Wall-Punching and Puke: Roommate Worst Nightmares

With 26,000 undergraduates, students are bound to experience at least one roommate horror story in their time here. Enjoy these particularly harrowing examples.


Illustration by Sophia Di Iorio

(Illustration by Sophia Di Iorio)

Alex Tran, Contributing Writer

Unless you can afford New York City’s astronomical rent prices solo, odds are you will end up sharing your living quarters during your NYU career and beyond. While NYU’s quasi-random roommate pairing for first-year dorms can be useful for making friends, it can also lead to dealing with some pretty crappy roommates. As if school hasn’t hit them hard enough, these students are experiencing cringe and gag-worthy roommate horror stories.

For introverts, or those not familiar with college party culture, get-togethers can be a source of anxiety. CAS first-year Kimi Li shared a Welcome Week experience with his roommate.

“He partied almost every night from 11 to 4 in the morning. People were dancing, singing and drinking in our living room. I’m not a party guy, so I don’t like that,” Li said.

Having had a roommate in high school who eventually became his best friend, Li was disappointed and somewhat shocked by this new one. Luckily, after the two talked and sorted out their Living Agreement, things began to get better for both of them. Other students, however, have not been as fortunate.

“My outgoing roommate was having a party in our common area,” Steinhardt sophomore Saloni Kumar said of her experience living in Third North last year. “She did not tell me she was having friends over, and I wasn’t in the dorm room at the time. When I came home, nobody was there anymore, but the entire room smelled like weed and there was a massive hole on the wall. It was her boyfriend who did it.”

As if the drywall-punching — cue the Kyle memes — wasn’t bad enough, the boyfriend added insult to injury by offering amateur in-dorm salon services.

“My other roommate said that [the boyfriend] had cut up some girls’ hair and there were thick hair all over our bathroom floor,” Kumar added.

But partying and wall-punching barely scratch the surface. A Stern first-year, who wishes to remain anonymous, may have everyone beat in the bad-roommate Olympics.

“So she was on her period, and her boyfriend came over,” she said. “They did it in the bathroom while I was FaceTiming my mom, so that was fun. And because she did it during her period, she left blood on the sink and a pile of used tissues covered in blood in the trash. So just imagine the smell of that.”

After the incident, the roommate failed to clean up the mess despite multiple text messages. Done with talking, the first-year took matters into her own hands, leaving a trash bag in the middle of the room until her roommate finally conceded.

Students agree that having to share a room with another person for months means seeing them at their worst, which is an essential part of college and teaches valuable interpersonal lessons.

“You never realize how precious having a room to yourself really is until you have a roommate,” Steinhardt first-year CJ Tomaszewski said. “But part of living with someone else is just getting used with people having different standards. [My roommate] sometimes tunes me out and doesn’t take my suggestions for our room, but ever since I brought it up, he has gotten a lot more considerate.”

A version of this article appears in the Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, print edition. Email Alex Tran at [email protected].