Roommates: Not Just the Pain in Your Neck

July 18, 2008
Danielle Parker


Academic Connections is a three-week program that offers high school students a genuine college experience. On its website, the program promises “the opportunity to form friendships with peers who share their same academic motivation.” Roommates are a significant part of this, but what is their exact role?

Roommates at Academic Connections are assigned by age and gender into rooms of two or three. The male students inhabit the first four floors and the females reside on the fifth through tenth floors.

The rooms include three beds, three desks and three closets. The walls are bare and the bathrooms are sterile. The beds squeak and the carpet is rough against feet. Sometimes the only barrier against homesickness is the other people in the room.

But are roommates only temporary replacements for old friends, or can they actually make an impact? AC student Robert Olivera listed tolerance and patience as two qualities he thought he acquired from having a roommate. Another student, Ashley Brant, said fun and companionship are words that come to mind at the thought of her roommates.


On the second floor of Muir Resident Hall, Shane Dahlquist and Moritz Tonn share a room. When they met on the first day of Academic Connections, it was not love at first sight. “He threw a ladder at me because I was playing music,” said Shane.

But now the two of them know each other so well, they competed in a ‘How Well Do You Know Your Roommate?’ challenge and were the only boys to do so. They are so close that Moritz knew that Shane likes salami on his pizza, not pepperoni.

Unfortunately, they lost, but only by one point.


Shane and Moritz are not the only roommates that started off badly. Joshua Querin, a sports psychology student, said that one night he was talking on the phone while his roommate, Bryan Musrel, was reading. Bryan got so annoyed with Josh’s talking that he started taking all of Josh’s clothes out of the closet and throwing them out into the hall, said Josh.

Josh said that after this event, the two of them agreed to respect each other’s quiet time. Now Josh waits to call friends until he is sure he is not bothering his roommate.


Ashley Brant described an incident that occurred between her and her roommates, Claudette Enriquez and Melissa Marquez. They had a helium party involving sucking helium out of balloons and talking about Oompa-Loompa’s, Ashley said, laughing.

The balloons were from Claudette’s birthday, which Claudette was a little upset about celebrating away from home. Ashley said she saw the balloons floating in the corner of their room and was struck with the idea.

“Claudette had the best helium voice,” said Ashley, “and that made her feel better.” The girls videotaped this event with Ashley’s phone and amused themselves the next day by watching it again.


Another student in AC, Lena Cund, described how even though they don’t know each other’s favorite colors, her roommate knows one of Lena’s darkest secrets. “And I know everything about her and her best friend’s fight,” said Lena.

Erin Ideishi, an AC participant living on the ninth floor, said that she shares her laundry loads with her roommate Ashley Chung. They go to to meals together, hang out a lot, and even share sun block.

One More Time

Having a roommate is a chance to learn how to adjust to different personalities. But, more importantly, having a roommate is a chance to learn about yourself. Living with another person is difficult, but seeing how someone deals with the situation can reveal a lot about that person’s personality.

Even if someone did not react fittingly to having a roommate at first, there is a chance to change, like in the case of Moritz and Bryan. Ultimately, what a roommate does is show someone how well he or she can adapt. But also, a roommate is an opportunity to have a lot of fun with new people of diverse backgrounds.

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