A room for two

Aja Brown

Adjusting to roommates can be stressful for some

Identical twins Crystal and Carrie Swanson anxiously awaited the arrival of their roommate notices in the mailbox this summer, only to find out that they would be spending their first semester at Kent State together.

However, for most students, the name on the notice isn’t as familiar. Along with the letter, which gives you a little detail about the person you’re going to spend the next school year with, comes many fears.

“Students should go into the situation with a positive attitude,” said University Health Services Chief Psychologist Pamela Farer-Singleton.

Even though Carrie, a freshman graphic design major, and Crystal, a freshman fashion design major, shared a room at home, they both said the transition into college wasn’t easy.

“We got into a huge fight the day before school started,” Crystal said.

“She hit me in the head with Manwich, so I threw a two-liter of pop at her,” Carrie said defensively, but jokingly.

In spite of this minor bustle, the sisters said they try not to fight over “petty” issues.

They said they always respect each other’s space.

“If I’m going to invite someone over, I ask, ‘Is it OK?’” Crystal said.

According to Farer-Singleton, negotiation and compromise are very important for students sharing living spaces because “space is so limited.”

“Students should get used to asking, ‘Is it OK … ’ and ‘Would you mind …,’”

she said.

Crystal and Carrie both agreed with Farer-Singleton that communication is a huge factor.

However, there is a point where some students must call it quits.

“Once it gets to the point where I want to hit my roommate, then I know that it’s time for one of us to go,” Crystal said.

“If my roommate kept doing something that I’ve repeatedly asked for her to stop,” Carrie said, “then I know that it’s not going to work.”

Although Crystal and Carrie both had their limitations, they said talking things out and making up is important.

Farer-Singleton said “taking ownership for your feelings” and “speaking up for yourself” is very important.

But it is also important how you do it.

“Don’t go get all your friends down the hall involved to make your point,” Farer -Singleton said. “Keep the situation between you and your roommate.”

It’s not easy getting used to living with people you don’t know, but Crystal and Carrie found a way to break the ice and show their fellow residents in Prentice Hall they were cool.

“When we got here there weren’t any shower curtains,” Crystal said. “So we went out and bought curtains for our hall.”

The majority of students, however, don’t have a roommate they can immediately trust. This makes it even more difficult to adjust to life in a residence hall.

Moving in with a total stranger can be hard, but Farer-Singleton was able to look at this situation in a positive light.

“That’s part of being in college,” Farer-Singleton said. “You have the opportunity of learning about someone before deciding if you like them or not.”

Contact student life reporter Aja Brown at [email protected].