Little Man Syndome

When a small man feels the need to out do a normal size man in order to feel bigger then he is.

I have always had trouble meeting people. I will admit I can be socially awkward sometimes. This was obviously my biggest fear going to college, what if I didn’t make friends? There was no way I wanted to be the kid who couldn’t make friends and would have to be a loser stuck in his room all the time.

Sadly, my time at UConn actually was something like that. I struggled to meet people and my roommate really didn’t help the situation.

‘When a small man feels the need to out do a normal size man in order to feel bigger then he is.’ – Little Man Syndrome as defined by

The top of his head barely reached up to my shoulders. He is 5’2 .I tower over him at 6’4. His name was Steeve, yes with 2 e’s. He also wore the glasses that transform into sunglasses when he is outside.
He is local to the UConn, actually from Storrs, Connecticut, and both his parents work for the university. This is great I am thinking, I can meet some of his friends, we can make some new ones together, and he probably already knows the ins and outs of this campus.
Things could not be going any better.
So it is the first night, all the freshmen with no new friends head to the orientation icebreakers and activities the university has planned, because we know this is what is going to make us friends.
However, the pressing question on most freshmen’s minds newly separated from their parents is how to find the kegs and wild parties.
My roommate looks over at me and said, “Yo bro, lets ditch this place, orientations are lame and I have a water bottle of grain in my bag that I snuck in.”
I hail from PA, where we are taught early that grain alcohol is not only a myth, but well-known to be a disaster of a concoction), I refuse.
“No thanks, I think I’m just going to stay here a little longer than go to bed,” I reply.
“Suit yourself bro,” he responds.
About an hour later I start walking back to my room. Something in the hallway of my dorm smells a little strange but I brush it off, thinking there is probably just a resident smelly kid on my floor, I have already been warned of this from my older friends.
I open my door to my room and there were three distinct things that stood out to me.
1. My roommate’s bed is covered with puke which was an admirable feat, as he had taken the top bunk. Either he jumped up to vomit into it, or deliberately climbed into his bed to throw up.
2. He was sitting on my bed. I am praying to higher powers that he doesn’t feel a second act coming on.
3. He is wearing his high school football jersey.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“I just miss it,” he says. “Crushing skulls on the field man. That’s all I want to do.”
I assume, although I don’t know why, he was talking about high school football.
I then proceed to ask him what he is doing in my bed. To this, he responds, “what is your problem?”
My confusions shows. This upsets him and he demands that I am “never to question” his drinking.

I started talking to him like he was an infant, explaining to him that everyone has had a bad mix of alcohol in their stomach. I told him I wasn’t mad and that everything is alright. I also told him that nothing bad happened and our room is fine. Finally, he got out of my bed.
As he lays there on his sheet-less egg crate falling asleep after our first day of college, we start having a little pillow talk.
“I was thinking man,” he said, “we should get tattoos tomorrow. I’m thinking about getting a maple leaf on my shoulder.”
“I don’t know,” I said. “My mom gave me a few rules and no tattoos was one of the big ones.”
“Alright man, whatever.”
“Are you Canadian?” I ask.
“My great-grandfather is,” he responds.
This is where I fake sleep.
I have never been an early riser and probably never will be. When I woke up the next day, my roommate was gone. A couple hours later he comes back to the room, his left shoulder bandaged up.
He actually did it. He went out and got a maple leaf tattooed on his arm.
“Pretty sweet, isn’t it,” he said.
I hide my smirk before lying to him about how great it is.

I now attend Penn State University and love it. One semester with Steeve was all I could and would handle but I did not have the heart to tell him that he was the main reason I left. My advice to people is do not room with small people.


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