San Diego is the second priciest metropolitan area to live in the United States, says interest.com.
The average apartment goes for $1905. In order to keep up with our sunshine tax, cohabitation is a must for many San Diegans. But co-existing with a roomie can be rough, as these San Diegans will tell you.
- Alan Lingol, 51 (pictured at 18)
- General contractor
As soon as I turned 18 I moved out of my mom’s house into my first apartment. I was excited to have freedom. My first roommate was a friend of mine from high school. After a month he had to bail because he had instant financial problems. He suggested that a friend of his move in, in his place. I knew the guy but wasn’t really best friends with him or anything. About two months after he moved in his girlfriend broke up with him. He got really drunk one night because he was really depressed over being dumped. So, I was sleeping and I woke up to a noise. I didn’t know what it was. Greg comes flying into my room. He throws my door open. He has his hands over his face. His entire face is just covered in blood. He had attempted to kill himself with a .22 rifle over a girl. He had the rifle pointed directly at his forehead so the bullet never penetrated his skull. It ricocheted off and went straight up to the ceiling. He told me right away what happened. I freaked out and called 911. I had to clean up the blood. Actually there wasn’t much blood on the ground and stuff. It was mostly on him. He had to go to a 30-day place where they send you when you try to kill yourself. It was crazy. That was freaky. He had to move out, obviously. That is when I had to move back into my mom’s house. But it was only for a couple months and then I moved back out on my own.
- Christie Woodruff, 19
- Public Health major
I had a roommate my freshman year in the dorms. She was a nice girl. We just had really different preferences. She would wake up at, like, 5 a.m. to go running and go to sleep at 9 p.m. I would have to be really quiet at night so as not to wake her up. She was super into Korean culture. She was studying Korean business. She studied all the time, but her one guilty pleasure was watching Korean soap operas on her phone every night before bed. Then she would sleep-talk all night about the Korean soap operas sometimes in Korean. She was Mexican, so it was kind of strange. Another thing, she was physically allergic to the sun. She was like a vampire. The blinds always had to be closed. Basically we lived in a cave. It was weird so I moved out.
- Taylor Rodriguez, 19
- Kinesiology major
I had a roommate that frequently went out at night and consumed massive amounts of alcohol. One night she came home...well, she didn’t come home on her own, two freshmen brought her home because they found her on the side of the road, lying in the gutter. When she got home, she fell asleep for a little bit and then got up in the middle of the night. She peed on the carpet and in her laundry basket. Our other roommate that shared a bedroom with her was yelling, “Carly, you are not a dog! Use the toilet!” She moved out unceremoniously. She came to us and said, “I have a surprise for you. I am moving out tomorrow!” The next day she was gone. We never really talked to her anyway. She was never home and when she was she was peeing on stuff.
- Alex Morales, 25
- Writer, student
Freshman year at Berkeley I had a roommate — let’s call her Sharon — who kept to herself. She studied a lot. She did a lot of interesting things like, kept milk in our dorm room even though we didn’t have a fridge. That was a red flag. On the weekends she never really went out. She was either in the library or studying. On the last night before we all went home for summer our freshman year, we had a floor party. I found out at the floor party that Sharon loved to drink, maybe a little too much. She had so much to drink that she got a little crazy. She came back into our room. She had this look on her face like she was a totally different person. She tried to climb up to her top bunk and she almost fell off. My other roommate and I were really concerned for her. We were, like, This is not the Sharon we know. The next morning I woke up kind of early. Her bed was right above my desk. I looked at my laptop and I thought, Huh, that is crazy, something is wrong. The room smelled really bad. Sharon had thrown up directly on my laptop, from the bunk above — waterfall effect. It was bad. I mean, it was a really hectic morning. She was moving out and I was moving out the next day. She ended up leaving and not apologizing, coming back and getting locked out. I was just so appalled and shocked. It was so unexpected and gross. She left a bunch of change in her dresser, a bunch of quarters, so I used it to take the Bart to go see MIA that evening. I was, like, That should be the least I get for someone throwing up on my laptop!
- Amanda J., 18
At the beginning of this year I was super stoked over my roommate assignment. She had a boyfriend. I figured I wouldn’t get sexed out of my dorm room often. They broke up two weeks into school. She went crazy. My roommate — let’s call her Lisa — started getting way too drunk and bringing home a different guy every weekend — sometimes two in one night. She got checked for STDs. She’s clean, but, Lord knows how! Every single weekend I had to have a back-up room to sleep in. We had another roommate for a while. Our other roommate moved out because Lisa fell out of bed one night and peed all over her stuff. Afterward, Lisa just curled up on the floor crying. We were, like, ‘Are you okay? Do you need anything? Do you need to go to the bathroom?’ She was completely naked and started crawling into my other roommate’s bed. We were, like, ‘That is not the bathroom!’ I had to get out of bed, put clothes on her, and drag her to the bathroom. She puked all over me.
Another time I got alcohol poisoning, and she just left me there. She told me she was going to another party. I managed to call another friend who drove me to the hospital. When I got back I was sexed out of the room. I was, like, ‘I was just in the hospital! I need to sleep!’ and she was, like, ‘Well, I’m kind of busy!’ I had to sleep in my friend’s room.
Everyone in our dorm knew she was a mess. They wrote a song about her being a whore and played it for her. She didn’t care. She thought it was funny. She used to get embarrassed about her behavior. Now she embraces it. She is trying to turn over a new leaf, but it’s taking a while. I am living with her again next year. It’ll be okay. We will have separate rooms.
A good buddy of mine was an RA his sophomore year. He has always had an issue with sleepwalking. RA’s have a key to all the dorms. He used to sleepwalk, unlock random dorm rooms, and pee in their closets because he thought they were urinals. Needless to say, his RA job didn’t really work out.
- Marie F., 35
- El Cajon
When I was 18, I lived in a small college town in the Midwest. I was the only person among my group of friends that lived in an apartment instead of the dorms. I lived with my older sister. She decided to go backpacking with her boyfriend for the summer. The plan was for me to find someone to cover her rent for the two months she was gone. I was thrilled when my friend Kylie asked if she could move in. She moved in the day after her finals ended. That first night, she asked if it was okay to have a group of friends over to celebrate the end of their freshmen year. “No big deal, of course,” I told her. I figured we would hit up some parties. That is not at all what happened. Their idea of celebrating was taking mushrooms. I have nothing against experimenting. Do what you want to do. I am cool with it. What I am not cool with is babysitting five girls that decide to take psychedelics for the first time ever at my apartment. None of the girls had been on hallucinogens before. They all freaked out. There was one girl who didn’t partake that was supposed to watch them. She bailed mid-afternoon. It was just me trying to keep everyone calm. One girl refused to leave my bathroom because she thought vines were growing around her legs. We just had to pee with her in there. I ended up inviting a few of my friends over to help me babysit for the mushroom girls.
While sitting on my porch that night, so that the mushroom girls could trip out on the stars in the sky, a really cute guy walked by. A friend of mine, that was not tripping, knew him and invited him over. He ended up inviting a few of his friends over and hanging out for the rest of the night, because he was so entertained by the situation going down at my apartment. We really hit it off. That guy is now my husband.
As for Kylie, she only lived with me for one month. For some reason she was under the impression that she was just “crashing” at my apartment and didn’t need to pay for rent or food. I gave her the boot and found someone to take her place. We are Facebook friends. I don’t think she ever took mushrooms again. She has a baby now.
- Nicole M., 23
- Health and science major
I live in student housing. I moved in this past summer. My roommate is from China. Back in China she came from a really wealthy family. She had a maid, so she doesn’t know how to clean up after herself. She makes a mess and just leaves it. The other day I went to use the toilet and it was just covered in blood. I will find blood on the ground around the toilet during her time of the month, all the time. She leaves her used pads open in the trash. She is pretty gross. I have talked to her about it, but I mean, how many times can I tell her to clean up after herself? I am not her mom. Also, for some reason during finals week — she is a PhD student, so she doesn’t have finals — her sleep habits completely suck. She sleeps during the day and when I want to go to sleep at night she will wake up at 1 a.m. and start cooking and slamming doors and playing loud music. I don’t get any sleep during finals week. It is hell!
- Sarah M., 23
- Cell biology and biochemistry major
I lived with this guy for, like, a year in a one-bedroom. He was just disgusting. I mean, there was, like, mold and bugs in our apartment. He lived in the living room. I lived in the bedroom. It was gross, but I would just go in my own room and do my own thing. He was nice, so I didn’t mind so much. He decided to go volunteer at a music festival up in the mountains. He stayed there for five days. Within those five days he did LSD, ’shrooms, mescaline, ecstasy, and methadone. He came back absolutely insane. He started wearing a giraffe costume out in public. He would walk up to random people and have deep philosophical conversations with them. He would talk about how words could not accurately express what we feel inside. He talked really fast and used his hands.
He did DMT about a week after coming home from the music festival and started talking about sacred geometry. He started going to the park to set up slack lines for little kids to play on. He talked about how interesting children were and how their reasoning was pure and intriguing. He felt a spiritual connection to them. I could deal with the bugs, I could deal with the mold, and the fact that he smelled like B.O. all the time. But the giraffe costume and sacred geometry was it for me. I moved out. I considered calling his parents and telling them to come take care of their son, but I didn’t. His parents ended up moving him to Mississippi.
- Eric Grimaldi, 43
- Ocean Beach
When I was 23, I lived in a second-floor apartment in Ocean Beach, on the alley between Newport and Niagara overlooking the beach. I weep now thinking of how little I paid for that apartment — $575. But back then that felt like a lot of money. So I asked a college pal to stay with me. I liked him a lot, and we got along pretty well. But slowly some of his habits started to bug me. He couldn’t eat anything without checking the package for fat calories, which he always had to share out loud. “Oh, that cookie you’re eating has 120 fat calories.” Of course that sucked the fun out of eating cookies. He was always hawking up loogies and spitting them in trash cans because he had a theory that swallowing them would give him bad breath — as if the breath could be more annoying than the constant loogie-hawking. The worst was his shower singing. He loved the Three Tenors, and the only CD he had in his car was the Three Tenors’ 1994 Dodger Stadium concert. So, Greg would be in the shower singing “My Way,” the old Sinatra song, but he’d be singing it with Placido Domingo’s Spanish accent. It drove me bananas. In the morning, I’d hear him go into the bathroom, I’d hear the shower curtain open and close, the water come on, and I’d lie in my bed thinking, Don’t do it... don’t do it... But every freakin’ time, he’d start in, “Ant sooo, dee eynd ees neer.”
- Hannah B., 19
I came to SDSU from Northern California with my best friend. We grew up together. We were supposed to be each other’s support system. Right before school started she began talking to my first-ever boyfriend. Shortly after that they start dating. He goes to UCLA. He started coming down here all the time. I decided to try to be nice and okay with the situation. By the second week of school there was serious tension between me and my best friend because of the boyfriend. One night I woke up to movement and moans. I was, like, Oh, God, I recognize those moans! This is not my life! After that I would walk in on them all the time going at it. I mean, I lost my virginity to him. We dated for a year and half. After just two and a half months, I decided to move out. My old best friend and I are cordial. We say hi. She already went home for the summer. We live in the same small suburb. When I go home, I am going to avoid her. I am done with her.
- Sean Ordonez, 21
- Marketing major
I had this one roommate when I lived in the Chapultepec building [at SDSU] who was different. He was from New York. We had a bathroom down the hall but he refused to get up, walk down the hall, and use it. What he would do is, every day he would take a water bottle and piss in the bottle. He would put it under his desk. Some days he would have six pee bottles under his desk. Sometimes it was ten. It was pretty bad. One day he spilled one of them on a pillow. I heard him fumbling around and smelled a stenchy odor. He just left the pillow out in the hallway.
Another time, I was sleeping and he brought a girl back. One thing led to another and they are going at it. I am on the top bunk and he is on the bottom. I was laying there terrified, like, What the hell is going on?