Student Needs to Stop Whining About Sharing College Dorm With Roommate's 4-Year-Old

Rant 159

dorm room

Imagine being a junior in college and finding our your dormmate would be -- a 4-year-old. No, this toddler wasn't so brainy that he was admitted to New York University super early. But he did have a mother who was also attending the prestigious college -- and she was assigned Shasten Snellgroves as a roommate. Shasten was aghast to learn that her roomie was a mom and that, according to school policy, she'd be able to bring in her young son into their dorm room as many days of the month as she liked, and up to six nights a month.

Shasten complained to school officials, but was merely told she'd need to "compromise." Finally, she wrote a letter and made it public. There, she said, "I don’t feel that it is just for me to be facing consequences related to her life decisions." Ahh, youth. Still under the impression that they can live life in a bubble of their own making.

I sympathize with Shasten. I really do. And at her age, I would have been horrified to walk into my college dorm room and find a toddler there -- possibly barfing, or screaming, or asking the same question over and over ... and over. Not only does this not make for the best study environment, but it disrupts the entire "college experience," as Shasten puts it in her letter.

But I'm a little older and wiser now. In fact, as I sit here writing, I'm listening to my upstairs neighbor's 1-year-old scream. I've been listening to it for a year. I didn't choose to have a child -- but I might as well have.

The fact is, most of us will have to deal with someone else's choices at some time in our lives -- even a stranger's. That's because we all live in the same planet. And without each other, we're doomed, my friends.

If you're going to benefit from someone else's choice to become a fireman and save your ass from a burning building, then you also have to deal with someone else's choice to have a kid and move it into your dorm room. Because we don't get to deal with the choices of others that we just AGREE with.

In fact, it's challenges like dealing with difficult situations -- and other people's life choices -- that make us better, more profound humans.

Shasten could have used this opportunity for so many things. She could have gotten to know what it's like to be a single mom trying to juggle college (perhaps widening her perspective a little). She could have written about her experiences (imagine Tuesdays with My Roommate's Toddler). She could have used it on her resume to show how well she adapts to unexpected situations.

She didn't do any of this, of course. She complained. And since her roommate has been moved to a single room -- she got her way.

But it won't always be like that.

Do you think moms should be in college dorm rooms with their kids?

Image jonsson/Flickr

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nonmember avatar quinn

I completely think it would disrupt the college experience. If you have a toddler in your room, and you're actually concious of it, you have to somewhat monitor what you do. You can't watch certain movies, you can't study peacefully if there is a toddler running around and getting into things, and if you come in late from a date, you would have to be extra quiet so you don't wake up a little person who is hard to put back down. Also, there is some amount of kid-proofing that would go into living in the same room with a young child that you would never have to think of with only a peer roommate. I agree that the mother should have a single room, I'm sure that it will be much more comfortable for her also.

nonmember avatar sarah

when 2 peope dont mesh well, living in a dorm room together can be hell. thats one of the reasons i quit school because i seriously didnt get along with my room mate and even though i asked to be moved several times the RA didnt care. some people dont like kids and some people are more mature and dont need the "normal" college experience. i think the school was in the wrong but the girl handled it poorly.

the4m... the4mutts

No, that's crap. Kids dont belong in dorms, disrupting studying, or walking in on a roomate naked, or even having sex/masturbating. What if the roomate is piss-faced drunk, and now there's a kid in the room just because they "can" be? Bullcrap.

Single moms need an education too, but they have no right to infringe upon others, especially infringing their kid on someone.

Mommi... MommietoJB

Moms deserve to go to college too. But I dont understand why the mom is living in a dorm if she has a child.

Aeris... AerisKate

I agree with everyone else.  Women with kids absolutely should have the right to go to college and live in dorms, but they need to be in family housing and not with the general student population. The school I went to had dorms just for married students and/or students with children.  I can't even imagine trying to get homework done with a small child running around.  It's hard enough sharing a room with another person, let alone a child, while in college.  Although honestly, compared to the roommates I had before I left campus for an apartment, I'd take a 4 year old any day! 

CPN322 CPN322

No, I absolutely do not. I didn't think you were that old but you don't seem to remember college very well. Perhaps it is because I am severely adhd, but that literally would have killed my gpa to live with a toddler not to mention I already have trouble sleeping so I can't imagine what kind of hell that would be like. I get your general point, and agree in general, but I don't feel this girl should be subjected to living with a woman AND a toddler in one tiny dorm room. It just doesn't seem right at all(for the other girl and the toddler, not the most stable or quiet environment). Why not give the new mother her own room?? I'm having a hard time understanding why the single mom would want to do this.

nonmember avatar Jane

For 52,000 a year--roughly 9,000 of that being housing--this should not have happened. I remember a student in my dorm secretly keeping a small dog and another had a hedgehog. Both much less of a liability than a child. Anyway, the animals had to go. Different from this story because it's animals and not a human, but doesn't that make this situation seem much worse? I can't really even believe this happened. I remember my brother's college roommate had a friend from home staying over constantly. It was as if it were a triple and the kid didn't even go to the school. My brother complained to the resident coordinator after confronting his roommate(s) with no success. They ended up banning the kid from the dorms. But that's what happens when you're freeloading. Doesn't matter if the kid is four. Talk about taking advantage. There is DEFINITELY affordable student accommodation off campus... how do I know? I went to Fordham. "Student" housing exists everywhere for a very similar price to the dorms.

Blues... Blueshark77

She had a right to complain. She's paying a lot of money to go to school, and school is hard enough without someone else's kid underfoot. How can you compare a neighbor having a baby in a different apartment to having a kid in a small room you are already sharing with another person?  As far as learning from a single mom, why should she have to? She's not the one who became a single mom.  I'm glad the single mom is continuing her education and will continue to do so in another dorm room, and I'm glad that Shasten will be able to continue her education without worrying about someone else's kid.

bills... billsfan1104

I agree with everyone before me.

lulou lulou

My first roomate had a 40 year old creepy boyfriend, I know how this girl feels.

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