One of my favorite parts of Monsters University (SPOILER ALERT!) is when Mike Wazowski enters his dorm room for the first time, eager to meet the person who will become his “lifelong best friend”, only to find Randall, the villian from the original movie, Monsters, Inc., sitting on the other bed. Everyone hopes to have that one perfect roommate for all four years of college, but it’s okay, too, if your roommate experience is less than ideal. You and your roommate may not “click” right away, or you may get a really great one but then find yourself right back where you started from at the end of the year. I’ve been in these same situations many times–in fact, I’ve had five different roommates in my three years at LMU, and I don’t consider any of them to be failures or missed opportunities. I look at them, instead, as five incredible chances to branch out and make as many lifelong friends as possible.
My very first college roommate was a classmate from high school named Andrea who I had only started getting to know. This may have been why deciding to live together right away at college turned out to be a challenge! We certainly had a lot in common and got along really well, but our different class schedules and sleeping habits meant that we never really saw each other or got to spend time together. I ended up moving out after only a week not because we weren’t getting along, but so we could each find a roommate who was better suited to our personalities. Luckily there were no hard feelings, and it actually turned out to be the best thing for our friendship. We spend more time with each other now than we ever would have if we had stayed together.
My next roommate turned out to be none other than LMU Lillie! We cliqued right away and found out that we had similar tastes in almost everything, from how the room should be decorated to which shows we liked to watch on TV. We even looked and dressed alike, as you can see! We also happened to have really similar class schedules, which made getting ready in the morning so much easier. Lillie was especially on the same page as me when it came to sleep! We rarely went to bed after midnight, sometimes by 11:00, even, which caused our suitemates (the girls who shared the same apartment but had different rooms) to jokingly call us “grandma roommates.” I absolutely loved living with Lillie, and I was not upset at all when she told me at the end of the year that she wanted to live with some of her other friends. I knew she and I would still hang out all the time, and I was excited to make even more new friends as I entered my sophomore year.
This was where things started to get tricky. When I found myself at the end of my freshman year without a roommate for the next year, I told our residence life director I could be happy with anyone she suggested. She used the personality survey I had submitted with my housing application and did her best to match me with a student she thought was a good fit. Unfortunately, this new roommate had decided over the summer not to attend LMU, so I arrived to an empty room. The rest of the apartment ended up being empty, too, when none of my assigned suitemates arrived either! I started to get worried that this first week on campus was going to set the tone for the entire year, but I was determined not to let that happen. It was going to take me a while to find a permanent roommate, though, so in the meantime I was assigned some temporary roommates who were waiting on the final touches to be added to LMU’s newest residence halls.
Enter roommate number three, Theresa! I had met Theresa my freshman year when she lived across the hall from Lillie and me. We had had a lot of fun together during BCM events, too, so I knew that we were going to get along just fine. She ended up being a perfect roommate, always thoughtful and upbeat. We both had a mild obsession with the show The Big Bang Theory, and we would sit in the living room and watch it for hours after all our homework was done. I was so sad to see her leave after just five weeks to move into her newly completed apartment across campus, but she made what could have been a particularly difficult moment in my college experience much easier for me.
My fear of finding a new roommate was quickly resolved when I met Tori, whose temporary roommate had been one of Theresa’s new suitemates. I stopped her in the parking lot one afternoon and told her my sob-story about having to live in that big, empty apartment by myself, and she smiled and told me to pack up my things and move in with her, just like that! We found out right away that living together was going to be no problem. Tori was a pre-med major, which meant that she understood the stress associated with difficult chemistry and biology classes. It also meant that she spent a lot of time outside of class studying, which was a really great influence on me while I was freaking out over organic chemistry. She was even a “grandma roommate”! We got along extremely well and did everything together, from shopping to eating in the cafeteria to walking to class. We probably would have lived together again this year if she hadn’t moved away with her family. Luckily, staying in touch has proved to be very easy. We text each other often throughout the week, and she sends me hilarious Snapchats about the joys of her own organic chemistry class!
Junior year, so far, has been pretty awesome thanks to roommate number five, Megan. We’re both chemistry majors, which means we have nearly all the same classes. She’s yet another “grandma roommate”, which comes in handy when we’re both getting ready for analytical chemistry at 8:00 in the morning. We love to take spontaneous breaks to Taco Bell for its delicious freeze drinks, and Wednesday nights are our designated roommate bonding nights where we watch Duck Dynasty together. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to have her for my roommate again next year, but I know she and I will still be good friends whatever happens!
I wanted to share my roommate experiences with you, not to scare you into thinking you’ll never find the perfect roommate, but rather to show you that it’s okay if you don’t. You may be lucky enough to find a roommate who feels just like a long-lost sibling to you, but getting the chance to have that experience with several different people can be fun, too. I consider myself very lucky to have had five wonderful roommates. They all have taught me valuable life lessons throughout my college career, and I’m so thankful that we’ve managed to stay lifelong friends after everything.
Do you have any questions about roommates or Residence Life at LMU? Maybe a hilarious or horrible roommate story that you want to share? Email me your questions or comment in the section below, and be sure to follow my blog to get updates every week!