When I was applying for housing last summer as an incoming freshman, I was set on one thing only: living in a single. Whether it be in the Quad, Hill, or any of the other freshman housing options, my main goal was to eat, sleep, and live alone. I witnessed classmates who I hadn’t yet met in real life scrambling for roommates on Facebook, while others chose to “go random” to let fate decide.
People online and offline are incredibly different, though. The dynamic is different. Although for some, measuring compatibility based on medium–length bios posted on the class page proved a good idea, for others, this was majorly ineffective. Even, dare I say, devastating.
In the case of Devishi Sarda (C ’21) and her roommate, Isabella Vura (C ’21), their worlds colliding was a blessing in disguise.
Devishi and Isabella met on the roommate search group. They spoke to each other for awhile and got to know each other with time, eventually FaceTiming and even meeting up in New York once when Devishi was there for a holiday.
“I’m from Kolkata, India, and my roommate is from New York, and while talking to each other we discovered we have the same favorite restaurant! Serafina.” When in New York, “we got Sephora makeovers and ate at Serafina, went to the meatpacking district, Chelsea Market, and the New York High Line together.”
This lucky pair hit it off from the start, and the magic wasn’t gone after the first week of living together.
“I remember we went to this one party the first day of NSO expecting it to be amazing, and literally left within half an hour and decided to get broccoli cheddar soup instead from Wawa and just chill on the terrace above McClelland.”
For Devishi, it was comforting to know she had found her support system—someone to rely on. She likes to say she “found [her] partner in crime.”
Devishi and Isabella have enjoyed their time together so much that they will be rooming together again next year.
On the other hand, some roommates are not as lucky. A freshman in the College who chose to remain anonymous met their roommate over Facebook the day that they were assigned to each other. They chose to do a random selection.
It only took a month to realize they were not meant to be.
“Our interests didn’t align and that was okay with me, but the way he communicated with me about our living situation is what made me realize that we might not live well together.”
Because the roommate moved in beforehand, he had more of a say in choosing the furniture. And so, as expected, “he took every luxury our room had to offer—the bigger wall, the bigger closet, the nicer furniture, and refused to move anything when I moved my stuff in. Our room is still currently set up that way, where I have no room for my personal belongings.”
However, the experience has not been a total loss despite how unpleasant the situation has been.
“Some of the things I’ve learned from this experience, as someone who is soft spoken and agreeable, is how to stand my ground and stick up for myself.”
Still, having to endure such awkward tension, at best, and aggressive friction, at worst, is tough as a freshman transitioning into college. “This semester’s dynamic for us is characterized by hostile silence and it’s the best case scenario for us, unfortunately. I would advise getting to know someone before roommate requests and request to be with someone you think you will get along with, or apply for a single. I would never room with my roommate again in a million years.”
Sharing a space with someone, especially for the first time, can be a bargain. There are trade–offs that are expected, as with any living arrangement, but sometimes this can be for the best, even if it seems like it’s the worst. No matter your living situation, you learn something and have an opportunity for growth. It might even make for a great story.