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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jalaz77 jalaz77

They can have a special

Dorm for kids. I have 3 kids, soon to be 4 and I feel the childless roommate has a right to complain. This is ridiculous. A 4 yr old doesn't need to hang out in a reg college dorm. A mom friendly one would be different. The women who say this is fine are selfish. Yes you are a mom getting an education but why on earth would you want your kid to hang out in a reg dorm??

nonmember avatar Theresa

I was in college when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. You know what I did? I moved into my own damn place. It takes a serious amount of nerve and selfishness to force anyone to live in a tiny shared space with your toddler. The fact that you even think that sharing a bedroom with someone else's child is even close to you living in a totally different apartment demonstrates that you truly are clueless to what living with a child entails. You think you can relate because you hear your neighbor's kid cry? You are in for a huge shock when you finally have a child. Whether it's you child or not, you become partially responsible when you live with a child. You will have to take the same safety precautions, watch your language, alter your guests, and your bedtime just as the mother will. No college student should suffer the responsibilities of parenthood when they never chose it in the first place. FTR, your analogy didn't make much sense.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

You are so wrong about this Kiri. At the very least, the college should have notified her that her roommate had a child who would basically be living with her. Shasten is there to get an education, not to listen to some toddler scream and deal with the consequences of her roommate's life decisions. I would have done the same thing and I'm glad NYU recognized how much was wrong about this situation and moved the roommate out.

Caera Caera

No. Children should not be allowed in college dorms at all. Especially not for overnight visits. I don't blame Shasten for being pissed. She's paying to live in campus housing. She's not paying to deal with a little child in her living space. It's outrageous that the college would allow this.

MamaY... MamaYankee

Um hell no. I am a full time student with 2 kids and I dont even want  my own kids around when I am studying. Between the noise and constantly having to stop what I am doing to save one of them from breaking their neck, or get juice, then clean the spilled juice, or pick up/feed a crying baby, it is next to impossible to stay focused, much less concentrate and finish an assignment. I damn sure wouldnt want to deal with someone else's. College is way too expensive and fast-paced to have to be forced with that kind of distraction.  I dont think she is selfish at all.

Alaina Quist

im a mother and i wouldnt want my kid in a dorm and as a high school kid who spends 4 long years waiting for the freedom of college life i would be bullshit pissed if i had to worry about swearing in my own room and what if the 4 year old was a boy, now you cant even get dresses in your own room?

CPN322 CPN322

lulou - is your name Hannah?? The same thing happened to my friend Hannah and whats worse is we lived on an all girls floor, which had only one bathroom for the whole hall and he used it a couple times before we complained. Most of us let her take turns staying in our rooms. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that :( I know it took a toll on my friend.

2nino... 2ninos4me

Id be pissed too . There should be a special " side " for ppl like her . Im a mom but i wouldnt be too happy if i have to deal with my roomate having her 4 yr old there . Is not fait to the childless girl trying to focus on her studies and enjoying the college life

nonmember avatar Jen

That girl should absolutely have complained. She paid $9k to live on campus. You mention your neighbor upstairs' baby. that's not in YOUR BEDROOM. These girls shared a suite and this girl specifically shared a bedroom. While I agree we as a whole in society tend to be very "me, me, me" I also think there is a time and place for it and I assure you if I'm going in debt for an education I damn well get the right to complain about someone bringing a minor into my BEDROOM. By your logic if the girl had been shooting heroin she should have just sucked it up. Sure it would have uncomfortable and interfered with her own college experience but she should learn to live with people making their own decisions. And before someone argues shooting heroin is inherently dangerous toddlers aren't, I get it. But you know what IS dangerous? College students acting like college students and unsupervised toddler who could do any of those things she mentioned in her letter.

Angie... AngieHayes

Is it that big of a deal?

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