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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Coed living is a real-life sitcom

Graphic by Nikhil Vadi

 Opinion writer @MadsMcMurrough says living with the opposite gender isn’t that unorthodox — it’s just like your favorite TV show.


Has your life ever been so boring that you wish you were sucked into your favorite sitcom? Well, the easiest way to do that is to sign a rent contract with the opposite gender.

Cue the 1990s sitcom laugh track. You think I’m joking? I’m dead serious. Like Phoebe Buffay’s mom, dead serious.

The summer before my sophomore year of college, my sister and I moved in with two guys.

Prior to our sitcom era, we had never lived with a man before, so to say we were hesitant was an understatement. But we decided to take our chances because, to be Frank, it was our only option.

Let me tell you, those three months were the most “Friends” experience I’ve ever had. It was like living with Joey and Chandler in real life.

When the summer was over, we couldn’t wait to tell our friends and family about the daily shenanigans we got up to, describing them as if they were an episode that aired on NBC every Thursday night.

However, we were met with less than enthusiastic reviews: “I can’t believe you’d live with a man.” “That’s not very traditional.” “How pick-me of you.”

Ouch. Our sitcom was most definitely getting canceled by the network with those scathing critics.

What I came to realize, however, was that these critics thought our sitcom was written by Shonda Rhimes instead of Marta Kuffman. Visions of torrid love affairs, roommate fraternization and steamy nights filled their minds at the thought of our living situation.

I hate to break it to you, but there was absolutely none of that.

Yes, I do realize that every character in “Friends” dates each other, but forget about that aspect for a moment. What actually happened was hours of Minecraft, “Game of Thrones” marathons and late-night conversations about life. It sounds boring, but I’m certain that if we reenacted some stories from that summer in front of a live studio audience, there would be genuine laughter and heartfelt applause.

My point is that coed living isn’t all that unorthodox and scandalous in reality. How is it any different than living in a dorm? It’s not. We each had private rooms that locked. There were designated common areas. Furthermore, there was a clear-cut house rule about roommate fraternization: it was prohibited.

Sure, co-ed living is not that traditional of a practice, but in my experience, it was just like living in a basic college residence hall.

Plus, do you really expect us to keep our four-bedroom house strictly female in this rent climate? Not in this economy. If you can pay, you’re automatically a roommate candidate.

Living with the opposite gender also taught me how to better communicate. I had never been good at conflict resolution in the past with my previous female roommates, fearing that our friendship could fall apart if I said the wrong thing or approached the subject wrong.

But with guys, the need for conflict resolution was much more dire. If I didn’t want my house to be disgusting and have the “Smelly-Cat” stench, I needed to be more direct with the source. No beating around the bush.

Finally, the common disbelief: “I can’t believe you’d live with a man.”

Yeah, me neither. But it’s been so unexpected and fun. Like all good sitcoms, our final episode was emotional, heartfelt and displayed growth and maturity from all characters — even from the characters that were antagonistic throughout the show.

When it all ends and we move out of our apartment, the significant others and wacky side characters won’t define our time together. The hours we spent together in the living room playing games, in the kitchen cooking dinners and at the coffee shop down the road, will. Because “roommates” is really a synonym for “Friends,” and these kinds of friends last beyond the final episode.

So, if your best friend is a Joey, Ross or Chandler, don’t be a Mr. Heckles. Live with who you want and have your college years immortalized as a heartwarming sitcom. It’s not unorthodox if you “pivot” your view of what’s “normal” and say “we were on a break” to same-gender housing.

Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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