For some of us, the most difficult part of freshman year isn't class work, studying for tests or applying to internships. It's trying to play nice with the stranger you are now forced to live with in a dorm room the size of a prison cell.
Living with people isn't easy. That’s why universities use questionnaires to place students with similar living habits and complementary personalities together, and station RAs on every floor to mediate disagreements—which, let’s be honest, are bound to happen. But what happens when your college roommate situation escalates beyond a passive aggressive note or a dramatic email?
Penn State freshman roommates Jessica and Nikki experienced firsthand the fallout of a viral roommate feud, and The Washington Post has the full story.
While neither Jessica nor Nikki liked each other all that much, both girls tried to play nice at first—that is, until Jessica found Nikki’s Tweets about her.
“Two weeks down, and I already hate my roommate,” one of Nikki’s Tweets read.
Instead of taking the high road or talking to Nikki directly, Jessica decided to fight fire with fire by hanging printouts of Nikki’s Tweets around their dorm room and documenting the drama on her own Twitter account. She thought her friends would follow along and find the whole thing entertaining, but before she knew it, her Tweets began to go viral—some being retweeted upwards of 100,000 times.
“Yeah i shouldn’t have tweeted that but I did so that’s that,” Nikki texted to Jessica once she found out about Jessica's Tweets. “This is going to be really uncomfortable if you keep feeding the fire.”
Thousands of strangers were following along as the drama unfolded online. Soon Jessica’s newly formed online fan club began digging through Nikki’s Instagram account and sending DMs to her and her friends.
“These people on Twitter looked up her photo accounts and started posting her pictures, making fun of her, calling her names, basically cyberstalking her,” Nikki’s friend Analisa told the Post.
When asked if she felt responsible for the online abuse Nikki has received, Jessica told the Post, “I don’t know. Part of me feels bad, but a part of me feels like she’s the one who instigated it.”
The fallout from Nikki and Jessica’s online feud isn't over yet. Oh, and did we mention this whole thing only went viral on Tuesday? Penn State refused comment, but disciplinary actions are possible—Not to mention both Jessica and Nikki will be associated with this scandal for a long time to come because it played out on public social media accounts. So do yourself a favor by writing up a roommate contract and trying to hash out conflicts in person. Venting on social media might feel good, but it's a different story when the whole world starts watching.