(Hint: Do not do these things if you wish to bond with your roommate.)
I knew three things about my future roommate before I decided I had no interest in meeting him. First, he was a nationally ranked Ping-Pong player. Second, he had the most eclectic group of Facebook likes I had ever seen, ranging from Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights to David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express. Third, he seemed like a major bro for a number of reasons, the most prominent being his frequent use of the words “dude”, “pumped” and “brotha.” Fortunately, I, Seth Merkin, a man of action, dealt with the situation far better than you ever could. I brashly denied any previous limitations I had harbored based on personal space or social niceties to mold our random pairing into a true friendship. Sure, after all of my hard work, we may have chosen not to live together again, but this had little to do with my actions and more to do with our ability to appreciate each other from afar. We were two young bucks living within feet of each other when we needed room to graze the open plains of the University. However, I remain confident that the following 14 tips will help you and your new roommate ride off together into that gloriously orange Princeton sunset, an act of true friendship that I know my first roommate and I will eventually reach.
1. Suggest pushing your beds together early in the year by explaining it will really open up the floor space in your tiny room. Plus, while the extra body heat generated by the ensuing snuggling might seem unbearable during the end of the New Jersey summer, you’ll feel very differently as soon as the first snow falls on your budding roommate relationship.
2. Let him know your deepest fears and doubts early in the year. If you openly air all of your craziness early, he’ll respect you more for it.
3. Insist your mornings start with a round of partnered power yoga. After all, there’s no need to compromise your health for the comfort of your roommate. Waking up early will be good for him anyways, so make sure to let him know you’re doing him a service. Besides, if you happen to knock him out of bed with a particularly aggressive sun salutation, he can brew you both a nice hot cup of sanctimony.
4. Twerk team power-hour. This is Jersey — only the ratchet survive.
5. Tastefully vomit on him after a night of debauchery, because nothing brings people closer than sharing bodily fluids. Don’t overdo it, though — less is more when working with stomach acids. Think glancing blowback as he confirms you haven’t died in the bathroom or a gentle transfer when you wipe the corner of your lip with his shirt in tears, not a full-on direct assault. Be careful planning this one, as a tactical chunder will seem awkward and forced. You need to fully commit to achieve the genuine experience that will truly bond you as a pair.
6. Use the same toothbrush. Saliva is also a bodily fluid, albeit a subtler choice.
7. Combine some of R. Kelly’s favorite activities by peeing in the closet. Aim for your roommate’s black Northface to preemptively vindicate its inevitable theft by eating club hooligans. Your roommate will thank you later. On second thought, try to aim at the Barbour. It needs more protection.
8. Try not to leave the room for the first few weeks. Your continued presence might be his only constant during this tumultuous time.
9. Plan some arts and crafts using the free condoms your RCA supplies you. The decorations will come to define your roommate style, as the hopefully still functional condoms should remind pregamers, hookups and passing acquaintances where they can have the best time on campus.
10. Clearly define who can wear what early in the relationship so your personal styles complement each other but never overlap.
11. Find a picture of him performing whatever crazy knack got him into Princeton through some simple Facebook stalking and Google searches. Then, print it out, force him to autograph it and plan to feature it centrally in the photo collage you’ve assembled in your room. He might act embarrassed or hostile, but just remember he’s feigning bashfulness to seem modest.
12. Make him feel comfortable with your sexuality by inviting someone back to your dorm room for a steamy make-out session while insisting your roommate doesn’t need to leave. Since you’ll never know when he might get back after a night on the Street, it’s best to plan this one sometime you know he’ll be in the room — early afternoon, perhaps.
13. Practice spoken word late at night, so he’ll dream your deepest thoughts. I love you, Namkyu.
14. Institute a mandatory self-tanning regimen for the room. Roommates who rub lotion that forces them to remain nude for at least 30 minutes over each other’s bodies … Well, they’re just pretty gay. But nothing brings you closer than being gay together.