It’s a situation many of us can relate to: you’re coming into a new living situation, with roommates you don’t know, and you want to make sure you stake out some ground rules before you settle in.
But one incoming freshman at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) may have gone a bit too far outlining her “demands” in an email that has quickly gone viral in the U.S.
In a letter to her new roommates – who she hadn’t yet met face-to-face – the frosh, whose name in the email is listed as “Ashly,” lays out her specific demands for their new living situation in no uncertain terms.
“I’ll take the top bunk of the bunk bed that has a bottom and top bunk,” the letter reads. “I DO NOT want the single bunk where it has a desk underneath the top bunk so don’t try to leave me that.”
The letter was part of an email chain between incoming UCLA freshmen Winnie Chen, Giustinna Tun, and “Ashly.” The letter’s blunt tone is evidently a result of what she feels was a lapse in their replies.
“Ok so I’m not sure why neither of you responded back to my emails, but I don’t really care just as long as you both know this and understand that I’m not going to settle for anything less than what I’m going to tell you that I’m going to get once I arrive in the dorm,” is how the letter opens.
She then goes on to outline some very specific parameters for their new living situation.
“I’m also taking one of the white closets,” the letter reads. “There should be two white closets and I’m taking one of them. I don’t care for which one it is, just know I’m taking one of them.”
“I want the desk that’s near the window. Plain and simple. I don’t care about who gets the bottom bunk but just know what I stated above is what I’m expecting once I arrive at the dorm,” the letter continues, warning that she “won’t be in the mood for any arguing or other nonsense.”
It’s not clear when the letter was sent, but it went viral after Winnie Chen posted it to her Twitter account on Sept. 1.
Since then, the original letter has been shared nearly 5,000 times, and has gotten the attention of mainstream news outlets such as CBS, Fox News, and the L.A. Times.
Chen, 17, a financial actuarial mathematics major, said she and Tun, 18, were shocked by the letter’s blunt tone as well as several open threats, such as “If needed be I’ll turn it into a bigger issue so don’t try me,” and, “I don’t like being ignored … I decided to make it clear now on the kind of person I am and what I will and will not take.”
“I was shocked at first, almost didn’t believe that she was being real,” Chen told online news outlet The Tab. “I was afraid to even say anything back but mostly just shocked at the way she approached us.”
The roommate drama continued – both in real-life and social media – as Chen and Tun responded to the original letter with an equally blunt response of their own, outlining several things the two “don’t appreciate” about the original email including her “attitude.”
“GIRRRL, WE HAVEN’T EVEN MET YET,” the reply, also posted to Chen’s Twitter account, reads.
Chen says she petitioned UCLA to change roommates after receiving the letter but the school told her it likely wouldn’t be possible.
“I tried to email housing requesting for a switch, but they told me there was no way to switch unless I find another person to swap with,” Chen told The Tab.
Since then, it seems the prospective roommates have hashed things out a bit. A reply from Ashly posted on Sept. 9 seemingly apologizes for some of her earlier blunt language while maintaining she is “also really chill too.”
“As you can see from my previous email, I am like a ticking time bomb that sets off when certain things don’t happen to me,” the letter reads, apologizing for her “anger issues” and for “over thinking things at times.”
In a statement to CBS Los Angeles, UCLA officials say they are “aware of the situation” and have reached out to all parties involved in an attempt to resolve the dispute amicably.
Global News has reached out to Chen and will post her comments if and when they become available.