How to lose a roommate in 10 days

    Picture this: after waging a yearlong battle against senioritis and those lethal college applications, you finally get to the promise land: College. You’re thrilled beyond belief to be in a new place on your own with new friends, fun nights, and a home away from your parents.

    There’s just one huge problem. Your roommate is a nightmare, and you want out ASAP. Maybe it’s the stereotypical B.O. problem; maybe it’s something a little more far-fetched (three-foot bong? body in the corner?). In any case, don’t just quietly resent your roomie—do something about it. According to the Undergraduate Office of Housing, 62 students are currently waiting for new housing assignments: that could be your roommate! Here’s an emergency 10-step plan to subtly ditch your roommate, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson-style. Our escape route starts innocently enough, but eventually will drive your (soon to be) ex-roomie screaming and running for the hills. Hello, dingle!

    Day 1
    The dry-erase board everyone keeps on their door isn’t just for cute little BRB messages anymore. The point of this exercise is to make your roommate as uncomfortable in your space as possible, and employing others to write (or draw) inappropriate messages and images. Exercise your “creative” license with this one.

    Day 1. Photo by Max Brawer / North by Northwestern

    Day 2

    Adorn your walls with multiple posters that make your roommate squirm. Everyone has a digital camera these days—snap a picture of your roommate at an unexpected time (while slumbering would be perfect), then proceed to blow it up to the size of one of those Brian Urlacher Fathead posters. This will not only appear disturbing, but will evoke some genuine concern from the other side of the room. Hey, art is art.

    Day 3
    Sticking with the concept of decoration, imagine waking up one morning and finding your roomie’s side of the room to be identical to yours. Same desk arrangement, same junk piles, same posters (Fathead style or not). Remind them that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Day 4
    Need some extra cash? Participate in a study put on by the Psychology department. Recently, they were looking for volunteers to dish out their saliva. I’m guessing that filling your fridge with vials of your spit next to your roommate’s pudding probably won’t go over very well. Maybe even let a couple of them spill…and refuse to clean them up. It’s not your fault you can only have a mere three cubic foot refrigerator—you’re just following the rules.

    Day 8. Photo by Max Brawer / North by Northwestern

    Day 5
    You’re halfway-–-hang in there. Next, bring and utilize any and all of your strange habits from home. Are you from a humid place? Take a field trip to Home Depot, drop some cash on a humidifier, and crank that sucker up! After all, it makes you feel more at home, right?

    Day 6
    Equally irritating is setting your alarm clock frequently and for odd hours. Some effective intervals could include: an hour before they’re supposed to wake up, several times while they’re doing homework and studying, and again right before they usually fall asleep. Keep them on those annoying toes of theirs; a tired roommate is one that is one step closer to moving out.

    Day 7
    Everyone hates the messy roommate. But even worse and seldom recognized is the crazy neat and meticulous kind. Force them to keep their side neater than a pin when that is probably not their nature—claim you have a psychological problem beyond your control. Maybe even send in an application to True Life: I have OCD and ask for their recommendation if you’re desperate.

    Day 8

    Unless you’re a typical 18 year old boy and probably already deal with this on a daily basis, secretly setting your roommate’s homepage to will certainly give them a run for their money. Enough said.

    Day 9. Photo by Max Brawer / North by Northwestern

    Day 9
    Sexiling your roommate seems like the obvious tactic to use. But I suggest being more creative: I hear all the rage now-a-days entails hooking up while that pesky resident is still in the room. Bring your S.O. back to your room and claim you thought your roommate was asleep. Awkward? Borderline harassment? Mission accomplished.

    Day 10
    To cap off your devious plan, commit the most heinous housing crime: be the two-faced roommate who acts completely different in the room than when out in public. Acting like you’ve never met in public while playing the BFF card in the room will definitely push them over the edge to where they need to be to file a housing switch. For your roommate’s convenience, go ahead and have the necessary paperwork waiting on their desk at the end of Day 10.

    Following these steps will ensure that you’ll be rockin’ the dingle in 10 days or less. But has there been a plot snag as Day 11 approaches and the beast is still slumbering four feet from you? Time to play it dirty in extra-innings; take that to mean whatever you want. Hopefully, though, you’ll go on another field trip, this time to Best Buy to reward yourself with a 60 inch Plasma TV – a better friend than your roomie ever could have been. Take that, Northwestern Housing.

    Photos modeled by Weinberg freshmen John Meguerian, Caroline Raul, and Max Brawer.


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