The Roommate Process
by Navpreet Sekhon on Friday, January 22nd, 2016
As second semester approaches, boarders have to decide on roommates. Some boarders have no choice about whom they room with; other dorms’ heads let the students make the plan and then solve any problems that may arise. I think switching roommates is for the best because you may forge a connection with someone whom you otherwise would never have talked to or you will become closer with a friend you have already made.
For those who get to choose roommates second semester, the process can be either very simple or very messy. Freshmen start the year off with someone they don’t know. If you’re paired up with someone with whom you click, then you’ve had an easier adjustment to the year. However, if by now you’re still awkward with your roommate, you might be a bit excited to switch things up a bit. Switching roommates tends to involve moving out of your room, maybe moving to another floor, and then setting up the room the way you and your roommate like it. This process can take hours, and even then it may not be completely done for the next few weeks. Even though the set-up is a tough part of changing roommates, choosing your roommate (if you are able to choose) tends to be the biggest hassle.
Everyone involved in choosing roommates must be okay with the decisions of who will room with whom, and depending on how many people are in the grade, it can be complicated. Most of the procedure is about cooperation– not everyone will get to room with their first choice. Once the faculty gets involved to approve roommate selections, they will probably not know about conflicts amongst the students, and that is why the faculty creates the “disrequest” list. This list allows students to be certain they will not room with someone they will not work well with at all. On the other hand, when students cooperate to make plans for roommates, we tend to be selfish and disregard how our choices will affect other students in the grade. To say the rooming process is simple would be an understatement, but there is still no need for a large amount of stress when undergoing the pairing.
If the roommate you get is not the one you wanted and the relationship isn’t working out, it won’t be as bad as you think. Rooms are generally just for sleeping and working, both of which do not require any communication with your roommate. If you feel the need to get your personal space for a bit, there are plenty of places on campus available, such as the health center, the AMC, or the library/skills center. However, even if you and your roommate aren’t great friends, a lot of pairs have a good dynamic because they work around the same schedule or have the same habits. Therefore, no excessive anxiety is needed, especially because midterms tend to be so close to moving day.
Various boarding schools have different rooming cycles. Some schools have the students swap roommates every trimester or remain with one for the whole school year. Personally, I believe Milton’s policy is better and easier on the students because we have about four months with a roommate, which is enough time to develop a real relationship with him or her. If we were to stay with a person the whole year, we would probably become overwhelmed or bored, but if we were to keep the roommate for a much shorter amount of time we wouldn’t actually get to know the person.
Overall, the rooming process is definitely complex, but it always works out for the best, as you will learn more about yourself and what accommodates you best.
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