By Graham "GSM" Matthews
This weekly blog will document my firsthand experiences as a student at Endicott College. Additionally, I will attempt to offer advice to fellow college students or those looking to attend college down the line.
One of the biggest culture shocks of becoming a college student is having roommates in your dorm, especially for those that may not have had to ever room with a younger or older sibling earlier on in their life. Unless you know someone who is going to the same college as you and have the chance to pick them as your roommate, you will more than likely be paired with someone that is a complete stranger to you. Incoming freshman are always scared that their roommate might not be great, so if that is ultimately the case, all I can say is this: prepare for the worst.
Here at Endicott College, freshman were given the chance to pick their roommate if they had someone in mind, as long as they mutually requested you. However, I didn't know anyone going in, so I was just as unaware as everyone else when it came to who I was going to be rooming with. I filled out a survey earlier this year with questions asking how late I stayed up, if I drink/smoke, what my study hours were and things of that nature, so at least that was an indicator that my roommates would be somewhat similar to me. Thankfully, I lucked out, as I found out who my roommates were in early August and we talked to each other over Facebook in the weeks leading up to the move-in weekend. We discussed our majors, interests and what we were going to bring up, and the two kids seemed pretty cool from what they were saying.
So, I wasn't as nervous when I eventually met them a few weeks later. Both of roommates are cool kids, but both have drastically different interests. I've bonded with one more than the other, as the other one is usually out a lot due to the fact that he knows a lot of people on campus and doesn't live too far away. We all respect each other's privacy and have managed to collectively keep the room neat and tidy (well, at least for the most part). I take it for granted sometimes, but when I travel to the rooms of other kids who are rooming together, I realize just how lucky I am. I have gone to rooms where there is garbage all over the floor, it reeks of an unknown stench, and there is absolutely no order whatsoever. Now, I consider myself to be a rather organized person, so I know that I would driven myself insane had I been living with any of the other kids.
As a die-hard wrestling fan, I watch the product more often than not over the course of the week on television. My roommates don't seem to mind whatsoever, but the one I spend more time with has asked questions about it on occasison. He may not find the appeal in it, but at least he respects the fact that I love it for what it is and consider it to be one of my biggest passions. He has also been ignorant about it in the past saying that "it's fake" and that some of the moves doesn't hurt at all, but I've been dealing with that kind of ignorance for years on end with a variety of people, so he isn't the first one and certainly not the last. I don't let it bother me, especially since he's good about it most of the time.
Interestingly enough, I have actually managed to get a kid who lives down the hall from us into wrestling just a bit. I was playing "WWE All Stars" on the Wii last week and he admitted to me that he loves watching the video packages. He and my roommate have gotten to know some of the wrestlers and have taken a small interest in it. No, they aren't avid pro wrestling fans at this point in time and I don't expect them to ever be, but it is cool to see people be respectful of other people's hobbies and whatnot. I have asked questions about stuff they are interested in as well, so it's a two way street.
Maybe, just maybe you'll have a roommate(s) that has something in common with you. I found that one of my roommates also loves to play "Mario Kart", "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" and other video games just as much as I do. You probably won't like a lot of the same things your roommate does (unless you were good friends prior to going to college), but there might always be a few things you will both have in common.
That being said, having a roommate might be a whole new experience for you, but it is certainly something you will get used to over time. Be sure to treat them the way you want to be treated. If something they do bothers you, then you can either choose to ignore it or ask them about it in a respectful manner. You will be living together for the remainder of the year, so being on the same page with each other is crucial. In a nutshell, get to know your roommate, befriend them and show them the equal amount of respect you would like in return.
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