Students adjust to living with roommates

Ikram Mohamed

In August 2020, Josie Womack settled into her dorm at Dolbie Twenty21 full of excitement for the adventures, memories and laughs she hoped to experience during her first semester of college. 

A month later, she moved out. 

Womack is high risk and feared contracting the virus on campus. For her safety, she moved home.

For many students, last year stood unconventional. Some spent their first semesters at home, others held up in their dorms. Now, with 92% of classes taking place in person, larger numbers of students are moving on campus and adjusting to life with roommates for the first time. 

Ready to actually live with her freshman-year roommate, Womack described their long-awaited reunion as a very wholesome moment. 

“We would text every day,” Womack said. “As soon as we met, it was like we were meant to be friends.”

After only interacting with one another online, Womack said transitioning to in person meetups feels gratifying. 

“(Because of COVID-19), it’s been a while since I’ve seen anybody,” Womack said. “It was really exciting seeing her again. It’s rewarding to finally have our own place and getting to hang out with each other every day instead of just texting.”

Meanwhile, public health sophomore Shehza Ghaffar went from spending extended but inconsistent periods with her two roommates to now living with them full time. 

“(My roommate) Jessie and I have been close friends for a long time,” Ghaffar said. “We went to a small school, so we were together most hours of the day. (Now), Jessie and I share a room.”

Although some say living with your best friend can ruin a friendship, Ghaffar said the two haven’t experienced any problems. She attributes their commitment to open communication. Rather than hindering their friendship, living together allows the duo to grow closer everyday. 

“We’re more on the same wavelength,” Ghaffar said. “There are a lot of things I’ll think of, and she’ll think of at the same time, and we’ll just get it done. It’s fun living with your best friend and spending time together, watching movies or just hanging out and talking.”

On the other hand, biology sophomore Nneka Iyegbu still can’t pin down how to balance her and her roommates’ schedules. 

“I’m usually the first person to wake up,” Iyegbu said. “I’ve had to adjust to make sure I don’t accidentally wake up (my roommates) at the crack of dawn to clean or brush my teeth.”

Having stayed home last year, Iyegbu said living with roommates requires a significant adjustment.

“When you’re living with other people you have to understand not everyone has the same living style as you,” Iyegbu said. “It’s been nice getting to know (my) roommates a little more to see what their living style is like, and how similar or different it is (to mine).”

Despite the many difficulties that come with moving away from home and living with others, Iyegbu said she’s ready for the change and can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

“Moving away from home has been a good challenge for me,” Iyegbu said. “It feels like I’m becoming an adult now. I’m excited to see where the next couple of months will take me in terms of this journey.”