‘I go to bed early and I never go out’: Lies NYU freshmen tell on roommate surveys

Here’s the truth behind every survey

After years of shamelessly binge-watching Disney’s Sleepover Club and being terrorised by the 2011 thriller "The Roommate", every incoming student’s wish is for a sane, semi-decent roommate. However, in order to achieve such a privilege, we must all subdue to the much dreaded, self-examination caused by the Roommate Survey.

Notwithstanding, the more optimistic among us might interpret this as a somewhat grocery list of what we want or do not want. Those belonging to the pessimist society tend to view this as an anxious personality test; half depending on compatibility, the other on a Harry Potter-like sorting hat of Fate. Will it be Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff? Wallflower girl or alpha frat manchild? Alas, only time will tell.

Inevitably, this leads us to the underlying question: how honest are our survey answers, truly? Personally, being the unapologetic walking chaos individual unrealistically aiming to one day reach the brim of orderliness, my answers were relatively truthful. My designated messy chair and book stacks permanently glued to the floor have, in all their glory, lived up to my tumultuous reputation.

However, in attempts to maximise our chances for the better, we all eagerly fill out the survey to our best ability. Surely a small white lie here and there couldn’t possibly do any harm, could it? And so, on a quest to unmask all my dishonest peers and, further, understand the root of such sugarcoated fiddles I asked my friends just how honest they were and what elements they might have not-so-accidentally omitted in the survey.

Jasmin Jimenez, fellow NYU Freshman of the 2021 class, was quick to spill the beans. “I first wrote I’d be going to bed a lot earlier, like midnight, but actually as it turns out I sleep much later and wake up late too.” Oh sweet, innocent child. Unbeknownst to her, sleep deprivation is the foundation of our bewildering, angst-filled college experience.

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My second unlucky interviewee, Sean McClaughlin from the same 2021 class, also came clean about her first-impression bluff. “Yeah… I put that I’m a lot tidier than I am in actuality.” I suppose we could just leave that matter to the infamous grey area of ambiguousness. If honesty truly was the best policy in this particular scenario, I can only begin to wonder just how many of us might have ended up matched with a trash can.

However, in light of these embellished truths, one must wonder from where they are rooted. Perhaps, we subconsciously project an ideal image of a persona we wish to someday evolve into, believing that we will live up to the phony title so as to “fake it till you make it”. By fooling them, we might be able to fool ourselves just enough to believe it. In the end, letting down our roommates is not as important as letting down our own expectations of that ideal we so strive to morph into.