As housing contracts approach, students talk choices, issues


Spencer Beck

Pioneer Hall is one of 12 dorms on Linfield’s campus. Students can also live in on and off-campus apartments. Rosa Johnson/Managing editor

Mikenna Whatley, Features editor

For many students, college is the first time in their lives experiencing what it’s like to live with a roommate.

Transitioning into college and sharing a room can be difficult, if one has become accustomed to their own space.

This experience may be more difficult for some students than others, it teaches the skills to communicate with a roommate who is going through the same experience.
Each individual’s situation elicits its own kind of relationship.

While a majority of students get placed with a random roommate they’ve never met before their freshmen year, as college goes on, more and more students tend to group together and choose who they live with. Either way, living with roommates is one of the most memorable experiences in college for many students.

Random roommate selection

Being placed with a random roommate often turns out to be a pleasant surprise. Many roommates find that Linfield does a fairly good job pairing students together based on the housing survey they fill out prior to moving in.

Many freshmen roommates are assigned based on how they describe their personality traits in the survey. This way, even though roommates may have different interests and majors they often get along and live together very well.

Assigning roommates is also a great way that Linfield sort of forces students outside their comfort zones right away.

“I got assigned a random roommate and it ended up being super great,” freshman Madison Frasier said. “She is always there for me. I am so lucky to have her. Definitely a good experience.”

Roommates who have contrasting interests but might have similar personal tendencies get a chance to get to know each other and other students who they may not have otherwise met since they wouldn’t necessarily have traveled in the same social circles had they not been assigned to live together.

However, there are often still a few cases in which randomly assigned roommate situations do not go as well as they could.

“My roommate and I are really different,” one freshman said, “So even though we spend like ten hours a day together, we rarely even exchange a word.”

Some freshmen do happen to know exactly who they want to live with when they come to college, and Linfield is typically good about granting these types of requests.

“My roommate and I play the same sport,” freshman Jaime Rodden said, “so we decided to room together and it couldn’t have worked out better. We are very close and I consider her my best friend at college. We spend a ton of time together and it never gets boring.”

Fraternity living

For the male students on campus, fraternity living is a very appealing option for those who decide to go Greek.

“I chose to live in Pike because I wanted to feel closer to my brothers,” sophomore Cruz Morey said. “I also felt that living in a fraternity would be an experience I would never get to have again.”

Morey has lived in the Pi Kappa Alpha house for about a year now, and he says it is not always easy.

“You don’t get the luxury of people cleaning your bathrooms or checking in on you,” Morey said. “You basically fend for yourself.”

Fraternity houses go through a many years of wear-and-tear, and sometimes things like furniture aren’t as new as they are in dorm rooms.

“But to that effect, there is an essence of legacy in the house,” Morey said. “Knowing that countless other brothers have lived in this same room is pretty humbling and cool.”

One of the most difficult parts of fraternity living for many students is how far away the houses are from other things on campus.

“There’s a stigma that is carried with fraternity houses,” Morey said. “I wouldn’t trade the experience, though.”

Choosing your roommate

Come sophomore year, many more students find they like the option of choosing their own roommate. For sophomores Brianna Snipes and Stephanie Hofmann, this was an incredibly easy decision.

The girls were randomly matched to be roommates their freshmen year.

“You would think it was because we were both on cheer,” Snipes said, “But no one else on out team has been randomly assigned together so I don’t think that was the case.”

Snipes and Hofmann clicked immediately and chose to live together this year as well.

“We’re different majors, in different sororities, and have a little bit different friend groups, but it’s perfect,” Snipes said. “She’ll totally be a best friend for life… and I owe it to some random girl who matched us up. Shout out to her.”

Another opportunity sophomores have that typically freshmen don’t is the option to live in a triple.

“I chose to live with my two best friends and it has been amazing,” one sophomore said. “They have acted as a constant support system and are always there to talk to.”

However, triple rooms involve more people, and more people can make for more conflict.

“It was hard at times when we had disagreements or irritations,” the sophomore said. “There wasn’t really anywhere to go because you are all together… but we got over that pretty quick.”

Triples also offer students a bigger living space to compensate for the extra bodies in the room.

“It is awesome to have the space and the two people to live with,” the sophomore said, “But it is a little tougher to have your own down time compared to a double.”

Apartment living

Junior and senior year, students have the option to live in apartments. They can finally move off of the meal plan and have their own kitchen, bathroom, and lounge space.

Apartments can range from doubles, to triples, to quads.

“I’ve really liked living in double apartments,” senior Alyssa Townsend said. “I get to live with one of my best friends and still get the roommate experience, while still having plenty of space since it’s just the two of us.”

As students get older and experience more rooming situations, some come to find that sometimes it may be better not to live with your best friend.

A pair of current seniors lived together with their other closest friend in a triple their sophomore year, and they found that they did not get along as roommates.

“We are closer as friends when we don’t live with each other,” one of the seniors said. “We just have different levels of messiness and couldn’t handle the confined space.”

Junior Heidi Morisset has experienced the pros and cons of living with close friends.

“Sometimes it’s hard to live with friends,” Morisset said, “Because you don’t want to ruin a friendship by confronting them about things.”

For some situations, living with someone you didn’t know beforehand can work out in the roommates’ favor if they become friends in the process of rooming together.

“But sometimes it’s good to live with a friend and gain a stronger bond,” Morisset said.

Roommate conflicts

Unfortunately, there are always going to be circumstances when two people are simply unable to work out their differences.

For one senior, being assigned a roommate did not work out in her favor.

“People would come by the room at like 4 a.m. every night and talk to [my roommate], and she screamed at me when I asked her to wait until the morning,” the senior said. “She would get super twitchy and defensive and mean when I confronter her about the simplest things.”

One sophomore was assigned a random roommate her freshman year, and she too tried to confront her about issues that came about.

“She hated me,” the sophomore said. “When I asked her why she hated me she told me I wasn’t worth it. She freaked out on me and screamed.”
Others find that, given the right situations, they can make most of their rooming situations work.

“I’m good at making people make conversation,” junior Cassie Fisher said.

Junior Emily Griffin came to the realization that she herself may not have been the easiest person to live with.

“I know I’m the one who is hard to live with,” Griffin said. “I’m grumpy when I just wake up, I get into bad moods where I just want to be along, I’m a light sleeper and I love my personal space.”

This is definitely the case for many students. Many of them find that living in a single room is their preferred option.

“I ended up living in a single for Jan Term and spring,” one freshman said. “[My roommate] and I had different perspectives on things and were a part of two completely different social groups, so we didn’t really get along.”

This particular freshman’s roommate ended up moving into a different room with another student.

“I never got assigned a new roommate,” the freshman said. “Luckily I love living alone and am thinking about paying extra for it next year if possible.”
Senior Ian Cox has lived in on-campus housing for all four years of his Linfield education.

Although the experience may vary from person to person, Cox said he had a wonderful experience every year with his living situation.

“Residing in the residence halls or on-campus apartments provides an opportunity unmet in any other way to fulfill the mission of attending a liberal arts school, to develop one’s self into a well-rounded individual in academics as well as creating the foundation for personal sustainability,” Cox said.

Cox now lives in an HP apartment. He enjoys how these on-campus apartments provide a perfect combination of inclusiveness while still giving students their own individual space since each roommate gets their own room.

“I believe that the social development and personal connections that are made through living on campus are equally important to any piece of information that may be obtained in a classroom,” Cox said.

Mikenna Whatley can be reached at [email protected]