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Having a Pessimistic Roommate Will Basically Ruin Your Life

Having a Pessimistic Roommate Will Basically Ruin Your Life

For college-bound students, the slow march toward freshman year at a university of your choice is all about lists. Packing lists, reading lists, lists of must-have dorm items and must-avoid dorm archetypes (particularly that guy down the hall who doesn't wear socks, insists that his full given name is "Dan the Man," and always smells a little bit like tomato soup mixed with death. Don't say we didn't warn you.)

But today, we're talking about one list in particular: the list of diseases that tend to breed in the warm, moist confines of the college social scene! Diseases of which you must be wary! And while you probably already know about bacterial meningitis, and all of the STDs, and that particularly nasty strain of athlete's foot that breeds between the toes of Division 1 lacrosse players and can only be eradicated with the use of a flamethrower, there's another infectious plague that's been newly-discovered by researchers: NEGATIVE NANCITIS.

...Okay, so we made up the actual name. But not the rest of it! According to researchers, college students legitimately suffer contagious psychological effects when their roommates are Negative Nancies—that relentlessly gloomy breed of person who reacts to setbacks by concluding that whole, cruel world is against him, and he'll never amount to anything, and UGH screw college I'm just going to hide in a closet and eat parakeet kibble for the rest of my life. Studies have found that after a few months in the company of a Negative Nancy, formerly cheerful students are at an increased risk of depression, pessimism, or (horrors!) becoming Nancies themselves.

The good news is, the downtrodden roommate in question can also be influenced in the opposite direction by a roommate with a sunny disposition—if they can find one, and if the roommate's Pollyanna positivity can outshine the Nancy's doomsaying. But let's be real, it's a risk. You're probably better off rooming with the sockless tomato soup guy.

Are you worried about rooming with a Negative Nancy? Or are you one yourself? 'Fess up!

Topics: Life
Tags: college, school, pessimism, negativity

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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