The Roommate Experience

By: Ragan Love

I have now done both types of living in college– dorm living and being off campus in my own apartment. I have enjoyed both and the memories I have made along the way, but I wish someone had been real with me about the positives and negatives that come with living with new people. 

My freshman year I stayed in Epler hall with one roommate. The layout of the room had room for two double beds, a kitchenette, and a bathroom, similar to the rooms in Broadway. Because I didn’t know anyone at PSU, I asked for a roommate to be picked randomly. I remember filling out the questionnaire saying how I like to be lively and around people, go to bed late/ wake up early, and like things tidy. I was paired with a sweet girl named Sophia and I am so glad I got her as a roommate. We got along well and we had a good routine together. 

She is still someone I talk to now, but when you fill out a roommate questionnaire, they can’t check all of your boxes. Sophia had family that lived in Portland so she would go home every weekend for dinner and I would have the place to myself. This would be great for some people, but I am someone who needs interaction for their mental health. So when I had multiple days alone, I would struggle to just get out of bed. When I saw this happening I looked into getting an emotional support animal (or ESA), but unfortunately, Sophia was allergic so I wouldn’t be able to have an ESA.

I now live in a three bedroom apartment with three other people. One of my roommates, Jackson, is a music education major too and Stacey has been in ensembles before so she was okay with us practicing when we needed to. My roommates were also supportive of me getting an ESA, so my cat moved up with me. At Christmas break, Stacey brought her cat up to Portland and the cats are getting along so well! My roommates have also been supportive of me and my family. I wasn’t able to go see my family for Thanksgiving or Christmas and their families invited me over for the holiday festivities. I have created a strong bond with my roommates and it has been a wonderful experience living with them. 

There are some struggles that come with moving in with friends. Living with someone can put a strain on your friendship and you have to be honest with yourself if your friend is a good fit for a roommate or if it is best to keep your friendship out of the household. It is hard to confront your friend on different things you would like to see in your house so you have to make sure that you can have those conversations with them. If they hadn’t given you money for the internet bill you need to be able to ask them to pay it without hurting their feelings. 

I have been fortunate to have had amazing roommates and even with the occasional issue, I am happy with the relationship I built and my experience with my roommates.

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