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What my Freshman Year Roommate Taught Me


Posted by Ashli Alexander on Thursday, May 18, 2017

Honestly, I was extremely anxious about my first roommate, especially since I met her through Facebook. We only messaged each other a few times over the summer to coordinate things for the room. I wondered if she would like me or if we would get along. But after my freshman year, I could not have asked for a better first roommate in Crawford, 2017 winner of the Commons Cup. Living with another person for an entire school year after growing up as an only child taught me numerous lessons. Here are a few:

  1. It’s okay to disagree with your roommate

Disagreeing with your roommate is probably the situation that everyone dreads and tries to pretend it doesn’t happen. However, you and your roommate are bound to disagree on something whether it’s the temperature in the room or how loud your music actually is. But with each disagreement, you both learn problem solving skills. For example, my roommate liked to study in the room with music playing, but I preferred a quiet space. After talking about the problem, we quickly found a compromise; I discovered my favorite study spot for the school year: The Jean and Alexander Heard Library (or Central as it’s commonly known on campus), 6th floor.

  1. You must respect the other person’s sleep schedule

My roommate’s sleep schedule and mine were very different. She liked to sleep-in, but I preferred getting up earlier in order to accomplish everything I wanted to early in the day. Based on this schedule, many nights I would walk in the room while she was asleep and wake up before her. One week, I literally did not see or speak to my roommate for 4 days because of our sleep schedules and the many events on campus that week. I know what you’re thinking… This is hard to believe considering that we literally lived in the same room. However, I could not wake her up at 8am just to ask how her day was yesterday because that just wouldn’t fly.

This was taken on Thursday. I literally did not see her for four days!

  1. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to

After a bad day, sometimes I just needed someone to talk to. Walking into my room after a long day, my roommate always knew when something was wrong and would talk to me all hours of the day and long into the night. Frequently, we would stay up until 3am just talking about life knowing well that we both had class the next morning. No matter how much I tried to deny it, sometimes you just need a friendly smile and someone to listen to how you walked all the way to class without an umbrella (which I do not recommend) or someone to just eat dinner with at Commons, especially on Commodore Chicken night.

  1. “Once you listen to one throwback, you’ll listen to them the rest of the day.”

This is my freshman year roommate’s favorite phrase. It honestly summed up our relationship. We would start talking about something that happened first semester, a “Throwback Thursday” in a way, and then 2-3 hours would quickly go by because we ended up talking about how we first met every single one of our college friends. My roommate taught me that by looking back at past events, you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come and how many friends you’ve actually made in college over a short period of time.

My roommate and I one week after moving into Crawford House!

Us 6 months later at the Black Affair!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      5. Friday movie nights are essential

This is my favorite lesson. Without a doubt, every Friday night, we would somehow miss the closing time of Commons and end up ordering food with our Meal Money through the GET app. Usually, it would be pizza from Roma’s, my favorite pizza place freshman year. But, we could never order food without inviting our friends which would turn into a much needed Netflix movie night. After stressing over tests and assignments, I did not realize how much I needed a break, and my roommate always made sure I didn’t miss our Friday movie and pizza night.

Everyone’s first year roommate experience is different, but it is vital that you make the most of your situation. I am so thankful for my freshman year roommate and that we will be living together once again next school year in a 6-person suite in Warren and Moore College with some of our friends. Without a doubt, I grew as a person by having a roommate after being an only child my entire life, and I would not trade my freshman year roommate for anyone else.

If you have any questions about living with a roommate your first year or living on Commons, please feel free to contact me at ashli.alexander@vanderbilt.edu! I’d love to hear from you!


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