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Our Best (and Worst) Roommate Stories

As college kids head back to school, it’s time to consider the joys and horrors of sharing your living space.
Better let these soak for a few weeks.
Better let these soak for a few weeks.William Gottlieb/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Roommates are the people who see us at our worst (our best, too, but that’s way more rare): our drunkest, groggiest, and sloppiest; our most stressed and psychotic. And usually, unfortunately, vice-versa.

In 2017, almost 32 percent of Americans lived in a shared household; most of them between the ages of 18 and 24. The college years are the prime roommate years, but, as Allie Volpe wrote in The Atlantic recently, since the Great Recession high housing prices and other factors seem to be keeping more younger people in group living arrangements during their 20s. And as the trend persists, people have started to look deeper into the “strange, unique intimacy of roommate relationships”—an arrangement “can be anywhere from harmonious to downright hostile.”