Going away to college can be an isolating experience. For me at least, it started off that way. When I first found out I was going to Oberlin, there was nobody to really share in the excitement with. As far as I know, I am not only the only person from my school who is attending Oberlin in my year, but the only person from my entire city. Once I got to Oberlin, however, all of that changed very quickly, greatly in part to my roommate, Leal.
Leal, this one goes out to you.
Like many bloggers before me, I now set out to relate my roommate situation, all the while attempting to keep my personal experience as general as possible so that any prospective students who stumble across this post can hopefully put themselves in my shoes (much as I did with other Oberlin blogs that I read last year) and try to quell any anxieties that they may have about their own future roommate.
Time and time again, the two most important qualities I have heard emphasized in respect to having a good roommate are 1. communication, and 2. compatible sleeping schedules. I am here to tell you that while communication is absolutely crucial, having the same sleeping schedule is not as important as people make it out to be.
Leal and I have had, at some points, radically different sleeping schedules. We're both early risers, and both like to go to sleep relatively early, but this girl takes it to the next level. I mean, really, I have never seen anyone, anyone, sleep as hard and as long as this girl. She sometimes will hit the hay at 8:30pm. I'm pretty sure that's the same time my grandparents go to sleep. (I know you're reading this, Grandpa.)
Leal, passed out on her bed as usual. She came to college well-equipped with her "do not disturb" eye cover.
So perhaps you're wondering logistically how Leal's and my relationship works. Basically, I sneak into the room most nights with the assumption that the light is off, which it usually is. I then turn on the flashlight app on my cell phone and sneak around the room getting ready for bed. At this point, Leal lets out a passive aggressive sigh to indicate to me that yes, she has indeed been rudely awoken by my rustling and no, is not really awake and/or willing to let me turn the light on for a little while.
It might seem like an annoying charade, but it's actually become kind of a funny ritual we have with each other. It's not that difficult to adjust to living with someone who isn't on the same sleep cycle as yourself, especially if you get along with said individual in other regards.
Like I said before, the light is usually off when I walk into the room. Sometimes though, it's not. And these times are the best. Leal and I get along great. Maybe it's because we have some of the same academic interests, maybe it's because we're both into yoga and health food, or maybe it's just because we're both Obies and therefore intrinsically have shared values and experiences. Whatever it is, I'm so glad Leal is my roommate--I could not have asked for a better match. I motivate her to do her work and she motivates me to sleep and exercise at regular intervals. We complement each other in the best, most productive way possible. I am always happy to see her and we always like recounting our days with each other.
So I realize that I haven't kept this blog post as general as possible, but hopefully others can generalize based on what I've written about my specific situation. The main point I want to get across here is that even if you and your roommate aren't perfectly suited, you still might be the bestest of friends. In fact, if you go to Oberlin, I'd guess that you likely will be, because everyone here is (with a few notable exceptions) awesome.
I want to tell you publicly why you are my perfect roommate. You know that I want to study evolution, and I know you know that I now know about your "monkey buisness" (you know what I'm talking about). Can I study you? You are the missing link between me and our long lost ancestors.