Sunday, September 2, 2012

Slumber Parties


            How do you feel about overnight guests?  The question seemed trivial, almost laughable, while filling out the housing survey.  I’m pretty sure I chuckled and answered it with the most lenient option, “The more the merrier.”  On the other hand, when the situation actually arises, it becomes more complicated.
            For many of us, the notion of living with a roommate is still quite new.  Expected, is mutual respect, while both parties learn how to live with one another.  Simple things like sharing food, wakeup times, etc., are all nuances that roommates must discuss and work out overtime.
            So, this brings us to the topic at hand: sleepovers.  When are they okay?  In the context of a survey, some might be quick to answer.  Always or never or as long as you ask me first, all seem like legitimate answers.  But, I don’t think it’s that simple.  The circumstances and people involved can make a huge difference in whether a sleepover is acceptable, or rather an invasion of private space.
            Of course, there are many examples of when a sleepover is perfectly normal and okay.  A friend visiting from home, perhaps even a prospective student, is someone whom I would immediately welcome into my room, no questions asked.  Sometimes, however, it can become a little more fishy.
            Let’s say the guest is of the opposite gender.  I personally don’t have a problem with this, but there are undoubtedly many people who do.  While it’s easy to respond, “Ask me first,” on the housing survey, when your roommate comes back with a girl, the situation can be more difficult.  No one wants to be that guy who ruined their roommate’s night; so many times the answer will be, “sure,” even if they are uncomfortable with the situation.
            It can become even more confusing when the third party involved is someone that both roommates know.  When your roommate is in bed with a mutual friend, the level of awkwardness automatically raises a few levels.  A one-night stand, especially with a stranger, is less awkward because just as there’s no pressure for the two involved to see each other again, the roommate almost certainly won’t ever have to deal with the third party.
            Finally, throw alcohol into the picture, and you’ve got a whole different ballgame.  At this point in their lives, many are experimenting with drinking for the first time.  Alcohol truly can affect how you act and what decisions you make, and unfortunately, many people make decisions that they later regret.  It’s easy to apologize in the morning, saying, “Sorry, I was wasted,” but sometimes the damage has already been done.
            In the end, these are my words of advice.  Most times, I would simply coax you to use your judgment when making decisions that might have tangible consequences.  Here, I would argue, that it is your duty to put in extra thought and care with every choice you make.  Surrounded by new people, in new situations, with new risks, it is imperative that you think twice before making actions that you may regret.