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As I was still enjoying my time in London, I started getting emails regarding the spring semester. One about housing stood out. I had to find a place and a roommate before the semester started.
At first, I did not like the idea of having a roommate. I had a single in London, and I loved it. I didn’t have to worry about a messy roommate or their bad habits; it was just me. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, and was in complete control of what came in and out of my room. I’m also an only child, which might explain why I'm used to getting my way and only sharing if I want to share.
When I was done pouting, I either had to put my name and information in the roommate matcher or run through a list of people I knew who did not have a roommate for the spring semester. Then Spencer Hodges ’22, who did FYSAE in Scotland, came across my mind. Spencer and I lived in Oak Summit during orientation, so I was kind of familiar with his style of living. Shortly after I Snapchatted him, Spencer agreed to room with me.
Spencer and I got emails about several vacancies, but the one that stuck out to me was Knight Hall. Neither of us knew what the halls looked like or the popularity of each. I did remember that Knight Hall was suite-styled and modern, so we put our names in. A few days later, we were assigned a room on the fourth floor.
I was relieved to have gotten the room assignment we requested, but I was also intimidated to move into a space shared by other people Spence and I did not know. I did meet a lot of people during orientation in the fall, but there was no way anyone would remember me. But, when I got the email regarding who else was in the suite, I recognized all three names— I’d met them all during the orientations. My one suitemate, Luke Thatcher ’22, was in one of my groups and messaged me on Instagram to welcome me. I felt better after talking to him— he seemed really cool, and was excited for me to move in. It eased most of my doubts, so that I could focus on cleaning and packing up, finishing essays, and enjoying my time left in London.
Flash forward to move-in day: I was excited to meet my suitemates and get to re-know them. When I walked through the door around 11 a.m. on January 13, no one was there but Spencer, and our room was a mess. Our suite lounge was a mess. Everything was a mess, and I couldn’t find my desk.
But things turned around: Luke came in later, and I thought I’d recognized Luke’s roommate, Eli Aguirre ’22, as the student I’d gone to church with one Sunday during orientation. He looked confused and told me that I’d mistook him for someone else. Pretty embarrassing. Still, I made it my mission to find Eli’s doppelgänger. After a few days of scouring campus, we found my church buddy, Preston, in the Commons after our workout. It turns out he’s actually friends with Eli and president of the film club, which made the situation even funnier. Since then, Eli has introduced me to so many new people on campus. Without him, I would probably just sit in my room all day doing nothing.
I also met Seisuke (Ses-skey), my fourth suitemate who’s from Japan. Again, my memory was jolted when he pronounced his name, as I realized I’d misheard him and accidentally called him “Sensei” during orientation. Seisuke jumped and remembered who I was. We now say hi everywhere we see each other, and sometimes we’ll grab food, schedules permitting. Luke introduced me to a couple of his friends, and they’re pretty cool. Eli is my gym buddy and good friend, and Spencer is a great roommate.
Everything went perfect, except for one thing: the missing desk. But the mystery didn’t last long, as I contacted my RA about it and had a desk come in the next day.
What started out as a dreadful feeling in London has turned into a pleasant surprise for my first real semester of college. With their help, I got my other foot in the door. This semester is looking to be quite exciting and memorable.