Enrolling at Michigan State University can be a turning point in many people's lives. For many, it can be a place where opportunities open — specifically, opportunities to meet new people that become lifelong friends.
For journalism senior Carter Sykes, freshman year is where he met his roommate and soon-to-be great friend, food industry management junior Michael Cap, in Bailey Hall.
“Me and him, we didn't really talk much our freshman year while we were actually roommates, but we still went to some sporting events together and hung out. It wasn't until after we came back after COVID,” Sykes said. “He's probably the closest friend I have here.”
Carter said his first “roommate bonding moment” with Cap was when they both took a picture with former MSU president Samuel L. Stanley Jr., despite not knowing who he was at first.
“President Stanley is standing right there. I just thought he was some dude who's wearing a sweater and kind of walked up to me. He almost kind of assumed I should know who he was. But I was like, 'Who are you?' He said he was the president,” Sykes said. “We moved in and Michael’s like, 'Did you meet the president?' And I'm like, 'Yeah,' and he's like 'Yeah, I took a picture too.'”
Like Sykes, kinesiology senior Marina Traub reminisced about the time she met her closest friend, communications senior Paige Dupuis, in her first year in the dorms.
“We met freshman year in the dorms. We became good friends. She's from Canada. But now we live together and been friends for a while,” Traub said.
Like many other students, they met through mutual friends living in the same neighborhood.
“She was suite mates with one of my friends that I already knew and I was introduced to her. It was the very first night of college that we met,” Traub said.
It seems every freshman goes through the same things: trouble sleeping on the dorm bed cots, figuring out where the dining hall is or just finding other friends on such a large campus. For Sykes and Traub, having a friend in the first days of college already crossed a task off the metaphorical to-do list of a first year student.