggest lies is that relationships should be 50-50. The truth is that we seldom have enough to even keep ourselves happy, never mind our partner. Some days we have 80, but others we may only have 10. When the country is at 40, we look to the president for the other 60.

Whether replacing the paper towels, being a shoulder to cry on or simply offering a cookie, you must try your best to give 70 when your roommates are only at 30. This is the only way to ensure they will pull 85 when you only have 15.

Though it’s so much easier to treat your roommates with thinly-veiled tolerance, this will only yield indifference in return. Give them lemons, and they’ll make themselves a glass of lemonade. But give them a glass of lemonade, and they’ll wash the glass for you.

Isabella Garcia is an economics sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Garcia
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer
Isabella Garcia is an Economics sophomore from San Antonio, Texas and has been an opinion writer for The Battalion since June 2023. After graduation, Isabella intends to earn a J.D. and pursue a career in corporate law.
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