Trial by fire

Off-campus students learn how to cohabitate

Jessica Sewing | Collegio Reporter

Dorm residents aren’t the only students who have to adjust to life with a roommate. Students who live off-campus face the same challenges as their on-campus counterparts.
Sarah McBee says her experience with unknown roommates wasn’t the easiest. McBee lives in the Crimson Villas and says she was assigned to live with three random roommates.
“The guys I was living with seemed to be a good fit at first,” said McBee, undeclared freshman. “Before school started everything was great.”
McBee says their problems began soon after classes started. McBee and her roommates fell prey to a common roommate issue: not setting ground rules.
The Crimson Villas office tells tenants to make apartments rules, so the living arrangements are easier to handle. They also provide each tenant with a list of negotiating points to help avoid classic roommate mistakes. Crimson Villas urges roommates to devise a plan of attack where the roommates discuss everything, from what will be shared to quiet hours and everything in between.
Unfortunately, McBee says she and her roommates weren’t able to work their situation out. She says sometimes people just can’t live together.
“They’re really cool guys,” McBee said. “They’re like my little brothers, but we didn’t mesh when it came to living together. None of us have any hard feelings.”
Not all roommates end up in McBee’s situation. For Jocie James, living at the Summerfield Apartments has been a pleasant experience. James says she wasn’t assigned roommates; instead, she chose to live with friends. James says she and her roommates made some ground rules when they moved in.
“When we moved in, we all sat down and decided that we were just basically going to clean up after ourselves,” said James, undeclared sophomore. “We mostly decided that we all need to be courteous. If the trash needs to be taken out then just take it out.”
James says that they’ve been able to work through the problems that have come up.
“All three of us are pretty outgoing people,” James said. “So when there is a problem we usually work it out just by saying something and trying to fix it.”
James and McBee both say that living with people is a trial and error experience.
“You really don’t know what to expect until the ball is rolling,” McBee said. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Expecting the unexpected

For freshmen, college life is something that they can’t know until they move in. They move to PSU with different expectations about everything from dorm life to class workload and everything in between.
Some, like Monique Miller, didn’t expect to click with their roommate. She says she didn’t think they would get along because they just met.
“My roommate and I are so much alike it’s crazy,” said Miller, freshman in communications.
Other students, like Emily Seib, discover that classes are different from what they expected. Seib says she thought her classes would be more challenging.
“I expected to have hard classes that would prepare me for the demands of nursing and the long hours of work,” said Seib, freshman in nursing.
Seib says she also expected to have more free time.
“I also thought that I would have more time to go hang out with my friends,” Seib said. “Even after a long day of classes and homework.”
Kyra Rice didn’t expect to have such an active social life.
“I really didn’t expect to go out literally every day,” said Rice, freshman in biology.
Hannah DeVries says she didn’t expect it be that noisy at night, or quiet during the day.
“I really didn’t think that it was going to be so freaking loud at night,” said DeVries, freshman in biology.
Overall, though, some freshmen have discovered that life at PSU is as good as they expected. Brian Wright says between free time and freedoms in general, he is quite satisfied with life at Pitt State.
“I expected it to be awesome and I am not disappointed,” said Wright, freshman in accounting.

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