For some students, college is the beginning of the horror-story roommate: a prospect that haunts many incoming freshmen.

Some students do not believe the bad roommate will come into their lives while they sift through possible roommates on Facebook or But for some, the result of those searches yields nightmares.

Nightmare one: Ryan Shaw, a fourth-year in dance, said he couldn’t wait to move into his quad in Morrill Tower. He was the first roommate of four to get settled.

Two more roommates, both of whom Shaw remains friends with today, joined him, and the trio  was ready to explore campus. That is, until their fourth roommate moved in and everything went downhill.

“He seemed really cool, friendly and just normal to hang around. Until he started disappearing for long periods of time,” Shaw said. “We all thought it was a little sketchy.”

As Shaw came back to the dorm from class one day, he noticed hundreds of his roommate’s senior pictures hanging up in the common room.

“I had to take a step back. It was very, very strange. So I said to him, ‘In the future, we should talk about hanging stuff up in the common room’ and he wasn’t too happy I said that, but it was fine and we moved on,” Shaw said.

A few nights later, after Shaw’s roommate came home intoxicated on a Friday night, he proceeded to try to prepare a full can of Spaghettios in the microwave.

“Again, I thought to myself, ‘What’s going on here? I stopped him from putting the metal can in the microwave and he freaked out,” Shaw said.

After that, tensions ran high and the two left each other alone, until Shaw’s birthday, when he came home to find the room destroyed.

“Every piece of clothing I owned was scattered around the dorm, soaked in my shampoo and conditioner,” Shaw said.

Weeks passed with uncomfortable confrontations, until finally, Shaw relocated to South Campus, and the two haven’t spoken since.


Nightmare two: Alyssa Kelly, a third-year in psychology, who was randomly assigned her freshman-year roommate in Park-Stradley. From the beginning, she had a feeling there might be a problem.

“She didn’t want to get to know me, or text about the dorm or anything. But I wanted to keep a positive attitude because I knew it could be a long year, and maybe I was even overreacting at the time,” Kelly said.

In the coming days, Kelly would realize they were very different. Kelly’s roommate’s closet was organized in rainbow order, her bedding matched meticulously and her towels were even color-coordinated.

“The first night we went to grab dinner, and she asked me what my stance on abortion was. I thought it was strange, but brushed it off,” she said.

After a series of events where Kelly found her and her roommate did not quite mesh, they met for their scheduled roommate-agreement meeting with their resident adviser.

“She demanded that strangers, even if they were my friends, could never be in our room, including my boyfriend. She told me I wasn’t allowed to come home late. After that incident, I was so angry I would only wear headphones when I was in my dorm,” Kelly said.

Kelly also said that her roommate told all of the girls on her floor that she was drunk all the time, and she would also spread rumors about Kelly and her boyfriend.

After a month, she moved out, and Kelly hasn’t heard from her since.

“I’d never been happier. I cried and called my parents immediately,” she said.