Scavenger hunts, snowball fights, football games – College Culture is composed of so many things that make the college experience unique. Though students everywhere experience this Culture differently, there are some things that are included in College Culture in most places; roommates are one.
Roommates can be great, and awful. Blind draws can find a student their best friend, and analytical choices can make a students’ greatest enemy.
Sheri Hineman, the Director of Residence Life at Morningside College, has had years of experience with college students and roommates. Hineman believes that there are both positives and negatives in this aspect of College Culture.
“I think having a roommate helps you communicate with someone whom you haven’t grown up with. They make you feel not as lonely and isolated,” Hineman said.
Hineman believes that roommates are one of the reasons that more students stay in school. Without them, she believes the loneliness would impact students to where they wouldn’t leave their rooms or build connections with other people.
“Meeting someone different, who could be socially different, different ethnic background, race, upbringing…gives you somebody outside your social circle to talk,” Hineman also said about the benefits of roommates.
Though roommates offer potential friendships and bonds, there are also negatives that play into this aspect of the culture of college.
“It can be difficult to get to know someone. You both have to put in effort to build a relationship,” Hineman commented.
Alyssa Miller agreed with Hineman on her position on the benefits of a roommate.
“They can add support and friendship, especially in the beginning. You start talking before school starts so you start creating that connection,” Miller commented. Though Miller agreed with this position, she also realized that roommates sometimes don’t work out.
College relationships begin with roommates, but sometimes “you get a dud,” as stated by Hineman, which Miller discovered her freshman year.
Miller went through three different roommates within her first ninety days of college. Her original roommate was never in the room and tended to party, and the next two switched quickly. Caitlin Makovicka was the roommate that stuck.
Miller spoke of the stress of constantly changing roommates and how it felt to finally become settled.
“She was in the room every night. That’s where the friendship-roommate thing came into play. Your room has to feel like a safe space, so changing to Caitlin made it that way while still having someone in the room,” Miller said.
Haley Lampe also spoke about having the option to pick your roommate, and how that changed the culture associated with roommates in college.
“I already knew what I was getting myself into,” Lampe commented, “I was more anxious to begin the year when I didn’t know.”
Roommates that begin as strangers are common, and choosing your roommate changes College Culture. Students that pick their roommates have already made connections, but they must continue to work with another person in order to live in cooperation.
No matter what, roommates are the necessary evil of college. They change everyday life of a student.
“I had to change how I interacted in my own room,” Alex Badger said. “I had to start to be considerate of the other person at all times”
Adjusting to a roommate can be stressful. Sleep schedules don’t always match up, friends sometimes stay over too late, and arguments can break out between the students.
Badger says that sleeping with white noise is a ‘no-go’ with his current roommate, and that figuring out how sleep in dead silence has been a constant struggle.
“I have to adjust most everything in my day accordingly. He sleeps at a different time than me. He goes to bed at midnight, while I go to bed at one or later.”
Challenges with when to turn off lights, how long to allow Playstation screens to glow, and talking too loud on cell phones add to the roommate culture in college.
Roommates create different experiences for each person, but they are a common aspect of College Culture. Roommates create friendships, facilitate certain issues, and force students to learn give-and-take.
Without roommates, College Culture would be different and without roommates the college experience would be missing one crucial aspect.