Let’s go back to the summer before my freshman year in college. I was working part time, trying to save up as much money as I could before I left for school. My mom kept nagging me to take care of things like pick out new bedding materials and make a list of all the different things I would need in my dorm room. Like I had any idea what I needed. I got a letter from the college with my dorm assignment, my new roommates name (I had chosen to go with the random roommate for my first year), and a bunch of other information I can’t remember. I immediately pulled up my social media accounts and began to search for “Lindsey McWilliams” (name changed for privacy reasons) to see if I could get any hints as to what type of person she was.
I figured everyone is pretty transparent on their personal social media pages, so I could at least see what her interests were and what types of things she posted about. I really don’t judge people, so don’t think I was conjuring up this whole image of her in my head while I was looking for her. It was just a simple peek at her life before I got to know her myself. Think about it, I was about to live with this girl for an entire year, so I was curious.
I found her on Facebook, but her profile was set to private and her profile picture was of some flowers. So much for my attempt to gather information. I decided to call her the next day. The conversation went pretty well. She seemed nice, said she was in the band in high school and played clarinet. I was pretty excited that she played music as well…something we could bond over. We talked about dorm stuff and about how neither one of us had bought anything to take to school. We made a plan to talk closer to the start of school and got off the phone. The rest of the summer went by in a flash. My mom helped me get organized and forced me to pick out sheets and towels and all the other boring stuff I would need. I spoke with Lindsey again, had a good conversation, and said we would see each other on move-in day.
So move-in day finally arrives, and boy was it hectic! We had to sit in a line of cars for what seemed like hours (it was really only about 30 minutes) so we could park in front of the dorm to unload the cars. My mom and I went into my new dorm room first while my dad and brother sat outside guarding the cars. Lindsey was already there with her mother so we all introduced ourselves and decided who wanted which side of the room. We didn’t really have a full conversation for the rest of the day because we were all passing each other in between trips to and from the parking lot. We got everything set up, I gave my crying parents and smiling brother a hug goodbye, Lindsey’s mom left, and we were finally on our own to hang out and chat.
The minute I sat down on my bed, Lindsey sat down at her desk, put her earphones in, and opened her laptop. I thought to myself, “ok- maybe she just needs some time to get used to being on her own” and then decided to go wander around campus just to get a feel for things. I asked her if she wanted to go with me but I guess she didn’t hear me because I got no response, not even a shake of her head. I ended up meeting some other freshmen outside the student center and we hung out the rest of the day and into the evening.
I walked back to my dorm later that night to find Lindsey in the exact same position as I had left her however many hours before. She glanced up at me as I walked in but then went straight back to staring at her laptop. From what I could tell, she was playing some kind of game. I decided to take a shower before going to bed because I had gotten pretty sweaty during the move-in. We were lucky to have our own private bathroom right off of our dorm room so I didn’t have to walk down the hall carrying a shower caddy or anything like that. About halfway into my shower, Lindsey comes into the bathroom and starts screaming at me that it was her turn to shower. I obviously had forgotten to lock the door…really I didn’t even think I needed to lock it. I told her I would be out as soon as possible, and began rinsing all the soap off of myself as fast as I could. I was shaking so badly because she had startled me. I didn’t want to dare trying to get dressed in the bathroom so I just wrapped my towel around myself and walked back into the room. “It’s all yours” I said, pretty annoyed by the whole situation. She just smiled at me and walked into the bathroom.
I got into bed as quickly as I could and I guess I dozed off before she came back into the room. The next thing I remember is waking up with a jolt. The room was pitch black so it took a minute for my eyes to adjust. The first thing I saw was Lindsey’s face staring into mine. She was sitting on the edge of my bed, just staring at me. What in the heck was going on? My heart almost beat out of my chest. I asked her what she was doing and she said “just making sure you were sleeping alright.” I told her that I had been until she woke me up and if she didn’t mind that I’d like to go back to sleep. She got up and walked back over to her side of the room, sat down at her desk, and started playing that game on her laptop again.
I was too afraid to fall back asleep so I just laid in my bed the rest of the night hoping that she wouldn’t do anything else to scare the crap out of me. I told myself that she was probably just having a hard time adjusting to this new phase in life and that she would calm down in a few days. She eventually turned her desk light off and went to sleep, but I was still too on edge to fall asleep.
Needless to say, my first experience with my roommate is one I’ll never forget.
Until next time,