Monday, May 20, 2024

Housing system offers roommates, friends

February 8, 2001

After deciding whether to attend college, the next decision is which college to attend. Even after that decision is made, another question lies unanswered - deciding to share a room with a friend or to go in blind.

These are three choices I found myself making, and all three worked out for the best.

In October, when I received my acceptance letter, separating from my twin sister was my biggest concern. Then came the next question: Since I wouldn’t have Crystal, who would be my roommate?

In June when I attended the Academic Orientation Program, the name and number of my future roommate was given to me. I remember myself looking at it and thinking very negative thoughts.

I could not possibly share anything, let alone a room and my personal space, with someone whom I did not know - some female who was not my twin sister.

I came home from AOP debating whether to dial the number. My mother and sister encouraged me to call, so I finally passed my selfish attitude and called her.

I figured she did not have my number, so we would not hold a conversation unless I made the first move.

So, I called and heard her voice for the first time.

“Hello, may I speak with Kai?”, I recall myself asking as she wondered who I was.

“Yes, this is her,” Kai responded.

As we started our first conversation, Kai becoming one of my best friends was the last thought I had on my mind.

We introduced ourselves to one another and before we knew it, we were almost beginning a small bond. During the conversation, I noticed that our personalities were almost the same. We both came from similar backgrounds and experienced some of the same frustrations.

I became a bit more open-minded and the thought of us actually getting along came into existence. We had another conversation a couple weeks later discussing what each of us would bring to the room. After I hung up the phone, for some reason I could not wait to meet her in person.

Maybe it was adrenaline or just the thought of moving into a home away from home - or maybe it was because I was actually looking forward to meeting my new roommate in person.

Aug. 23 had finally come, and it was time for me to move into the room. I had to say goodbye to my twin the day before. As she left, she told me to be cool about Kai.

“Just let the relationship flow, and everything will work out fine, sis,” Crystal said.

Crystal was right.

I expected Kai to walk in the day after I moved in the room. She looked nothing like I expected from her voice, and she was in a bad mood. I remember like it was yesterday.

Every single negative thought flashed back into my mind, and from that moment, I just knew this sharing a room thing would be a bad one.

After her mother left, the room was quiet. She began to unpack her boxes while I just tried to help by making some extra room.

That night, Kai and I actually had a heart-to-heart. It was Welcome Week, so no classes were scheduled. We stayed up talking almost until morning. It was not often when I found myself talking deeply to someone whom I have only known for a short amount of time.

As the days passed, we found ourselves having more and more of these conversations. We laugh, cry, express pain and have become best of friends.

We do not have two separate people living in one small dorm room. We have a life that we share together because we choose to be around each other so much.

Kai has not replaced my twin sister - however her presence made a hard time easier.

Even today, I am still glad that I came in thinking the way I did. Getting your hopes up too high is not the best thing to do when it comes to having a roommate.

It is obvious that every roommate situation will not have such a happy ending, but one suggestion is to keep the respect at an even level. If respect is not constant, even if you do not bond well, conflicts will have the tendency to increase.

Christa Weaver can be reached at weaverc4@msu.edu

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