Dear Shady Dealer,
During some routine Facebook stalking I discovered that my soon-to-be-roommate is a podcast fanatic. I don’t want to be rude or close-minded, but I’m reluctant to sit patiently nodding while he describes the latest must-listens. What should I do?
Concerned First Year
Dear Concerned First Year,
First of all, know that your qualms are valid, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to start the most important and expensive four-to-five-year venture of your life on the right foot. Here are some tips to keep things harmonious:
Getting along with your roommates is all about communicating early and often.
Wouldn’t you prefer to calmly explain that podcasts are not really your thing during O-Week rather than interrupting your studying for finals to scream that you couldn’t care less about the merits of Chapo Traphouse and Pod Save America? Bear in mind that podcast fiends also tend to be poor listeners and sensitive in disposition, so tread lightly. You don’t want to ruin your relationship before you've had a chance to organically discover each other’s unique smells and completely incompatible living habits.
Establish auditory dominance early on.
This can be accomplished by blasting your favorite music, practicing guitar, or doing your readings out loud (for the sake of better retention). If this guy wants to listen to other more charismatic nerds playing Dungeons and Dragons, he’ll have to use headphones or simply leave the room.
Theft and Property Damage.
This is a more general piece of advice we offer to all first years, but it is especially useful for discouraging podcast-chatter. Start small by pilfering some of his delicious nature box snacks and blue-bottle coffee. Escalate by stealing his loot crates and Patreon subscription rewards at the mail desk. If all else fails, “accidentally” leave a lit cigarette on that damn Casper mattress and he’s sure to take a hint.
If he insists on summarizing the latest storytelling-based journalism from NPR, and nothing seems to discourage him, you have to out-bother him. He’ll certainly know how annoying he’s being once you start matching each listening recommendation with a Jordan Peterson Video. Fight fire with Fire [ASMR]. Even the most voracious podcast consumer cannot withstand an onslaught of ambient lightning storm tracks and audio-recreations of this summer’s Thai cave rescue.
We hope these tips can help you and your roommate get along, but if not, remember that you can always drop out!
Yours in Love, War, Peace, and the Time of Cholera,
The Chicago Shady Dealer