August is upon us and that means the start of the school year is just around the corner! For boarding school students, normal start of year jitters are sometimes amplified by the unknown of living with a roommate for the first time. As we prepare to welcome 125 new students to campus, the vast majority of whom will be boarding students, we asked a few of our dorm leaders their thoughts on sharing their space with their roommate and the lessons they’ve learned from living away from home at boarding school.
Some of the biggest challenges I've faced living with a roommate occurred during my freshman year when my roommate and I had a hard time communicating and opening up to each other. I wanted to switch roommates, but my dorm parent told me to give it time, and I am so glad I did. I became more open-minded and created an awesome friendship that I would have never gained outside of the dorm. We learned to accommodate each other’s needs, and learned so much about understanding what it takes to have a healthy living experience with someone else.
While my freshman year taught me so much about how to live with someone else, when I started my sophomore year, I decided to room with one of my best friends. It was like a sleepover that never ended, and the best part is, we still managed to get all of our homework done! We were taking many of the same classes so we actually ended up reading together, studying, and helping each other. We also learned that if we had a lot of homework, and needed to really focus, one of us would go to the library. The laughs we shared together I will never forget. I think that living with someone you really enjoy being around is such an amazing experience!
As a junior, no parents, especially mine, wants their child having one or even two other people living in their son's room - they feel as though there is too much on the line academically to have distractions around. However, I never regretted my decision to live in a triple this past year. Sure, sometimes it was not as quiet as I had hoped, but you learn where to study, how to focus, and how to meet the demands on your time. With roommates, activities are always happening and you are never lonely. I felt so lucky to have my roommates to talk to late into the night, discussing current events, historical issues, or finding a solution to certain personal dilemmas. There are certainly downsides to be in a room with others; it is difficult to find personal space because there is always someone in room, sometimes you get distracted, and Toby always threw his clothes around the room. But this is why living with roommates is so beneficial: you are able to learn to negotiate with others, balance your needs with others’ needs, and develop lifelong friendships.
For as long as I can remember I have shared a room with my sisters, so it wasn't hard to adjust to living with a roommate. Although I was nervous about meeting my roommate freshman year, she turned out to be wonderful! Even though we didn't turn into the best of friends, we have still remained good friends. For my sophomore year I found a new roommate who has turned into one of my closest friends at Proctor. She is truly a wonderful human being, and we get along really well. She is outgoing and always makes me laugh, and I am so excited to be dorm leaders in Mac house with her this coming year!
My first time sharing a room with anyone else came during my freshman year at Proctor. At first we were very different and did not seem to get along, but through the help of our dorm parents, we went from not wanting to be roommates to being great friends by the end of the year. Over the last three years, I have had the opportunity to live with some of my best friends, and in each of these situations I have had to learn how to organize my time and balance the fun we have as friends in the dorm with the work we need to get done from an academic standpoint. Learning this balancing act will serve me well in the future!
We know living with a roommate will undoubtedly force you outside your comfort zone at times, and we feel just fine about that fact! Your room will probably not be as clean (or as messy) as you would like. You will most likely have to share food with your roommate on occasion (and will borrow food from him or her as well when your supply runs out). And maybe, just maybe, you will learn to budget your time in the morning when all the showers are taken and you're running late to class. All these inconveniences pale in comparison to the bond you will form with your roommate, and the lessons you will learn about living with others that will serve you throughout your lifetime. Roommate and dorm assignments will be posted to student myProctor portals early next week! Stay tuned!