Tag Archives: roommate

Random Roomie Fears

If you’re active on the UNC 2022 social media pages, you’ve probably seen tons of your classmates meeting their new roomies and forming bonds and friendships. But you went random and you still haven’t talked to the person you’ll be sharing a room with for the next nine months – eek! Fear not, I’m here to tell you it’s going to be okay, and share an awesome story of two girls who were in your exact shoes this time two years ago.

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My Opinion

Okay so here’s my (maybe unpopular) opinion: picking a roomie beforehand doesn’t really affect anything. Yeah, it may ease your mind in the moments leading up to move-in, but once you get to college you’re all on a level playing field.

When you pick a roommate, whether you do it through Facebook, the housing portal, someone you personally knew, etc., you were still in high school. No matter how much you fight it – college changes you. I’m not saying you’ll have a major personality crisis but you’ll definitely grow up a lot.

The best way I know how to put it is this: if my college self met my high school self, we wouldn’t be friends. I have different routines, hobbies and interests – it just wouldn’t work.

So choosing a roommate before you know how you’ll behave in college is nearly impossible. And for a lot of people, they don’t end up besties. But in most cases, they don’t hate each other either. All the stories you’ve heard about bad roommate cases are rare, extreme situations.

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Going Random

I personally didn’t go random, and if I did it all over again I don’t know if you could have convinced my high-school self to do it. Living with someone sounds like a big commitment and hating where you live sounds like a terrible experience, but like I said, that probably won’t happen.

If you really think about it, you share a lot of qualities with all of your classmates. You’re all coming to college for the same reason – to find your destiny, academically, athletically, or however it may be. You’re all hoping to push yourself to become the very best versions of yourselves in the next four years before you step out into the world all alone. You’re all nervous (whether or not you will admit it) to start this journey – it’s a big step and it’s totally normal to be nervous!

Who really cares whether you rush a sorority/fraternity, join a certain genre of club, practice a religion, are undecided or have picked your double major and minor, the list goes on… College is all about diversity, and I’ve found the most interesting conversations in the people the least like me, those are the kinds of people you can really learn something from.

Yes, sleeping schedules are important, maybe you can’t sleep with the light on and your roommate wants to study six hours later into the night than you do. But we’re all human. Start things off the right way, communication is key. Have an open conversation with your roommate and I’m sure they’d be happy to accommodate you as long as you’re willing to accommodate them. That means maybe they study in the study lounge at nights and you quietly get ready for class in the bathroom while they’re still snoozing in the mornings.

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Meet Kate and Sarah

These two gals are two of my best friends. They’re two of the only people I know that went random, and also two of the only people I know that had minimal roommate drama. They both had their own friend groups and didn’t have to do everything together, but also genuinely got along together so well!

While Sarah studied for her hard-core math classes, Kate fell in love with ancient paintings in art history. They didn’t take the same classes or even go to bed at the same time for that matter, but as roommates they worked.

“I went random because I didn’t know anyone at UNC, and it turned out to be my greatest first-year experience” Kate said. “We’re so different that we might never have met if we hadn’t been paired and I’m SO glad we did.”

It’s the differences that brought them together, leading them to tons of late night life convos (that I 100% crashed probably too often). They didn’t spend every waking minute together but they made tons of memories in suite 208.

It’s cool to note that out of our HoJo suite, they are the only room that went random and the only pair that stayed together the following year!

 

Go random, don’t – it’s honestly all the same. Your roommate situation is what you make of it. Go in with an open mind and communicate often, you’ll be okay and I promise your freshman roommate does not define your college experience unless you let it!

Why Having a Roommate is the Best Thing Ever!

Before college, many people never experienced sharing a room with anyone. Even if they did, it was probably a sibling that they felt close enough to yell at or kick out when they needed their own space. So sharing a room with a peer can seem terrifying. But I promise, it doesn’t have to be! You’ve heard all the horror stories of roommates that didn’t get a long, so let’s talk about all the ways that living with a roommate rocks.

You’re never completely alone. 

As much as we all love and need our alone time, too much time spent by yourself can get very lonely, very fast. Odds are that you and your roommate’s schedules won’t perfectly match, and you’ll both have a fair amount of time with the room to yourself.

At the same time, having someone to keep you company when you need can go a long way. It eases the homesickness and all the other struggles of college when there is someone else in the room. Even if you aren’t talking the whole time, just knowing they’re there for you and you aren’t alone is incredibly soothing.

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They understand what you’re going through.

No matter how different your class schedules or backgrounds are, you are both going through the same stage of life – adjusting to college. And no one ever said this stage was easy. Just having someone to talk to and relate to makes you feel a lot less isolated when things get rough.

For every bad exam grade or long night studying, there’s another student who feels your pain, and when it happens to be your roomie, that makes everything that much better.

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They can help you with all your little struggles.

Key got stuck in the door? Scary bug eyeing you from the corner of the room? Locked yourself out? Can’t reach the top shelf? Wind making scary noises? Seriously, what would we do without roomies to come to our rescue???

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You always have someone to binge watch shows with.  

Because watching The Bachelor is so much better with someone to laugh at all the dorky contestants with. Sometimes you just need a break from studying and a good TV show with an eager roommate can be the perfect cure.

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And drag along on other crazy adventures.

What would college be without crazy adventures? From Insomnia Cookies at times where you definitely should be sleeping to exploring Carolina’s best kept secrets – memories much more fun when you have someone to make them with.

Plus, a roommate is much less likely to say no than a text to a random friend. I mean, how could they say no to your face when you have such convincing arguments that this adventure has to happen right now??

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It’s never just you two.

When you’ve had enough of your roommate, the beauty of residence halls is there are so many options of people to hang out with. Whether it’s suitemates or hallmates, you’re sure to find someone else in your building you click with when you need a little escape.

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As much as you may think you’ll hate sharing a room with someone, this is such an essential part of university life. A roommate is that person that doesn’t have to be your best friend but will always be there for you no matter what. And the first weekend they leave you alone, I promise you’ll be begging them to come home soon!

Orientation Do’s and Don’ts

Wooohoooooo it’s that time of the year. Graduation, family vacations, and new to you: orientation!! Every new student coming to Carolina in the fall gets to attend an orientation session this summer, so I’ve broken down the two days into the best do’s and don’ts list I could think of. After reading this you’ll be totally prepared to make the most of your Carolina preview.

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Do’s:

  1. Do take advantage of all the free items! One of the best parts about orientation is all the free Carolina swag you can leave with. Throughout your two day experience, many of the organizations on campus will be present at different sessions to teach you more about life at UNC. The best part is, this usually means they have free stuff to give away too. There are stickers, popsockets, phone wallets, water bottles- seriously anything you want you can pretty much find. You’ll come out of orientation ready to show off your Carolina pride to all your friends. *Hint hint* come find me and the rest of the summer Housing team for some of this said free stuff.Image result for thanks dude gif
  2. Explore the Chapel Hill community! If you have time, check out all the yummy places to eat on Franklin Street. There is nothing that will make you more excited for college than knowing where all the tasty places Tar Heels eat are at. For those of you who don’t live nearby, it’s also a great opportunity to see how much Carolina pride the town has. Many of the restaurants on Franklin are decked out in Carolina art and other Tar Heel decorations, so be sure to take it all in. You’re going to be spending your next four years in this town, and dining hall food will only satisfy you for so long. Use orientation as a trial and error time to find your favorite Franklin Street staple. P.S. we’ll be giving away coupons to some of these restaurants, so make sure you stop by our table during your session! #EatBlueBleedBllueImage result for so much food gif
  3. If you’re coming to orientation with your #froomie, stop by the Chapel Hill mural behind He’s Not Here. There’s no guarantee that you will become besties with your roommate, but chances are you two will make memories that’ll go past your first-year, so it’s always nice to have a picture that marks the start of a friendship. Who knows? You might even end up rooming with them again your next year.  Don’t forget to check out our blog in the next few weeks for more picture perfect spots to take your roommate to! #DoItForTheGramImage result for besties gif

Don’t’s:

  1. Don’t forget sheets, blankets, and a pillow! All students are housed overnight inside Cobb. Being a hall-style residence hall, it has central A/C, and boyyyy can it get cold in there. To not spend your first night at Carolina shivering, (since there will be plenty of those during the winter) make sure to bring a blanket to keep you warm. PSA: You may not get a lot of sleep!  Trust me, Orientation Leaders pack A LOT into the two days you’re here. So once you finally do get a chance to head back to your room, make sure you have everything you need to spend the night dreaming of your Carolina future. You’ll need to be well rested for Day 2 when you practice registering for classes. Image result for bed gif
  2. Speaking of course registration, do NOT panic!! I was so overwhelmed and stressed during my registration info session, I wish someone would have told me it’s totally normal. On Day 2, all new students participate in a mock registration session with an academic adviser. Here, all your questions on how to register for classes will be answered. When they take you through the course lists, you might notice all the classes appear to be full, but don’t worry! Many of the courses for first-years have reserved seats. This means they might appear to be full when you’re looking, but come registration time certain seats will open up specifically for you! If you still don’t see any classes that have open seats, a lot of times students change their schedules over the summer, so if at first you don’t succeed, keep checking! Also, ConnectCarolina isn’t an easy website to figure out by yourself, so make sure you’re really paying attention during your info session. The last thing you want to happen is come your registration time a few weeks later and you realize you have no idea how to add a class to your shopping cart.Image result for im fine gif
  3. Don’t be shy!! Be open to making new friends! The very first people you meet at Carolina will be those in your orientation group, so make an effort to become friends with them! How cool would it be during graduation time four years from now to say you met your best friends your very first day at Carolina? A lot of times, the groups are created by similar interests, so find things you and your groupmates have in common! All in-staters and out-of-staters have one thing in common: they’re all new to UNC, so don’t worry about being nervous about introducing yourself. Everyone is in the same boat of trying to meet new people. You never know who you will end up seeing every day in the fall! Image result for did we just become best friends gif

Orientation is your first real taste of Carolina- take the time to soak it all in. After all, this is your home for the next four years!

Room(ie) For You

How to share your home away from home.

Ah, the start of back-to-school season.

The idea of having a roommate is probably starting to sink in.

If you’re nervous- don’t worry! I asked some fellow Heels for some advice about what they’ve learned from living from a roommate, and what knowledge they could pass on to you.

This is a picture of my roommate and I… It was Halloween okay don’t judge!!!

Getting to know your roommate

“In some way, get into a conversation where you start talking about T.V. shows or music. And that’s a really good icebreaker because it’s just like, everyone likes music or T.V.” -Joy L.

It seems like there’s a lot of pressure to make the perfect first impression for your roommate. Every person engages in the media in some way, so you’re bound to find a way to bond. You can learn a lot about your roommate from their tastes, and potentially find your new favorite band!

Setting Boundaries with your roommate

“Honestly, communication is so important.You can’t expect that every person is going to be just like you- everyone is different. Everyone has their own quirks, everyone has their own preferences. I’ve made this mistake before- I keep things to myself. But that’s the wrong way to do it ’cause your roommate isn’t a mindreader, you know?” -Fania K.

One of the hardest situations all roommates will face is the inevitable boundary talk. Whether through the RA-given roommate agreement or independently, it’s going to be slightly awkward. Some of the boundaries you set may seem like second nature, but as Fania pointed out, your roommate isn’t a mind reader. Talking out all of rules now will save for a way more awkward conversation later.

Living with someone you already know

“Just be flexible with what happens. Even if you have known [your roommate] for a while, you probably haven’t lived with them. So if you’re rooming with someone that, like, maybe you knew from high school or something- be wary about that. Because that’s when you kind of see, like, a new side to them.” -Jacob P.

Though Jacob’s advice may seem a bit ominous, there is some truth to it. A lot of people who decide to room with a high school friend don’t realize that people are different at home than they are at school. Don’t have a set idea of how your roommate will act in a living situation, and be understanding to the new side you’ll see of your roommate.

Living with someone you don’t agree with

“Don’t take things to heart. Like, don’t be very reactive. ‘Cause, a lot of times people grow up in different environments and so they probably have different ways of communicating.” -Joy L.

You may find that you and your roommate can’t help but be at odds with one another. Joy’s advice is useful with people whose views you don’t agree with in general. Basically, be empathetic and be respectful. Even if you and your roommate don’t mesh well, you won’t run into much trouble if you act like a decent human being.

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but knowing how to live with your roommate can make college less stressful than it has to be.

Picking each other up when we’re feeling down… that’s what froomies are for!!!

 

Roommate Series Part III: Going Global

Peter, left, really enjoyed his time here at UNC. But me and roommates enjoyed living with him just as much.
Peter, left, our Danish visiting student roommate, really enjoyed his time here at UNC. But my roommates and I enjoyed living with him just as much.

Living with an international student

After two years of living with Daniel and then Walt, last summer I was presented with perhaps the wildest roommate assignment one can get: an international student.

While Walt was studying abroad in Italy for the semester, my other two roommates and I in Ram Village were assigned to live with a visiting Danish student, Peter.

We were unsure what to think about living with a Dane. We had heard very few great stories about living with international students, but we also hadn’t heard any bad ones. This was what made our assignment so strange – we really didn’t know what to expect.

Continue reading Roommate Series Part III: Going Global