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How To Host a Friendsgiving

“Thanksgiving is about following tradition; Friendsgiving is about making new ones.”

Hey y’all! Thanksgiving break is coming up soon, and I’m sure you guys are excited to see your family again. It kind of sucks not being able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends from college- but fear not! Friendsgiving has been a popular event for people who don’t get to spend the holiday with one another. It’s basically Thanksgiving, except with your friends!

I had my first Friendsgiving with my suitemates last year, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable events of my first year. If you’re interested in establishing your own Friendsgiving, I have some advice to make it great.

Great Friends = Great Friendsgiving

How to Host a Friendsgiving to Remember!

  • Pick a time and place

Yeah, I know it seems like basic advice. But picking a time and venue where everyone can meet can be difficult. My suite held our Friendsgiving in the Ehringhaus lounge and found it to be the perfect place. I highly recommend looking into your residence hall’s lounge for Friendsgiving (plus- chances are it’s close to the kitchen)!

  • Assign roles

To have a successful Friendsgiving, everyone needs to play a part! Do you have that one friend who bakes cookies for everyone during midterms? Designate that friend as head chef amongst your friends. If you’re not as savvy in the kitchen, don’t worry! You can help out by buying utensils, ingredients, and decorating.

  • Food

You can’t have a proper Friendsgiving without food! Friendsgiving isn’t meant to be as extravagant as Thanksgiving, so don’t worry about breaking your wallet. A turkey is a great homage to tradition, but a chicken makes a fine substitute. Think about investing in foods that will feed a lot of people for low cost. Macaroni and cheese and biscuits are some examples of great foods to invest in.

The Friendsgiving platter is important!

Whether you plan on having a Friendsgiving or not, be sure to take time to be thankful.


Don’t know how you’re getting home for Thanksgiving? Check out this PDF:

Thanksgiving2017

10 Ways to Break Up with your Roommate

All though we all wish that our roommate is going to be our best friend, the best man or maid of honor at our wedding, it doesn’t always turn out like that. Disappointment can happen with anyone – your best friend or a random roommate. Sometimes you just gotta break up with them. Here are ten ways to do that and survive:

1. Text them

You hate confrontation? It’s understandable – no one likes to crush someone’s hopes and dreams. If you wanna be that guy, just send them a quick text.  They’ll probably forgive you.

2. Take them to Lunch

There is no better way to soften the blow of heartbreak than a full belly. Take them out to Buns, get them a good burger, and wait until their mouth is full so they can’t say anything back.

3. Use your RA to Set Up a Meeting

Sometimes you need a mediator. If you don’t mind having another person to listen to the conversation, they could help soften the blow. Who knows? Maybe with the RA there, you can work out your differences and be roomies after all.

4. Send them this Blog Post

‘Nuff said.

5. Tell them they should go to the Roommate Mixer.

Casually send them this video and see what they say.

6. Lie

Tell them you’re moving far far away and can never see them again. You’re OBVIOUSLY  going to miss them but a long distance relationship would never work out.

7. “It’s not you, it’s me!”

This is actually pretty valid. Not every pair is meant to live together. Sometimes the person you’re living with is great, but you just can’t handle the fact they leave your room a mess. Sometimes you just have really specific needs they can’t handle. If you have a weird pet peeve, it’s obviously not their fault, you just need to find someone to satisfy you.

8. Tell them a Joke

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Not your roommate!”

Burn.

9.Make them Dump You

Just be so bad that they tell you they want a new roommate.

“Oh really? That’s too bad, but it’s probably for the best.”

10. Be Honest and Real

Okay, numbers 1-9 may or may not be the best ways to break up with your roommate. More than anything, you just need to be honest with them. Remember, they are people too, and you guys have already had a pretty unique experience together. They deserve to be told kindly. Just sit them down one day and tell them exactly why you guys working out. Not to mention, if you’ve been feeling kind of bad about rooming together, chances are, they feel the same way. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.

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That’s it, folks. Obviously some of these are a little more light-hearted – and that’s just to let you know that this process doesn’t have to be the most stressful thing in the world. Be nice, be respectful, and just do what you gotta do.

On the other hand, if you find yourself on the side of being dumped, really consider coming to the roommate mixer on November 6th on the Great Hall hosted by Carolina Housing. It will be in the style of speed dating where you get a chance to ask someone a lot of questions in a limited amount of time before moving to the next person! It’ll be a really fun, and even if you don’t find your roommate, you’ll definitely find some friends.

Good luck!

The Super Suite Life of UNC Students

Zack and Cody have nothin’ on us.

Like Buns vs. Al’s Burger shack (Buns all the way) we have suite style vs. hall style. While both have their merits and can be debated for a LONG time, we’re not going to do that today. Instead, we’re going to talk about something that’s perhaps a little less known: SUPER SUITES!

What is a Super Suite…and why haven’t I heard of it?

Super suites are exactly what they sound like: SUPER suites. In other words, you take everything that a suite (like in HOJO, Craige, Ehringhaus, etc.) has to offer, then you knock out a wall and make the one room a living room.

So now instead of a traditional 8 person suite, you have a 6 person suite, a living area, and finally  a door to separate the toilet from the sinks!

This is obviously a pretty obvious choice for tight knit friend groups, but why don’t more people know about it? That’s because as far as rooms go, they’re pretty rare. So rare, they’re only found in one residence hall, Morrison. Even more rare, they’re only on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors. If you get a super suite, you are one lucky duck. You can get extra info on them on the Housing Website!

Will I like living there?

The SUPER question here is, what is it like living there? Will I like it, is it for me? We had a current super suite resident answer some questions for us to help you decide if the super suite life is for you!

Q: Why did you want to live in a super suite?

A: I thought it would be a good transition between living in a traditional dorm and living in an apartment.

Q: You have lived in a super suite for the past 2 months. What is the best thing/your favorite thing about living in a super suite?

A: You can have a private space and still have a more public space where you can chat with people you live with but you’re not obligated to because you still have your own space.

Q: Do you think this makes you a more social person?

A: Yes, I would say. I think this makes me more social than if I was living in a room with just one person.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about living in a super suite?

The bathroom situation. Since no one is cleaning it daily, you have to figure out the situation very early on such as toilet etiquette, shower etiquette, cleaning etiquette etc. Sometimes it can be hard to coordinate that if you’ve never had to worry about it before.

Q: Do you think after living here you would prefer the super suite above anything else?

Yes, I really like it here because it’s so spacious and nice. I lived in Granville last year and I definitely like the supersuite more even though Granville is pretty big also.

What is it going to cost me?

There it is folks! If you’re thinking about cost, super suites are $3,585/student/semester. That’s slightly more expensive than the $3,240/student/semester, (You do get your own little living room after all.)

If for some reason you don’t manage to get a super suite, a good alternative is a Ram Village apartment with double occupancy rooms. You get an extra bathroom per pair, a kitchen, and a living room for less than 200 dollars extra. (In case you were wondering, the rate for that kind of apartment is $3,709/student/semester).

You should always consider all your options before making a decision, but as far as decisions go, this one is a pretty easy one!

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Happy housing folks, and may the odds be every in your favor!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!

RA Spotlight: Annabelle Holman

Annabelle Holman

Year: Sophomore

Residence Hall: Winston

Major: Journalism – Public Relations Track

Other Extracurriculars:  The Daily Tar Heel , Crash Campaign, NC Fellows

Why did you decide to be an RA? So actually, I was kind of like a mini RA in high school. I went to NCSSM [North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics]. They had a position called an RLA, so I did that. I just went out on a limb and tried it. So I think that’s definitely what kind of pushed me to do it in college.

What’s your favorite thing about being an RA? My first program is tonight and I like programming but I’m waiting to see how it actually goes. I like the planning aspect of it. Generally, I like getting to know people and making sure I’m doing all that I can to serve them. Interacting with them individually is pretty neat.

Do you have any advice for people applying to be an RA? Typically, people would probably think of an RA as someone who’s outgoing, extroverted, and wanting to reach people all the time. But I am an introverted person and I can say that it’s not one specific personality type that can be an RA.

What has been the most unexpected thing about being an RA?  I guess I would say how easily it came to me. Because going into it, I was like, “I’m introverted! Oh my gosh, I don’t know how I’m going to do this.” But after training and all of the get-to-know-you weeks, I feel like I’ve settled in really easily. That was really surprising. It’s actually like, “I can do this!”

How has being an RA shaped your experience at Carolina? It’s definitely motivated me to be more connected on campus. Last year, I spent a lot of time at [NC] State because I have a lot of friends at State. But being an RA has definitely motivated me to spend the majority of my time at Carolina. I’m actually getting to know my staff, learning how programs work in the community, and motivating other people to do the same.

5 Movies to Get You Pumped for College

Hey UNC fam! Welcome back to Chapel Hill! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m seriously ready to start anew. If you’re like me and need motivation- look no further! I’ve supplied five movies that will get you ready to tackle the year ahead.

Legally Blonde

Running Time: 96 minutes | Rated PG-13

Legally Blonde is the most of the “pump up” of the movie list. The story centers around the young, blonde, and cheerful Elle Woods. After getting dumped by her longtime boyfriend, she’s determined to get him back- by getting into Harvard Law School.

Legally Blonde is a treasure trove of wisdom. It not only shows you the power of hard work, but touches on topics such as stereotypes and feminism.

Did I mention that it also has one of the most motivational montages in movie history?

Good Will Hunting

Running Time: 126 minutes | Rated R

This movie will make you want to hit up the library more often. Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a troubled teen who’s secretly a genius. When his talent is discovered by a professor, Will is pushed to reach his full potential.

The characters are written in such a way that I shed a tear or two. The relationship between Will and Sean inspires me to find that one super cool professor to be best friends with.

Mona Lisa Smile

Running Time: 117 minutes | Rated PG-13

I remember mindlessly browsing through Netflix when I came across this movie. I thought this movie would be about art thieves or something; turns out it’s about college girls and their art professor.(Kind of close?)

Julia Roberts plays Katherine Watson, a professor from California, who is hired to teach at Wellesley. She soon realizes that Wellesley is not nearly as progressive as she thought it would be- cue the drama!

The big theme of this movie is opening up to new perspectives even if they’re completely different from yours. It’s a pretty timeless theme that is good to keep in mind during any class discussion.

The Social Network

Running Time 120 minutes | Rated PG-13

You have probably heard of this movie. If you haven’t, you know what this movie is about: Facebook. This pretty inaccurate account of Facebook’s creation focuses on Mark Zuckerberg in his college years. It’s kind of crazy thinking that such a gigantic company was created by someone our age. I mean, I’m struggling to cook meals for myself as it is!

After watching this movie, I thought that maybe taking COMP 401 wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

Animal House

Running Time: 109 minutes | Rated R

This movie is basically the college classic.

I hope these movies at the very least keep you entertained. Happy syllabus week!

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Year

Hey first-years! With the current “___ things I wish I knew before ____” happening I thought I’d jump in on the trend! Here is my personal list of “5 things I wish I knew before my first year at Carolina”:

  1. Prioritize

You will never be bored in college. In between class, clubs, studying, and chilling with friends, you’ll probably only have time to nap. But it’s okay, because who doesn’t like naps?!

About a month into my freshman year, I was exhausted. I had juggled so much; I didn’t know what to put on the back burner so I didn’t do anything about it. I felt like I had to do everything. Turns out, it’s okay to say NO. Don’t feel obligated to go to that club meeting if you have a test the next day. The club will survive without your presence- just don’t ghost on them altogether.

2. Use your resources

UNC is full of opportunities and resources that I wish I took advantage of during freshman year. There are job fairs, cultural events, RHA events, for you to go to. Instead of lounging around, I wish I got my lazy self to some of these places and events. It would have been a better idea to go to The Writing Center for essay help, rather than sit at my desk waiting for “my next big idea!” to happen.

The Writing Center is in SASB btw

One resource that I HIGHLY encourage is office hours. Your professors are paid to leave time aside for assistance. Stop by and say hi! Going to office hours would’ve made classes WAY less stressful (i.e. Econ 101).

3. Comparison is the thief of joy

UNC is such a bustling hub of bright minded individuals that everyone kind of seems superhuman. Music majors have businesses on the side, that slacker in class actually interned at Google, etc. Don’t get lost in other people’s accomplishments. Remember that life has an infinite number of paths; seek out the one that makes you happy and you won’t need to look where others are headed.

4. Be comfortable with being alone

Suddenly you go from seeing your friends every day to having to schedule them in?! In high school, you had the security of knowing that your classmates were most likely your friends. In college, you will never see some of your classmates outside of class. Sometimes you’ll find yourself alone; don’t feel weird about it.

In fact, you should enjoy your alone time when you can. Living in a shared room makes time by yourself that much harder. Go to the movies alone! Go to the dining hall alone! Trust me, it’s not that big of a deal.

5. It’s okay to not feel “at home”

It’s still possible to be the most outgoing, studious, student and still feel out of place. College is a transitory part of your life. Don’t be afraid to talk to your new friends about being homesick, because chances are they probably feel it too.

At the same time, don’t wallow in nostalgia. You’re starting a new chapter in your life, and it’s going to be great! Being uncomfortable doesn’t mean that you’re not meant to be at UNC. It means you’re growing.

Here’s to new beginnings!

I hope that all of you find these five tidbits of advice at least entertaining. I’m so excited to see all of you guys in the fall!

 

Bus Here, Bus Anywhere

Alright y’all! This post is dedicated to a topic that is near and dear to my heart: bus transportation. I was surprised to find out that only a few people were as ecstatic as me about the public transportation system in Chapel Hill. I mean, the system is so expansive and can take you to so many places! This post is dedicated to you students who have yet to learn those bus routes- you have no excuses now!

Life’s solution to the hassle called walking.

Here are a few scenarios and the bus routes I’d take:

Note: This is more oriented towards first-year students, who are probably less familiar with the bus system.

I need to… go to class

There are a ton of different routes to get to class! The RU, CCX, and will take you to the Student Stores area which is close to many buildings on the lower quad. The RU and are your best bets if you have class on the upper quad.

I need to… go grocery shopping

The J is going to be your all stop grocery bus! Not only is the new Super Target on the J’s route, but stay on a little longer and it’ll take you to the Harris Teeter in Carrboro. If you need some basics, the route puts you on Franklin Street, where the CVS and Walgreens are.

I need to… get somewhere out of Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is a great place to be, but it’s understandable to occasionally want to explore other areas every once in a while. Thankfully, there are a ton of different options to get there-wherever there is. The Triangle Transit is a great way to get somewhere in the Research Triangle. It only costs around 2-3 dollars per bus ticket, which is way cheaper than an Uber. The PART bus system will also take you to Greensboro, and only costs 2-3 dollars as well.

Because I really care about you guys (and the bus system), I made a diagram for you guys so it’s easier to picture all of these different routes! This map is in no way comprehensive of all the different routes and stops; I just put in the ones I found the most helpful.

This diagram was obviously made for usefulness and not appearance.

ALSO: NEXTBUS. DOWNLOAD THAT APP. IT WILL BE YOUR SAVIOR.

How to be a Jedi: Time Edition

A long time ago, in a high school far, far away…

It was easy to get away with looking over your notes for a minute, and then acing the test. It started to get a little harder when we got to AP classes, but college classes are in their own league. “Okay, so I’ll just spend a little more time studying – no biggie!” Ummm, wrong! On top of studying, now you need to handle taking care of yourself too. That means laundry, cooking, cleaning, exercising. Let’s not forget you have clubs, jobs, leadership positions, etc. Finally, last but not least, you need to maintain a social presence and sleep at least 8 hours a day. Now we’re in quite a pickle.

You might say you have a choice: zombie, bum, or nerd. Lucky for you, we’re going to teach you how to time manage like a jedi. Here are some tips from someone who (kinda) made it through their first year of college.

Scheduling Is Key

Remember that agenda they used to give you? Yeah, you might wanna pull it out for more than doodling now. Your agenda is like your light sabre! Teachers won’t always put their homework online, so it is critical to write everything down. Time blocking everything out is also useful. Once you know everything you’re supposed to get done, estimate the time you’ll need for each task. This way you can keep yourself on schedule. It might feel a little monotonous, but part of the problem is that sometimes we don’t know how to police ourselves and stay organized. This is meant to help with that.

Libraries are your Best Friends

As comfy comfy and relaxing as being in your room can be, it can leave you susceptible to non-productivity. You’re around your comfy bed and your food and your friends…which is nice, but it doesn’t push you to study. Libraries are quiet and solemn. They can give you clarity of mind and make you feel less alone in getting your work done.

Study with your Friends

Multi-tasking is a great idea in this sense. As long as you’re not chatting up your friends, you can maintain some kind of social life while still getting your work done. Same goes for eating, exercising, and going to clubs. If you do things with your friends, you won’t feel alone or as if you’re doing work at all.

Take Smart Breaks

You obviously can’t study 24/7. Know when you’re taking too much on for you, or when you’re working too hard. Just because your friend is in 50 different clubs, doesn’t mean you should do that too. Everyone has their own level of work they can handle, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do what’s good for you! The last thing you need is to feel overwhelmed and too stressed out. If you have nothing big coming up, go ahead and take a walk, or go out with your friends. There’s no use in running yourself dry! Treat yourself!

Know When to Stop

If you’re partying every weekend, that’s too much. It’s healthy to go out, for sure, but if you’re doing it at the expense of your responsibilities, or even worse, your sleep, it’s not a good idea. A fun night does not have to involve a late night party, especially with final exams looming near. Sometimes getting your work done and then just enjoying a movie night with your roommate is all that you need. That way you’ve finished all your work during the weekend and your week won’t be so backed up. The more you put off homework at Carolina, the more it builds up. Built up work is the Darth Vader of college.

Don’t Procrastinate

Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard it. But it actually is important. When I took Econ 101, I was surprised by how many people bombed all of the exams. Alternatively, I didn’t think it was so bad and did fairly well. What was the difference between us? The difference was that I kept up with my studying every day. I never procrastinated for more than a day. That way, when it came time to study for an exam, I didn’t have to cover as much material as other people. They weren’t able to “relearn” it all in time (it was a lot!) and didn’t do well on the test. On the other hand, I didn’t keep up that well for my accounting class and it was not so fun studying for 24 hours straight when I could have studied for one hour every day for 24 days. Trust me, there are better ways of doing things. Use the force! The force of your will that is.

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Like all things, time management is a fine skill that takes practice. If you fail a couple of times, don’t worry about it. It’s only a blimp in the past. But if you learn how to hone these skills, the better life can be, and the more you can get out of it. Just remember to put your physical, mental, and spiritual health first! If you don’t have these, you have nothing!

Happy time-crunching friends!

Heels Away From Home

You may have been excited to start college (I was!), but then as you watched your parents drive away from you, or you drove away from them in the driveway, an intense feeling of dread might have kicked in. No one is quick to admit it, but homesickness is a thing, a very real thing! And contrary to what the moniker might entail, it doesn’t really have much to do with your home, or the physical place you lived.

Home is Where the Heart Is

In an article published by CNN, Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at University of Alabama explains that homesickness “stems from our instinctive need for love, protection and security — feelings and qualities usually associated with home” (Ho).

So even though your dorm might be bland, your mattress is lumpy, and your roommate is weird…those aren’t really the reasons why you’re so sad all of a sudden and want to go home. What you really miss is just your family and friends!

It doesn’t mean you’re a baby! It means you’re human. So if you’re feeling guilty about this, don’t! It’s perfectly natural.

Know you’re not alone…

‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home! In the words of the great Phillip Phillips, settle down it will all be clear. Everyone is homesick at first (even if they don’t say it) and you have people to talk to! The most important thing is that you find each other and share these feelings. Talk with your roommate and bond over your favorite things from back home.

Friends are the Medicine

If homesickness is from our instinctive need for love, then the best solution is just to find your new family. Your friends are what make your Carolina experience great and what will make UNC your new home. Don’t shut yourself in your room and just watch Friends on Netflix while crying about the good ol’ times. Get out there! Meet people! Go eat on Franklin with your suite or introduce yourself to your next door neighbors! You will find that as soon as you find your school family, you won’t be so homesick anymore because you are home!

Not to mention, our residential communities always have fun things going on like parties, free food give-aways, game nights, and more! Take advantage of these opportunities to have a good time!

Decor Galore

You’d be surprised by how much decorating your room like your room at home or anything else cozy can make you feel a lot better!

Don’t Forget Your Roots

Just because you’re having a good time in college doesn’t mean you should give up on your old friends and family! Keep in touch with them because they miss you too! (Especially your parents, seriously!) Skype is a great way to catch up! Once a month, have a Skype date, and share your current adventures! This will help any residual homesickness!

If You Still Feel Alone…

Carolina has a lot of resources that can help you improve your mental health. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) are a great resource available to all students at UNC. They are committed to helping you!

Check it out: https://campushealth.unc.edu/services/counseling-and-psychological-services

Your RA is also a great option! They are basically like your mom. But cooler. 😉

If All Else Fails…

Visit home. It takes the strongest person to say they need a break. Take a weekend, have your mom hug you, and pack you some food to remind you of home. You’ll come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to try again!

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Don’t stress too much about homesickness. Once you get into your studies, you won’t even have enough time to think about it. As someone who left the nest early to go to boarding school, I understand how scary it can be. It only took a week for me to find my family and start calling my school home. The real problems is when you go back home for the summer and then start telling your parents you want to go home.

“You are at home!”

“No! Carolina, home.”

If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me or the rest of the bloggers! You can never have enough friends!

CNN article:  http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/16/homesickness.not.about.home/index.html

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!!!