Gerry Broome/AP

At the risk of doomsaying like some David Brooksian “kids these days” reactionary luddite, it must be said: College now seems crueler than ever before.


Teens are taken from their families, plopped in rooms with strangers, and armed with many technologically advanced ways to be bad. Combine random roommate assignments with an app that lets you publicly slander your peers, and something like this becomes inevitable:

Somehow, everyone involved here manages to come off terribly: the person doing the mean tweets, the person who chose to print the tweets and post the tweets then tweet out that she had printed the tweets and also that the printed tweets were angrily removed. No heroes here, only passive-aggressive villains.

It is a wonder there aren’t more freshman-year roommate assaults, frankly—I assume those UCLA girls have killed each other by now. But here’s the thing: College roommates have always been bad. (And if you had good roommates, as some of our staffers claim, you were the bad one.)


Please email me at with your dorm living horror stories. We’ll feature the best in a future post. Being 18 is awesome, and the best thing about it is that you never have to do it again.