Why the Single Life Isn’t So Bad: Comparing the Advantages of Single and Double Rooms

By Brian Brecker
Elm Staff Writer

A roommate can be like a younger sibling: you learn to simultaneously hate and love them. One thought which has been swimming through my brain is whether I prefer living in a single or with a roommate.

There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to each, and as someone who has experienced both, I believe I am qualified enough to give my own thoughts on the manner.

The single is the humble abode, while the double is the recreational area. More people centralized in one room at a time often means that you get twice the social contact as you’d usually get, especially at night. There were sometimes when my nocturnal friends and I didn’t go to sleep until 3 a.m. in the morning, which I do not recommend.

I was the neat one in the double room, and the line dividing my side from his was well-defined and dramatic. This didn’t really cause much conflict as we respected each other’s spaces and the liberty to keep them as clean as we wished.

I have heard from many people who have had worse roommate experiences that usually fall into the problem we avoided, that being a lack of respect. Other less positive experiences usually entail a lack of personal connection between the roommates due to conflicting interests and lack of agreement on taste or aesthetic principles.

Regardless, I think there is something of value lost coming home to a dorm room and not having someone to talk to about your stressful day.

If there is a definite positive to living in a single, it would be the extraordinary privacy and extra room. No more door-socks, self-conscious hygiene, or uncomfortable accidental encounters; in a single you can be the unashamed disgusting slob that many of us secretly are deep down inside.

The single is meditative and introspective, which for some may be a haven or a mental prison. The double is more distracting and therefore, more psychologically healthy in my opinion for the type of mind that spends most of its day reliving and criticizing your past actions.

If this is who you are, and you end up in a single, consider taking the active role and go out with friends and acquaintances, and most certainly join a club of some kind.

Like most things in college, your results will be based  upon your attitude and will power. Certainly, the single and the double occupy two very different atmospheres for social and academic engagement. To say that living in a single is always better than having a roommate is icorrect. At the end of the day, personal comfort depends on how willing you are to make college feel like home.

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