November 26, 2021
Ithaca, NY | 31°F

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What is your experience with roommates at IC?

College roommates were probably the only thing I wasn’t worried about before coming to Ithaca College. You win some, you lose some — just coexist and keep it moving. That was my mentality when I started, and I’d blame a lot of that on my past experiences. 

Going from boarding school to now living in an apartment with flatmates, I can confidently say that I prefer living alone or having a room to myself. Don’t get me wrong — I have a high social battery and I love hanging out with friends, but roommates are just not for me.

Fun fact, my only official college roommate is Steph Fine, and she’s also blogging this week, so I’m curious how ours will compare. 

In my freshman year of high school, I had a roommate who was a sophomore from South Korea. There was an obvious power imbalance and I felt really isolated. She wasn’t the nicest and her friends were also unkind toward me. That’s me being nice and putting it lightly because it was honestly a nightmare.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of high school; I have a roommate who moaned in her sleep… loudly. No, I am not exaggerating — some people get mad at their partners for snoring, but trust me, snoring is a whole lot better than that. Imagine randomly waking up at 2 a.m. because your roommate moans and screams in her sleep.  

Going into college with my previous experiences, I decided to go random, there’s no way it could get any worse right? I probably shouldn’t have tested fate the way I did, but I got lucky. During my freshman orientation in June 2018, I met Steph, a really cool woman who was majoring in occupational therapy. 

Steph and I were, what some may jokingly call, perfect roommates. We were exact opposites, but we meshed together so well. I was from the city, and she was from a small town. I had a lot of male friends, who at first you could say she was scared of, and don’t get me started on the differences in friendships and group dynamics. We chose to live on the first floor so our grandmas could visit, we loved listening to Kehlani, BROCKHAMPTON and other artists at the highest volume possible, and we loved to be goofy. We had so many late-night study sessions, late-night talks, midday floor naps and so many funny Snapchat memories that we still send to each other now.

Courtesy of Frankie Walls

Steph was my first and only official college roommate, and living with Steph helped me learn more about myself than I thought possible. There was this moment where we fell out of sync, and it got to a point where I wasn’t sure if we’d ever get back to the way we were. It was a whole ordeal, we needed residential assistant (RA) mediation, and there was a week where we were ignoring each other. Honestly, it was a lot to deal with. We were each to blame in different ways, and it was a good lesson on communication. I think it would’ve ended sooner if outside forces weren’t involved. But I gladly can say that she was my best friend then, and now she’s a friend I can still depend on when I really need her. 

I was a RA my sophomore and junior year so I lived alone and worried more about the people on my floor and their roommate conflicts. And now I live in an apartment with three of my friends and my biggest concern is making sure my roommates unload the dishwasher and give me a ride to school.

Frankie Walls can be reached at fwalls@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @super_ge3k