By Emily Orischak, Staff Writer/Columnist
Freshman year—new places, new classes, new people. Being an only child, I never had to live with anyone for an extended period of time. There were the occasional sleepovers at a friend’s house or a week at summer camp, but for me this was a whole new experience.
I didn’t start talking to my roommate until about two weeks before the start of orientation, and even so we never met face-to-face. I was pretty nervous about not just meeting someone I hardly knew but having to share a room with them. And I was not alone.
When asked if she was nervous about meeting her roommate for the first time, freshman nursing major Hannah Whipple said, “Yeah, but we talked before, so we knew each other.”
Over summer orientation, incoming freshman had the opportunity mingle and make friends during the two-day event. If some pairs hit it off they could sign up to be roommates. In some cases the pairing doesn’t work out.
Freshman history major, Kerilyn Mamrosh lost her roommate before ever arriving to campus due to some financial trouble. For the first two weeks, she was without a roommate.
Around the same time, freshman chemistry science major Anastasia von Thaden began her search for a roommate. Von Thaden signed up at summer orientation, but didn’t click with her roommate once the semester started.
Von Thaden advises “Definitely meet someone and talk with them first. See if you can gauge how well you would get along with them.”
Taking her own advice, von Thaden met with Mamrosh and talked with her. After a couple of days of getting to know one another, the two friends ended up becoming roomies four weeks after the start of classes.
“I’m not alone all the time,” Mamrosh responded to the change in dorm life while living with a roommate. “And I have someone to talk to…She’s awesome!”
Some students decided to take a different approach, including freshman nursing major Mary Clinton and her roommate, freshman theatre and post secondary education major Lindsay Hutterer.
“Lindsay and I went to high school together,” said Clinton. “We figured what the heck, we knew each other.”
Clinton and Hutterer don’t just room together. The two roommates engage in other activities such as going to the gym, attending clubs, and playing Monopoly in their spare time.
“We like to simply hang out,” said Clinton.
I have discovered that doing activities with your roommate both on and off campus is a good way to build up a friendship and have a good time, but it is important have some personal time to yourself.
“It’s good to have a roommate that you don’t see all the time,” said Mamrosh. “Because then you don’t get annoyed with each other.”
Both roommates agree that it is equally important to take a break from one another every once in a while as it is to spend time together and to get to know one another. This works especially well if there are some shared common interests.
“Having similar topics of interest helps,” said von Thaden. “We both like to play The Sims 3, we tell jokes, and we talk well together. Having someone you can always talk to…it works.”
The first year of college can be a drastic change from life back home. You meet all kinds of people, and make some good friends along the way. Now that those first few weeks have come and gone things are beginning to settle down, but the adventure isn’t over yet. There are plenty of new surprises left.