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“College Roommates



Pre-Listening Question

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living with roommates at college? Consider ideas related to relationships, finances, and convenience.

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some word and expressions that appear in the video:

get along with someone (verb): have a friendly relationship with someone
– I didn’t get along with some of my roommates in college.

clash: (verb) be difficult to work together or (noun) a short fight or argument between people
– Some of my roommates clashed because none of them ever cleaned the kitchen.

common area (noun): an area shared by all the people in an apartment (for example, the kitchen or living room)
– We often meet in the common area of our apartment to play games and watch movies.

designate (verb): choose someone to do something
– Everyone is designated to clean different parts of the apartment every week.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Aubrey. What are some pros and cons to living with roommates on campus?

Aubrey: Yeah. So I did live in a dorm my first year of college. Um, it was a more apartment-style dorm, uh, where we had a kitchen and everything. I didn’t enjoy it. It . . . It was a good experience, a good learning experience, not a good, fun experience because I learned that I don’t ever want to have a room, roommate ever again. Right? We got along fine at first, but we had a lot of, like, clashing. You know, opinions about things. It . . it just wasn’t fun. And I didn’t know any of the other people I was um, in with in this apartment setting.

Randall: So describe what, in your situation, what was it like? How many people were in the apartment? How are things shared and so forth, ideally?

Aubrey: Yeah. So it was a three bedroom, one bath. Um, well, it was like there was a shower and then a toilet like but in different rooms and, you know, kitchen and living area that were, you know, common areas in the apartment. Um, two people per room. And there was just . . . It was just too many people because that’s six people in that little apartment, and you know, that it was old, so like the heating and air conditioning weren’t great. I actually had to sign a waiver saying I wouldn’t eat the walls, you know, chips off the walls because there was lead paint on the walls. Yeah.

Randall: And so how do you designate if you’re . . . . you’re in an apartment with six other people, and you each have a, you know, some milk in the fridge. How do you designate whose is whose so you don’t end up eating everyone’s food or do you?

Aubrey: Yeah, I guess you label it and hope no one touches it. Yeah, you can do it that way. You could divide up the fridge space like there were too many of us for us to each have like our own shelf. So yeah, it was the label it and hope approach.

Randall: And how do you go about designating who cleans what, you know in the common areas? What would be some tips for those that are considering living with roommates?

Aubrey: Yeah, I don’t know if I have any good advice for this because we were bad at that. It definitely became a situation where there were moldy dishes in the sink because no one would do them. Like I said, I don’t want to do this ever again. It was a great learning experience. Some people have a blast. I personally don’t want to live with roommates at all ever again, uh, but when I had roommates outside of college, that was definitely a lot better than the random people I was assigned to, um, in the dorm-level experience.

Randall: And I think when I was in college, I lived in three different apartments. And as you mentioned, it is a learning experience because you have to now live with people that you don’t know. You have to learn how to share, to compromise, not to step on everyone’s toes and feelings. And it can be a great learning experience for the future as you move on with your own children, with a . . . with a partner and so forth. Uh, great thoughts that you’ve shared in this video.

Conversation Questions

  1. Would you prefer to live in a dormitory on campus or in an apartment off campus?
  2. Would you rather have your own bedroom or share one with a roommate?
  3. What problems can arise when living with roommates?

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at