The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

by Harlan Cohen
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

by Harlan Cohen


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For 10 years (and counting), The Naked Roommate has been the #1 go-to guide for your very best college experience!

From sharing a bathroom with 40 strangers to sharing lecture notes, The Naked Roommate is your behind-the-scenes look at EVERYTHING you need to know about college (but never knew you needed to know).

This essential, fully updated edition is packed with real-life advice on everything from making friends to managing stress. Hilarious, outrageous, and telling stories from students on over 100 college campuses cover the basics, and then some, including topics on

  • College Living: Dorm dos, don'ts, and dramas
  • Finding People, Places, & Patience: Friend today, gone tomorrow
  • Classes: To go or not to go?
  • Dating: The Rules for College Love
  • The Party Scene: Sex, drugs, and safety first
  • Money: Grants, loans, and loose change

In college, there's a surprise around every corner. Luckily, The Naked Roommate has you covered!

This college survival guide is perfect if you are looking for 18th birthday gifts, or high school graduation gifts for him or for her. This freshman survival guide is one of the best dorm room gifts you can give to help them start college off right.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492645962
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 22,841
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 15 - 17 Years

About the Author

HARLAN COHEN is The New York Times bestselling author of The Naked Roommate series and six other titles. His books have sold over 1 million copies in print in multiple languages. Harlan is a speaker who helps thousands of students, parents, educators, and professionals every year. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Before College TV.

Read an Excerpt

FACING THE 5TH WALL: Facebook & MySpace

Careful what you upload on Facebook. A girl we know uploaded her Halloween striptease for her boyfriend. It wasn't until a guy she knows told her that she took the photos off. At that point, everyone had seen them.
Junior, U of Missouri - Rolla

I don't know how to say it, so, I'll just come out and say it. Will you be my friend? I'd really like for you to be my friend. Seriously, please be my friend. I need your friendship. I want your friendship. Give me your friendship... NOW!

What's in it for you?

As my Facebook and MySpace friend, you can look at pictures of me on the road. You can keep tabs on my mood swings. You can also keep up-to-date on my relationship status. At times, I will let you know what I'm eating for selected meals and what I'm wearing. Once in a while, I will post updates regarding competive eating contests (I make those up). Last fall I provided regular updates on a candy corn eating contest sponsored by the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce. I finished second with 54,543 corns in 24 hours (again, just a joke). Best of all, as my friend, you have a place to stay when you are traveling through Chicago (not with me, but I know a lot of hotels and city parks). I'd like for you to be my friend. Not only do I want your friendship, I'd also like you to join The Naked Roommate Facebook Group. You can find links at or just look my profile up on Facebook and Myspace.

If you're not familiar with Facebook or MySpace, you are probably from another planet or your parents have locked you away. Basically, these online communities allow people to stay connected, hook up, and get rejected (but not face-to-face).


THE GOOD — it feels good to get poked. It's nice to read the writing on the wall or posts on the profile page. There are so many ways to find out so much about people you would never talk to in real life without ever opening your mouth. You can find out personal interests, academic interests, social interests. Not only do you get to read about it there are also pictures (I love pictures). You can see the people in the lives of the people in your life. On top of that you can join interest groups, send out invitations to events on campus, and communicate via email. For someone who is looking at college or is new to college, online networks are a window into the world of college life that has never been visible before. And it's totally acceptable and not weird at all to send a note to someone on Facebook. It can be the president of a club or organization, someone on a teamsport, or a professional who can help you out. This is good.

THE NOT SO GOOD - The problem is that some people use online networks as a substitute to actually approaching someone (shy people, stalkers, strangers). Facebook should NEVER be a substitute to a conversation. It should only be a first step. Even if you're checking someone out to consider hooking up, if you discover that someone is a in a relationship via their profile, this should only make it more comfortable to make a move. That's right — still get to know that person. You can find out if that person is in a serious relationship, you can find out if the person is a cheater, or you can use it as a chance to say, "Of course you're in a relationship. I couldn't expect someone like you can' t be single for long." Then you can start a friendship with the person. Too many people assume too much based on these profiles. NEVER BEFORE HAS IT BEEN EASIER TO JUDGE SONEONE BEFORE EVER MEETING SOMEONE. It happens with friends, roommates, members of organizations. Be careful what you assume and be careful what other people assume. Uses Facebook and MySpace as a way to meet people, not fantasize or follow people.

THE REALLY NOT SO GOOD: Be careful what you post. If you're underage, don't post picture of drinking. If you're a leader on campus, don't post yourself doing something stupid. If you're doing something illegal, don't post yourself doing it., If you're a pageant contestant, don't post pictures of you flashing your thong at a bar. Potential employers, professors, friends, stalkers, and family have access to your information. Expect EVERYONE you don't want to view your pictures to view them. Make sure to set your privacy settings. Another thing to keep in mind — Facebook and MySpace can become addictive. College life shouldn't mean spending hours on your computer living in online communities. Appreciate that with all the changes that come with college life, online communities can become a substitute for real life communities. Use your online relationships to initiate real relationships. And one last thing before I'm done with this one - be careful you don't get expelled. Hate speech, groups that violate student codes of conduct, and illegal activities can get you in trouble. Students have been expelled and even arrested by the police because of their Facebook activities (see: The Naked Roommate Newsletter archives for links to stories).

ADDICTION (Alcohol, Sex, Gambling, Facebook, Etc)

Depression is naturally depression. And a lot of times, people want to get away from the heaviness and find unhealthy methods to cope . Drugs and alcohol are some of the most common methods to help numb the pain and run from reality. Then there's sex addiction (online porn, masturbation, risky sexual encounters) — it's not about intimacy, it's about masking the real emotions motivating the behavior. There's gambling addiction — more college students than ever are turning to gambling. It seems harmless, but it can cost students their future. I was recently at a campus where the president of the sophomore class robbed a bank near at gunpoint to pay for his online gambling debt. Another student killed his roommates rather than pay gambling debts. Online gambling, casinos near campuses, and poker games down the hall, these are habits that can turn into a serious addiction (see hotlines at end of chapter). Then there's Facebook Addictions (not yet clinically recognized), video game addictions, and addiction to the Internet. In excess, they are unhealthy escapes that are taking you away from reality to help you cope with a deeper issue, often times tied to depression.

If you feel like you a particular behavior is running your life, getting in the way of daily activities, or becoming the focus of your day —- that habit might be more than just a diversion. If people are bringing up the habit, it's a problem. If your habit is getting in the way of your responsibilities and relationships, it's a problem. If you can't stop doing it, then it's a problem. Get help before the problem takes over your life.

Table of Contents


Book Orientation: The Stuff before the Tips
Welcome Students
Welcome Parents
Welcome Educators

Chapter 1
Arriving on Campus: So Read You Can Smell It, Touch It, and Taste it
1. Expect the Unexpected
2. Patience, Patience, and More Patience
3. Finding Your Place on Campus
4. When Lost or Confused, Ask
5. Be Yourself: Not Me, Not Him, Not Her
6. About Your Parents
7. Homesickness: Breathe Deep, It's in the Air
8. Technology: The Fifth Wall

Chapter 2
Residence Halls: Living, Eating, and Bathing with Hundreds of Strangers
9. Residence Halls: A Cruise without the Water
10. Meet People without Even Trying
11. Resident Assistants: Your Personal Assistant
12. Not All Residence Halls Are Created Equal
13. The Ugly Side of Residential Life

Chapter 3
Roommates: Good Ones, Bad Ones, and Everything in Between
14. The Ultimate Roommate Rule
15. The Random Roommate
16. The Naked Roommate
17. The Best Friend Roommate
18. The Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Roommate (pick one)
19. The Noisy, Naughty, and/or Nasty Roommate
20. The Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend Doesn't Live Here Roommate
21. The Lying, Stealing, Klepto Roommate
22. The Drunk and/or High Roommate
23. The Roommate in Need

Chapter 4
Finding Friends: Your Social or Antisocial College Life
24. The Snow Globe Factor
25. Shopping for New Friends
26. Why College Friends Are Different
27. Friend Today, Gone Tomorrow
28. High School Friends, Cows, and Cats

Chapter 5
Getting Involved on Campus: An All-You-Can-Do Buffet
29. Getting Involved: What, Where, When, How, and Why (but not in that order)
30. Clubs and Organizations: A Smorgasbord of Opportunity
31. Sports and Athletics: Buckets of College Sweat
32. Academic Organizations: Where Smart People Gather
33. Religious Activities: Your Prayers Answered & the Culture Club
34. The Perks: Travel and See the World for Free

Chapter 6
Greek Life: Behind the Doors, Windows, and Walls of Fraternity and Sorority Life
35. Greek Life: Getting In
36. Greek Life: The Good
37. Greek Life: The Bad
38. Greek Life: The Ugly

Chapter 7
Life Inside the Classroom: Assuming You Wake Up and Go to Class
39. To Go or Not to Go
40. Nice Professor, Nice Professor
41. How to Get and A (or almost an A)
42. How to Just Pass
43. How to Fail
44. The Cheat Sheet
45. Art of Reading (or not reading) the College Textbook
46. Take Notes Here
47. Do It in a Group
48. Old Exams, Sharing Notes, and Mostly Legal Ways to Pass
49. The Major Issue: Picking One
50. Advice from Your Advisor
51. Pick a Number, Any Number
52. Time for Time Management
53. Wine Tasting, Bowling, and Other Important Electives

Chapter 8 Dating and Relationships: Your Higher Education in Lust, Love, and Loss
54. The Rules of College Love (or just lust)
55. The College Hook Up
56. Close-Distance Relationships
57. Long-Distance Relationships
58. High School Bitter Sweethearts
59. Imaginary Relationships and Online Dating
60. The Friendly Relationship
61. Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Relationships
62. Cheaters, Users, and Abusers
63. I Have No Life Other Than My Relationship
64. I Got Dumped and No Longer Have a Relationship

Chapter 9
Sex: Having It, Not Having It, Hearing Other People Having It
65. Deciding to Do It
66. Deciding Not to Do It
67. Doing It Way Too Much
68. The One-Night Stand
69. Pimps, Hos, and Reputations
70. Sexual Souvenirs
71. The U of Birth Control
72. Possibly Pregnant

Chapter 10
Drinking of Campus: Tapping the Keg of Truth
73. Drinking on Campus
74. Slow Down, Don't Drink Too Fast
75. Not Everyone Is Drinking
76. The Social Lubricant
77. SaferUnsafe Sex and Alcohol
78. Sexual Assault and Alcohol
79. Don't Be So Stupid That You Accidentally Kill Yourself
80. Drinking and Driving
81. Still Hung Over
82. You Might Be an Alcoholic If...

Chapter 11
Drugs on Campus: The Smoking, Snorting, and Pill-Popping Truth
83. About Drugs on Campus
84. How to Avoid Them
85. Why Not to Do Drugs
86. Just Don't Accidentally Die
87. College Smoking Butts

Chapter 12
Money, Laundry, and Cheap Eats: Assuming You Have Enough Money to Eat and Do Laundry
88. Loans, Grants, Scholarships, and Loose Change
89. Your Financial Aid Advisor: Money, Money, Money, Monnnnneeey
90. Part-Time Jobs, Big-Time Benefits
91. The Credit Card and the $600 Candy Bar
92. Bad Checks, Bad Credit, and Bad Ideas
93. Checking Out the College Checking Account
94. Sorry, This Book is Now "Used"
95. Cheap Strategies for Eating (or barely eating)
96. Laundry Tips: This Page Is Not Fabric Softener

Chapter 13
Things Not Mentioned in the College Brochure: What They Don't Tell You
97. The Freshman 15...or, ummm, 45
98. The Student Body Image
99. Exposing the College Eating Disorder
100. Depression: The "Other" Major
101. Sexual Assualt
102. To Transfer or Not To Transfer
103. Safe Schmafe
104. Commuting? Words to Take with You
105. Diversity: Sexual, Religious, Racial—392 It's All Good

Chapter 14
College: A Higher Education: It's Almost Time to Say Goodbye
106: The U of No Regrets
107. Your Tip Goes Here

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