Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

KarenNC

Issues with getting roommate assignment for freshman year

Recommended Posts

My daughter is having what seems to us to be unusual difficulty in getting a roommate for freshman year and wanted me to ask here to see if this is more common than we think. She will be attending  a large public university (abt 17K students) in the honors program and is doing random assignment within honors housing, since she doesn't know anyone going this year. She has now had a second change in assigned roommate in the course of less than a month. As far as she or I can tell, the text interactions have been typical and cordial on both sides (Hi, what's your major, where are you from, which orientation session are you going to, etc) and they have exchanged instagram accounts. The only way she knew about the first switch was an email from her new roommate. When she sent a text to the first one saying that evidently things had been switched, the first roommate's response seemed surprised. In the second situation (about a week after the switch), she found out when she got a phone call from the housing people for the honors program checking in to make sure things were okay since they "like to do that if a person has had two requests to change out" and to make sure she knew she had a support system. I'll be surprised if no-one from honors housing approaches her about it at orientation next week.

In the first situation, we just assumed something had happened at the school level that meant some students needed to be shuffled. It's now looking like more than that, particularly since neither of the roommates have said anything. My daughter is liberal, active in social justice issues, Pagan, and gay. Her instagram reflects that--typical teen selfies and photos with friends and family, including at Women's March, Pride, at prom with her best friend (who is female), wearing a bracelet saying Black Lives Matter, holding up a sign against gun violence, etc, but nothing offensive, extreme, or crude that I saw. She'd prefer on one level that people self-select out now before she invests in a rooommate relationship if they are going to be unwilling to get to know her on the basis of one or more of those factors, but it's also a bit disheartening and, since the honors freshmen all live together in a certain section of the dorms, will have activities together, and take certain classes together, creates some potential awkwardness.

She's wondering if this is something that happens often to all students or if students of color (which she is not), Muslim, LGBTQ+, or part of other minority groups have it happen more frequently. It's come as a surprise to us since most of her friends are straight and Christian, and some much more socially conservative. I told her it could also be a reflection of the extreme growth in our society of people wanting and being able to stay only within their own "bubbles," whether that like-mindedness is based on ethnicity, politics, religion, socio-economic class, or whatever, and could even be coming from pressure by their parents more than themselves, so to try to give them as much benefit of the doubt and room to potentially grow as possible.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry this is happening to her. The college my boys are attending is no help at all in matching roommates. They tell you to find some facebook group and maybe find a roommate there...one of the colleges we toured had an app that helped people match up that sounded pretty good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It possibly is -- my dd was assigned a roommate who, upon further interaction, turned out to be transgender and not come out to his parents. My dd was fine with it but the other roommate was not happy about the situation. It resolved itself if one could say that (the student in question withdrew from the school and is getting married) but the other roommate would have moved out otherwise. 

It does also seem, anecdotally, that at my dd's school people are self selecting into groups based on ethnicity.  This surprised my daughter, and luckily the newspaper she works at is not like this. But during the whole facebook roommate search she saw that the people responding to posts mostly aligned with the original poster's ethnicity.  It was a little disheartening to see. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a bummer. Sounds like she has been matched with some closed-minded roommates so far. I hope she gets a match who works out. We don’t have any experience with random matches; my oldest daughter lived with a teammate her first semester and my second daughter is planning to live with someone she connected with through FB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son’s school is assigning matches but not until August but were pretty clear that there won’t be any switching unless there are extreme circumstances once they are already rooming together. The freshman dorm is full with all rooms being triples in the fall, so I suspect they just aren’t willing to deal with switching people around on whims.

I’m new to the whole concept of find your own roommate- ours were assigned back in the day and you just made the most of it or didn’t spend much time in your room.

i hope she finds someone more open soon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hilltopmom said:

My son’s school is assigning matches but not until August but were pretty clear that there won’t be any switching unless there are extreme circumstances once they are already rooming together. The freshman dorm is full with all rooms being triples in the fall, so I suspect they just aren’t willing to deal with switching people around on whims.

I’m new to the whole concept of find your own roommate- ours were assigned back in the day and you just made the most of it or didn’t spend much time in your room.

i hope she finds someone more open soon

I'm new to it as well. I had a random assignment and we were pretty much polar opposites. We were never going to be good friends but we managed amicably that year. I really hope this is settled quickly because it makes it hard to plan for things like a fridge. She said maybe she'd get a single out of it, but I doubt it and don't want to pay a premium for a situation she didn't create.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can she reach out to a LGBTQ+ club on campus to see if 1. that is unusual and 2. if they know any incoming honors freshmen. I hope it's just bad situations. ((hugs)) how frustrating. 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awe, I'm sorry she is having so much trouble! Neither of my kids has had roommates switch before they got to school, but that is a very small sample and doesn't mean it isn't common at her school. Is the school in a conservative area? Since she is outspoken in her identity and multiple polarizing issues (sexual identity, religion, political issues) I'm not surprised (although I am sorry) to hear she is having a hard time finding a roommate. She could very well be facing discrimination from the parents rather than the students. As a college student/teacher, I find students to be very open on most of those ideas, but their parents are not always so open at all! Many of my liberal students come from very conservative homes and it may be that their parents are encouraging them to switch, and that once she's at school, she won't face anywhere near this level of discrimination.

I hope she finds a roommate that will want to get to know her, not just the labels they see when they look at her on FB.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What were the majors of those switching out?  It could be that they expect to do a lot of studying and want a quiet room.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

What were the majors of those switching out?  It could be that they expect to do a lot of studying and want a quiet room.

I'd be surprised if that was it because she and they are all honors students (it's honors-only housing), so presumably all are serious about studying, and I can't think of anything that indicates she'd be particularly loud/partying/up all night/etc. Did something stand out to you as suggesting that? Photos of friends are at things like Girl Scouts or aikido, not big parties. They were both science majors involved in sports and she is a writer with an English/history focus, with involvement in martial arts and theatre.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, KarenNC said:

I'd be surprised if that was it because she and they are all honors students (it's honors-only housing), so presumably all are serious about studying, and I can't think of anything that indicates she'd be particularly loud/partying/up all night/etc. Did something stand out to you as suggesting that? Photos of friends are at things like Girl Scouts or aikido, not big parties. They were both science majors involved in sports and she is a writer with an English/history focus, with involvement in martial arts and theatre.

 

No, nothing suggests loud/partying/up all night; her activities in the original post suggest the room will not be quiet as there will be many visitors.  Your response post lists theatre....yep, she'll be out late.and that is a plus for some people and a  minus for others.  Sleep is a major consideration for some. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, HeighHo said:

 

No, nothing suggests loud/partying/up all night; her activities in the original post suggest the room will not be quiet as there will be many visitors.  Your response post lists theatre....yep, she'll be out late.and that is a plus for some people and a  minus for others.  Sleep is a major consideration for some. 

Really? Which ones suggest many visitors, in particular more than for girls involved in team sports like the roommates (as I also mentioned in the response)? I would have thought one would at least ask about sleep preferences before preemptively switching roommates. The original matching survey included questions about night/morning person, snoring, cleanliness, light/heavy sleeper as basic compatibility measures. I would expect that that sort of thing to have been already taken into consideration.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you might want to consider that science majors might be pre-meds....so maybe they found each other.  They don't have a lot of margin for errror in the quest for the 4.0.

Team sports? as in they play for the U and will have a lot of practice time?

I don't think surveys are perfect.  I got matched with an early riser, and I sure didn't ask for one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't speak for HeighHo, but perhaps she was referring to "active in...," "March" "holding up a sign," etc. It sounds like your daughter takes her activism very seriously and perhaps HeighHo translated that to having other people meet up with your daughter to discuss plans for events or activities. 

Unfortunately, it sounds like both cases were probably in response to the girls (or their parents) believing they wouldn't be a good match with your daughter in terms of roommates after learning of her interests, beliefs, and who she is. I don't know how common this switching is, but I hope she's able to find someone who is accepting of her. It can be a long year if roommates are full of enmity for each other.

ETA: Freshman year, I was a pretty quiet kid paired with an upperclassman who was loud, overbearing, and bent on scaring me into asking for a new roommate. The previous two or three years, she had been able to get a single room for the price of a double by her actions. I figured that some roommates were just insufferable and lived with the middle-of-the-night phone calls, rude visitors at all hours, and crass remarks. I hope my kids (and your daughter) get better roommates!

Edited by RootAnn
added my own experience to the end
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the activities in the original post translate into a person who will be having people over to meet up, etc.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

All of the activities in the original post translate into a person who will be having people over to meet up, etc.   

Huh?  What about her activities says they will meet up in her room, as opposed to someplace on campus?  None of those activities suggest meeting in a dorm room as opposed to a coffee shop or some meeting space on campus.  I knew several people who were very active in many groups, but their rooms were their quiet space.  

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

Huh?  What about her activities says they will meet up in her room, as opposed to someplace on campus?  None of those activities suggest meeting in a dorm room as opposed to a coffee shop or some meeting space on campus.  I knew several people who were very active in many groups, but their rooms were their quiet space.  

Really depends on the person and the campus. I've known both types.  These students have opted not to take the gamble. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

Huh?  What about her activities says they will meet up in her room, as opposed to someplace on campus?  None of those activities suggest meeting in a dorm room as opposed to a coffee shop or some meeting space on campus.

Could just be what you are used to. Some are used to meeting up at a central location, others might be used to a tight-knit community, like an honors dorm, as a place where people can just drop by anytime to talk & plan. IMO, maybe just which you are most familiar with. I don't think any offense was meant although it seems you might be taking some. (And I would be upset enough about this situation that I would be defensive.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the school in a particularly conservative area?  I know at the school my dd attended, none of that would have phased the majority of students.  Her school also has options for various living communities - by major/school, Honors, one that is for students "interested in supporting and educating themselves and their community about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied community", one for International and American students interested in International studies, and one that's for students in recovery from alcohol or drug addictions.   Obviously it's a very large school, but I'm wondering if your daughters is small and conservative?

It could just be coincidental too.  Maybe they connected with people with the same major or others from their sports teams - that actually seems pretty likely since teams often practice over the summer and often like their team members to house together, IME.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Could just be what you are used to. Some are used to meeting up at a central location, others might be used to a tight-knit community, like an honors dorm, as a place where people can just drop by anytime to talk & plan. IMO, maybe just which you are most familiar with. I don't think any offense was meant although it seems you might be taking some. (And I would be upset enough about this situation that I would be defensive.)

But a HH said it was her activities that made it more likely that she would have people dropping in and meeting up? 

All of the activities in the original post translate into a person who will be having people over to meet up, etc.  

OP says it is honors housing so her potential roommates would also be in the Honors program.  So why would she be more likely to have people meeting up in her room than any other student in the Honors program?  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

I won't speak for HeighHo, but perhaps she was referring to "active in...," "March" "holding up a sign," etc. It sounds like your daughter takes her activism very seriously and perhaps HeighHo translated that to having other people meet up with your daughter to discuss plans for events or activities. 

Unfortunately, it sounds like both cases were probably in response to the girls (or their parents) believing they wouldn't be a good match with your daughter in terms of roommates after learning of her interests, beliefs, and who she is. I don't know how common this switching is, but I hope she's able to find someone who is accepting of her. It can be a long year if roommates are full of enmity for each other.

ETA: Freshman year, I was a pretty quiet kid paired with an upperclassman who was loud, overbearing, and bent on scaring me into asking for a new roommate. The previous two or three years, she had been able to get a single room for the price of a double by her actions. I figured that some roommates were just insufferable and lived with the middle-of-the-night phone calls, rude visitors at all hours, and crass remarks. I hope my kids (and your daughter) get better roommates!

 

I hope they do, too!

She does take social justice very seriously, but is rather introverted, is a very serious student, and likes a quiet retreat, so the idea that she would be a danger to others studying was a bit amusing. That doesn't preclude that she like any other student may indeed have friends over periodically. Ultimately, yes, they or their parents obviously did, and I can actually see situations in which my daughter might decide to ask for a switch, if , say, the person's instagram or other interaction showed they were extremely aggressive and abusive to those who were different from them or it was obvious they were interested in illegal or unsavory activities. She'd definitely rather let someone who is going to have severe problems with her basic identity self-select out, which is why she is very open about who she is. Since we don't and can't know the full picture at this point, I have encouraged her to try not to negatively pre-judge these girls and their reasons for switching and be open to them as classmates. It has made us more highly aware of our white cisgender privilege in being assumed "safe" and "part of us" until someone learns a different label for you that they deem not to be so, which is why she wondered if this might be a more common experience for those whose differences are more visible (like skin color or wearing a hijab) than hers.

I am rather surprised that it's allowable and evidently very easy to switch at this point and have suggested she ask at orientation if there's some kind of limit or deadline so that she knows better what to expect. The website only indicates that after two full weeks of residency, there's an open room change option based on available vacancies, and that irresolvable conflicts can be addressed on a case by case basis afterwards, so we're confused. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Where's Toto? said:

Is the school in a particularly conservative area?  I know at the school my dd attended, none of that would have phased the majority of students.  Her school also has options for various living communities - by major/school, Honors, one that is for students "interested in supporting and educating themselves and their community about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied community", one for International and American students interested in International studies, and one that's for students in recovery from alcohol or drug addictions.   Obviously it's a very large school, but I'm wondering if your daughters is small and conservative?

It could just be coincidental too.  Maybe they connected with people with the same major or others from their sports teams - that actually seems pretty likely since teams often practice over the summer and often like their team members to house together, IME.

 17K students and a public school, so much less likely to be so than many of the privates. We *are* in NC, but this school doesn't have a rep or give the appearance of being ultra-conservative and has various active social justice and identity-based student groups, both liberal and conservative, more so than some of the other public schools we visited. The larger public universities definitely tend to be more liberal than the overall state or many smaller or private schools. They do have various living/learning communities, but this is specifically within the honors living community at this school, which she is required to live in freshman year to keep her scholarship, so moving to another living community or dorm isn't an option.

She understands that it's possible that it could be coincidental and chalked the first one up to that, but additional quick switches raises questions. I would think that if it were a positive reason such as you mention, the roommates would be more likely to have said something about it to my daughter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, KarenNC said:

 

I hope they do, too!

She does take social justice very seriously, but is rather introverted, is a very serious student, and likes a quiet retreat, so the idea that she would be a danger to others studying was a bit amusing. That doesn't preclude that she like any other student may indeed have friends over periodically. Ultimately, yes, they or their parents obviously did, and I can actually see situations in which my daughter might decide to ask for a switch, if , say, the person's instagram or other interaction showed they were extremely aggressive and abusive to those who were different from them or it was obvious they were interested in illegal or unsavory activities. She'd definitely rather let someone who is going to have severe problems with her basic identity self-select out, which is why she is very open about who she is. Since we don't and can't know the full picture at this point, I have encouraged her to try not to negatively pre-judge these girls and their reasons for switching and be open to them as classmates. It has made us more highly aware of our white cisgender privilege in being able to be assumed "safe" and "part of us" until one actually does something negative rather than being pre-judged as "other" or "not safe" for one's appearance, which is why she wondered if this might be a more common experience for those whose differences are more visible than hers. like skin color or wearing a hijab. Silver lining is that she hopes to be an RA and this helps her see some of the aspects that can play into situations that might not have been obvious to her before.

I am rather surprised that it's allowable and evidently very easy to switch at this point and have suggested she ask at orientation if there's some kind of limit or deadline so that she knows better what to expect. The website only indicates that after two full weeks of residency, there's an open room change option based on available vacancies, and that irresolvable conflicts can be addressed on a case by case basis afterwards, so we're confused. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that her reaching out to the LGBTQ club or other organizations on campus might be helpful.  They might have some good ideas for her.  Also, I do think kids self-select, switching around their roommates as time goes on, before the start of school.  They've maybe had a chance to meet students on their same sports teams, or music groups, etc.

My dd lived with the same roommates until the end of her junior year and then they all graduated.  She didn't know who to room with her senior year, so she just signed up for the random pairing.  Her roommate changed three times over the course of the summer, and she was really starting to panic about it!  The one she finally ended up with turned out to be perfect.  ?  So, hopefully your daughter's final roommate will also be a good one!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, J-rap said:

I agree that her reaching out to the LGBTQ club or other organizations on campus might be helpful.  They might have some good ideas for her.  Also, I do think kids self-select, switching around their roommates as time goes on, before the start of school.  They've maybe had a chance to meet students on their same sports teams, or music groups, etc.

My dd lived with the same roommates until the end of her junior year and then they all graduated.  She didn't know who to room with her senior year, so she just signed up for the random pairing.  Her roommate changed three times over the course of the summer, and she was really starting to panic about it!  The one she finally ended up with turned out to be perfect.  ?  So, hopefully your daughter's final roommate will also be a good one!

 

Thanks, it's good to know this isn't totally unusual. We've never heard anyone mention having this happen prior to school starting and hadn't noticed anything in the info from the school about the option, so it seemed to be coming out of left field, especially to happen twice so quickly. I had a random pairing twice when I was in school, once for freshman year and once because my roommate was doing study abroad for a semester, and it was just one and done both times. They were not good fits either time, so maybe these changes are working to her advantage. Fingers crossed! ? 

She's going to orientation soon, so we'll see if she makes any connections there. It does remind her that if the situation is reversed and she wants to change for a positive or innocuous reason like that, it would be helpful for future relationships with her classmates to communicate--give some sort of explanation or at least a mention to the other person. When one gets messages constantly from large parts of society that one's basic identity is unacceptable, it's hard to put a positive spin on the unknown in this sort of situation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend whose son is going to college this fall.  His college has an app that is much like a dating app to match roomates.  He was given a list of some potential matches.  One match was gay.  His mother discouraged him from choosing the gay roommate.  She said she wouldn’t want her son rooming with a girl, because of the potential for a distracting drama if they become attracted to each other.  She felt that rooming with a gay person of the same sex would have that same potential for drama.  Not that all gay people become attracted to all straight people, but she felt that the potential was there for drama and distraction from studies.

I’d bet that’s what’s happening for your daughter, OP.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KarenNC said:

 

Thanks, it's good to know this isn't totally unusual. We've never heard anyone mention having this happen prior to school starting and hadn't noticed anything in the info from the school about the option, so it seemed to be coming out of left field, especially to happen twice so quickly. I had a random pairing twice when I was in school, once for freshman year and once because my roommate was doing study abroad for a semester, and it was just one and done both times. They were not good fits either time, so maybe these changes are working to her advantage. Fingers crossed! ? 

She's going to orientation soon, so we'll see if she makes any connections there. It does remind her that if the situation is reversed and she wants to change for a positive or innocuous reason like that, it would be helpful for future relationships with her classmates to communicate--give some sort of explanation or at least a mention to the other person. When one gets messages constantly from large parts of society that one's basic identity is unacceptable, it's hard to put a positive spin on the unknown in this sort of situation.

Yeah, I certainly never had that experience back in the day!  After our dd got her first roommate assignment last summer, she sent an email to her roommate to say a quick hello, but before she heard back she received a notification saying she had been reassigned a different roommate.  She waited awhile to reach out to this next one, and then a couple weeks later she was reassigned yet again!  In the end she didn't even bother to email her new roommate until the end of the summer, but that one turned out to be a great fit.  I don't think it was because of anything negative...  I think most people just prefer to room with people they've met (or are in clubs with, etc.) rather than an unknown.  

Couple of thoughts though...  My dd did tell the registration department that she'd be happy to live with an international student, and in the end, that's who her roommate was.  (I guess a lot of students prefer not to room with an international student because they're often there only a semester.)  

Also, Uloop.com is a site that can sometimes be helpful with roommate matches.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see why it would be disheartening.   But, I think allowing shuffling around of roommates beforehand is a good thing.   The idea seems insane that you might be such a bad fit with a roommate that you just avoid spending time in your homebase, and an expensive homebase.  

Your OP reminded me of a story from my high school.   I was heavily involved in Debate.   At one of the competitions I was standing around with people from my school.   A black girl came up to talk directly to a black girl in our group.  She said something like, "You talk to white people?   At my school, black people and white people don't talk to each other"    The concept was shocking.   But the situation was funny in a way.   The black girl and I didn't talk but not because of race.   She was drama and I was debate.  The not_talking was mutual.   If I'd lived in a dorm (shudders) and been able to somewhat self-select roommates, I wouldn't have wanted someone in theater.  The ones I knew in high school were, well, dramatic and emotional.   

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

19 hours ago, KarenNC said:

They were both science majors involved in sports and she is a writer with an English/history focus, with involvement in martial arts and theatre.

I wouldn't be surprised if these differences were the main reason for the changes.  Hopefully, the next assignment will turn out to be a good fit for everyone.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Garga said:

I have a friend whose son is going to college this fall.  His college has an app that is much like a dating app to match roomates.  He was given a list of some potential matches.  One match was gay.  His mother discouraged him from choosing the gay roommate.  She said she wouldn’t want her son rooming with a girl, because of the potential for a distracting drama if they become attracted to each other.  She felt that rooming with a gay person of the same sex would have that same potential for drama.  Not that all gay people become attracted to all straight people, but she felt that the potential was there for drama and distraction from studies.

I’d bet that’s what’s happening for your daughter, OP.

 

 

There's a difference in being offered a list of potentials and choosing one over the others for whatever reason than being assigned one, the other being notified, then saying no, not that one, move me somewhere else, with no explanation.

So who would the friend suggest bisexual students should be allowed to room with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, klmama said:

 

I wouldn't be surprised if these differences were the main reason for the changes.  Hopefully, the next assignment will turn out to be a good fit for everyone.

Could be, we may never know. When no one wants to talk about the reason and it happens more than once in a short period, however, it certainly doesn't feel innocuous.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, shawthorne44 said:

I can see why it would be disheartening.   But, I think allowing shuffling around of roommates beforehand is a good thing.   The idea seems insane that you might be such a bad fit with a roommate that you just avoid spending time in your homebase, and an expensive homebase.  

Your OP reminded me of a story from my high school.   I was heavily involved in Debate.   At one of the competitions I was standing around with people from my school.   A black girl came up to talk directly to a black girl in our group.  She said something like, "You talk to white people?   At my school, black people and white people don't talk to each other"    The concept was shocking.   But the situation was funny in a way.   The black girl and I didn't talk but not because of race.   She was drama and I was debate.  The not_talking was mutual.   If I'd lived in a dorm (shudders) and been able to somewhat self-select roommates, I wouldn't have wanted someone in theater.  The ones I knew in high school were, well, dramatic and emotional.   

 

Backstage and tech work only, which doesn't tend to fit the stereotype in that manner. ? 

I don't inherently object to shuffling around, and the school does allow an open room change period two weeks into the semester, once they've had a chance to actually meet in person. It's the way it's being done with no explanation that I believe sets up a lot of potential for unnecessary awkwardness and difficulty in relationships among this small group that will be doing a lot of things together over the course of the next four years. The freshman class of honors students is only about 175-200 and they will be in classes for honors freshmen only that are about 20 students each, living in the same area of the same dorm, doing activities and service projects together, trips together for honors only, etc, so it isn't like they aren't going to be seeing each other frequently. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She needs to be herself. If being openly who she is scares off roommates, so be it. Better for closed-minded potential roommates to self-select themselves out of the running in advance than to live with someone who is going to be suspicious or hostile.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, JanetC said:

She needs to be herself. If being openly who she is scares off roommates, so be it. Better for closed-minded potential roommates to self-select themselves out of the running in advance than to live with someone who is going to be suspicious or hostile.

Absolutely agreed, which is why she is very open on instagram.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, KarenNC said:

 

Thanks, it's good to know this isn't totally unusual. We've never heard anyone mention having this happen prior to school starting and hadn't noticed anything in the info from the school about the option, so it seemed to be coming out of left field, especially to happen twice so quickly. I had a random pairing twice when I was in school, once for freshman year and once because my roommate was doing study abroad for a semester, and it was just one and done both times. They were not good fits either time, so maybe these changes are working to her advantage. Fingers crossed! ? 

She's going to orientation soon, so we'll see if she makes any connections there. It does remind her that if the situation is reversed and she wants to change for a positive or innocuous reason like that, it would be helpful for future relationships with her classmates to communicate--give some sort of explanation or at least a mention to the other person. When one gets messages constantly from large parts of society that one's basic identity is unacceptable, it's hard to put a positive spin on the unknown in this sort of situation.

Did they not have students fill out surveys? It sounds like the school decided completely random assignments were the way to go. I agree that the other students should have communicated with her.  It is a hard, vulnerable position to be in and it can feel like rejection. I would encourage her to not take it personally.  They were not kind people.

Fwiw, if you want to share with your Dd, based on your OP, I know my Dd would have requested a roommate change.  Why? Bc she is an extreme introvert who needs a sanctuary space to regroup and recharge at the end of the day. She would have seen your dd's profile and have known that to make the roommate situation work would have required energy she just wouldn't have to give. She has very different beliefs than your Dd, and they are equally very core to who she is and what she is actively involved in. She is a very devout Catholic who goes to daily Mass and adoration multiple times per week. She is active in the prolife community. She was opposed to the Woman's March bc of their attitude toward prolife women. 

We ended up paying for our Dd to have a private room bc we were concerned that roommate issues would mean she couldn't relax and would end up in a serious health flare. The issues could have been anything: drinking (she doesn't), partying (she doesn't), guys in the room (she is a very private person and this would have been a huge stressor), different sleep schedules, different study habits, etc.  She needed some place on campus to be her retreat from all things bc that is who she is. If we couldn't have afforded the private room, finding a roommate with similar beliefs, schedules, music habits, etc would have been a priority bc it is what she would need to mentally survive on campus. 

Fwiw, before she decided on the private room and went through the process of trying to find a roommate, she contacted several girls and several contacted her and they all mutually agreed that they didn't want to room together.  It wasn't a reflection on Dd or those girls any more than those girls not wanting to room with your Dd is a reflection on her.  It is simply the nature of wanting to find someone with whom you at least some common ground and there were strong personal differences. When the differences are significant, that is not the way to live in a very small space when you have no where else to go.  She meet 3 girls at the beginning of last yr with whom she will be rooming with this yr.  

it all works out. Better now before they are trying to juggle their freshman classes and being unhappy. I am sure there will be other girls at orientation who might still be looking for roommates. I hope she meets someone  who will be enthusiastic about rooming with her.

 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roommates are hard. We didn’t have any sort of survey. Our honors program was heavily science/engineering based as well as more common majors like English, education, etc. My other half started out in engineering and got another science type as a freshman roommate. I was a medieval studies major, and they stuck me with a fine arts major. I think both of us had unusual majors so they figured we’d be okay together. We had zero in common, no classes, no lifestyle. It was frustrating, and I moved in with a friend after a semester (although I ultimately found that I’m such a super introvert that a single was best for me). All that to say that I am sorry your daughter is having trouble. I hope she can find a good fit (and I think contacting clubs for her interests is a fantastic plan) and not stress about this!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Did they not have students fill out surveys? It sounds like the school decided completely random assignments were the way to go. I agree that the other students should have communicated with her.  It is a hard, vulnerable position to be in and it can feel like rejection. I would encourage her to not take it personally.  They were not kind people.

Fwiw, if you want to share with your Dd, based on your OP, I know my Dd would have requested a roommate change.  Why? Bc she is an extreme introvert who needs a sanctuary space to regroup and recharge at the end of the day. She would have seen your dd's profile and have known that to make the roommate situation work would have required energy she just wouldn't have to give. She has very different beliefs than your Dd, and they are equally very core to who she is and what she is actively involved in. She is a very devout Catholic who goes to daily Mass and adoration multiple times per week. She is active in the prolife community. She was opposed to the Woman's March bc of their attitude toward prolife women. 

We ended up paying for our Dd to have a private room bc we were concerned that roommate issues would mean she couldn't relax and would end up in a serious health flare. The issues could have been anything: drinking (she doesn't), partying (she doesn't), guys in the room (she is a very private person and this would have been a huge stressor), different sleep schedules, different study habits, etc.  She needed some place on campus to be her retreat from all things bc that is who she is. If we couldn't have afforded the private room, finding a roommate with similar beliefs, schedules, music habits, etc would have been a priority bc it is what she would need to mentally survive on campus. 

Fwiw, before she decided on the private room and went through the process of trying to find a roommate, she contacted several girls and several contacted her and they all mutually agreed that they didn't want to room together.  It wasn't a reflection on Dd or those girls any more than those girls not wanting to room with your Dd is a reflection on her.  It is simply the nature of wanting to find someone with whom you at least some common ground and there were strong personal differences. When the differences are significant, that is not the way to live in a very small space when you have no where else to go.  She meet 3 girls at the beginning of last yr with whom she will be rooming with this yr.  

it all works out. Better now before they are trying to juggle their freshman classes and being unhappy. I am sure there will be other girls at orientation who might still be looking for roommates. I hope she meets someone  who will be enthusiastic about rooming with her.

 

They did a very basic survey---do you snore, are you a heavy sleeper, neat or not, morning/night person, etc--so not totally random. I agree that the key difference I see here is the mutuality of the decision. Nothing wrong with wanting to room with someone one knows or with whom one has things in common. It's the sudden "everything's great" to a "you have a new roommate" a week later to a few days later getting a call from housing wanting you to know that even though two people have requested to switch they want you to know you have a support system, no warning from the roommate, but no one will say anything about the reason for the switch that is the issue. 

She'd love to have a single, but it's not an option for freshman in the honors dorm and she can't switch living communities because her scholarship is tied to the honors program, as well as a lot of their programming being held in that honors dorm. She is a sophomore by credits (freshman for admissions purposes) due to dual enrollment credits, so there's a slim possibility they could say she could move into the honors section of the apartments where she'd have a single bedroom and share the apartment with 1-7 other girls, but it's unlikely. I'm also not interested in paying $1500 a year more due to a situation she did not create (since she's not the one rejecting roommates), so I would be asking for a grant or fee waiver to cover the difference if it was suggested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, KarenNC said:

They did a very basic survey---do you snore, are you a heavy sleeper, neat or not, morning/night person, etc--so not totally random. I agree that the key difference I see here is the mutuality of the decision. Nothing wrong with wanting to room with someone one knows or with whom one has things in common. It's the sudden "everything's great" to a "you have a new roommate" a week later to a few days later getting a call from housing wanting you to know that even though two people have requested to switch they want you to know you have a support system, no warning from the roommate, but no one will say anything about the reason for the switch that is the issue. 

She'd love to have a single, but it's not an option for freshman in the honors dorm and she can't switch living communities because her scholarship is tied to the honors program, as well as a lot of their programming being held in that honors dorm. She is a sophomore by credits (freshman for admissions purposes) due to dual enrollment credits, so there's a slim possibility they could say she could move into the honors section of the apartments where she'd have a single bedroom and share the apartment with 1-7 other girls, but it's unlikely. I'm also not interested in paying $1500 a year more due to a situation she did not create (since she's not the one rejecting roommates), so I would be asking for a grant or fee waiver to cover the difference if it was suggested.

I would contact housing and ask what happens if a student does not end up with a roommate even if they requested one. They might not charge extra since she is not requesting a private.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I saw you mentioned somewhere that the roommates that switched her both athletes, though I can't find that now, so may be wrong. If they are athletes though, the switch may have more to do about being with other athletes and having compatible schedules with practice and such. Team bonds can be really strong.

The other possibility is that the kids struck up a bond on social media with another student, perhaps on a Facebook or similar page for incoming students to the school, and felt closer to this other person.

Though ideally the potential roommates would say something to your daughter, I wouldn't be too hard on them about that. It can be really difficult for young people at that age to know how to approach a relative stranger with that sort of news. Hopefully they get better at it with time. Heck, adults struggle with RSVPing for life, it seems. ?

I do think that when it comes to sharing personal space, some people shy away from those who are very vocal politically (on either side of the spectrum) in the same way that they may shy away from people who are very vocal in sharing about their religion. They may like the people just fine, but consider politics/religion very personal or of little interest, and might not want the potential for uncomfortable conversations in the room.

Of course it is likely that your daughter does not approach social justice in that way at all. But her social media might give a different perception and lead to worry in an anxious young person about to leave home for the first time. I don't think she should stress about this though, or change anything, because who knows what is really going on. She should continue to be herself. She will find her crowd soon enough ?

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having talked to people in charge of housing at several universities, I would say that a couple of changes, while not typical, is not unusual.  Several things start happening:  students decide to not enroll at the university after all, students decide to decline an honors college invitation, student get accepted into an honors college or other specific dorm from a waitlist, two students meet at orientation and decide they would like to room together, a student gets a medical disability approval for a single room, a student needs a handicapped accessible room,...  Even some decisions by upperclassmen can have an impact:  a student becomes an RA and needs a private room, a student decides not to study abroad and needs campus housing, a student gets an internship and will not be on campus; sometimes these upperclassman changes will change the distribution of single/double/triple rooms available.  Each one of these changes sets off a domino effect in housing.  

My DD was an RA in a freshman dorm the past two years--her roster of students and roommate assignments would change a number of times over the summer. I found it surprising how she would sometimes have students on her list that never showed up to start the school year.

I am sorry that your daughter has experienced this.

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/14/2018 at 11:18 AM, KarenNC said:

 

She's wondering if this is something that happens often to all students or if students of color (which she is not), Muslim, LGBTQ+, or part of other minority groups have it happen more frequently. It's come as a surprise to us since most of her friends are straight and Christian, and some much more socially conservative. I told her it could also be a reflection of the extreme growth in our society of people wanting and being able to stay only within their own "bubbles," whether that like-mindedness is based on ethnicity, politics, religion, socio-economic class, or whatever, and could even be coming from pressure by their parents more than themselves, so to try to give them as much benefit of the doubt and room to potentially grow as possible.

 

 

Yes, this does happen to students of color.  The NY Times reported just last year about an African American student who was terrorized by her white roommate.   (The girl was expelled and is facing criminal charges.)  

IME, your dd dodged a couple of bullets, and will be better off with a roommate who accepts her for who she is.  

Or maybe it's one of the other reasons the PPs mentioned (athletes, housing shuffles, etc.).  In any case, encourage your dd to not take it personally.  (I would love for my dd to have her as a roommate.)

Looks like she got probation and the charges won't go on her record.  Too bad.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jdahlquist said:

Having talked to people in charge of housing at several universities, I would say that a couple of changes, while not typical, is not unusual.  Several things start happening:  students decide to not enroll at the university after all, students decide to decline an honors college invitation, student get accepted into an honors college or other specific dorm from a waitlist, two students meet at orientation and decide they would like to room together, a student gets a medical disability approval for a single room, a student needs a handicapped accessible room,...  Even some decisions by upperclassmen can have an impact:  a student becomes an RA and needs a private room, a student decides not to study abroad and needs campus housing, a student gets an internship and will not be on campus; sometimes these upperclassman changes will change the distribution of single/double/triple rooms available.  Each one of these changes sets off a domino effect in housing.  

My DD was an RA in a freshman dorm the past two years--her roster of students and roommate assignments would change a number of times over the summer. I found it surprising how she would sometimes have students on her list that never showed up to start the school year.

I am sorry that your daughter has experienced this.

 

 

Thanks a lot for the perspective. If the school had just put up some sort of disclaimer at the beginning, along the lines of " here's your roommate, but be aware that the assignment may change over the course of the summer as campus housing needs change," it would have been helpful. Since she is hoping to be an RA, it's also good to hear a bit about your daughter's experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, daijobu said:

 

Yes, this does happen to students of color.  The NY Times reported just last year about an African American student who was terrorized by her white roommate.   (The girl was expelled and is facing criminal charges.)  

IME, your dd dodged a couple of bullets, and will be better off with a roommate who accepts her for who she is.  

Or maybe it's one of the other reasons the PPs mentioned (athletes, housing shuffles, etc.).  In any case, encourage your dd to not take it personally.  (I would love for my dd to have her as a roommate.)

Looks like she got probation and the charges won't go on her record.  Too bad.

 

Thanks, I had read that but forgotten about it. She and I both agree that it is likely for the best, if annoying, because she's not aggressive about it, but is going to be who she is. Some of these issues have been a big part of her college search, looking for a place that isn't so homogeneous that it would be hard to find a place socially. I steered her away from several schools that, while great fits academically and who would have likely given her great financial aid, showed a lot of evidence of only grudgingly tolerating students who were non-Christian or LGBTQ+. I told her she needed to look for a place where she was accepted and valued, not just tolerated, because it's no way to spend four years, feeling you have to fly under the radar to fit in. It's been the yardstick we've used for homeschool groups all along--if the group is only willing to tolerate you as long as you don't actually do anything to make them remember you are different in some way, it's not the group for you. We were very fortunate to have found a great inclusive group for support throughout our homeschooling years.

The question of whether this happens more to students with more visible differences had occurred to her in part because she's going from two years in dual enrollment on a campus which is 77% minority to a university campus which is just about the opposite, so is wondering about various ways that will likely shape her experiences.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I think I saw you mentioned somewhere that the roommates that switched her both athletes, though I can't find that now, so may be wrong. If they are athletes though, the switch may have more to do about being with other athletes and having compatible schedules with practice and such. Team bonds can be really strong.

The other possibility is that the kids struck up a bond on social media with another student, perhaps on a Facebook or similar page for incoming students to the school, and felt closer to this other person.

Though ideally the potential roommates would say something to your daughter, I wouldn't be too hard on them about that. It can be really difficult for young people at that age to know how to approach a relative stranger with that sort of news. Hopefully they get better at it with time. Heck, adults struggle with RSVPing for life, it seems. ?

I do think that when it comes to sharing personal space, some people shy away from those who are very vocal politically (on either side of the spectrum) in the same way that they may shy away from people who are very vocal in sharing about their religion. They may like the people just fine, but consider politics/religion very personal or of little interest, and might not want the potential for uncomfortable conversations in the room.

Of course it is likely that your daughter does not approach social justice in that way at all. But her social media might give a different perception and lead to worry in an anxious young person about to leave home for the first time. I don't think she should stress about this though, or change anything, because who knows what is really going on. She should continue to be herself. She will find her crowd soon enough ?

 

 I'm actually primarily irritated at the way the school is handling this rather than the kids involved. There has to be a way to approach it that doesn't set up the likelihood of creating unnecessary awkwardness and issues between the students. 

Don't worry, she's not changing anything, and is mostly annoyed that she can't pin down whether her roommate will already have a fridge. ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I would contact housing and ask what happens if a student does not end up with a roommate even if they requested one. They might not charge extra since she is not requesting a private.

 

She's going to try to talk to someone while at orientation this week to find out possible outcomes. Based on reading the housing contract, I think the most likely outcome if she doesn't get a roommate that sticks before move-in is that they will keep her in her current room at the current rate, but she has to leave the other side of the room empty and ready for a student to be placed there if it's needed. Not an ideal limbo, but actually may be good experience for potentially being an RA, since, while some RAs there have single rooms, some are in double rooms and may be assigned temporary roommates at any point in the semester.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, shawthorne44 said:

I can see why it would be disheartening.   But, I think allowing shuffling around of roommates beforehand is a good thing.   The idea seems insane that you might be such a bad fit with a roommate that you just avoid spending time in your homebase, and an expensive homebase.  

 

I agree, particularly because in my experience, students end up moving in with their boyfriend/girlfriend to avoid the bad roommate situation.  (And I'm not against that as a well-thought out decision in general, but when it is because of a bad roommate, I think it is often premature and ends badly.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Joules said:

I agree, particularly because in my experience, students end up moving in with their boyfriend/girlfriend to avoid the bad roommate situation.  (And I'm not against that as a well-thought out decision in general, but when it is because of a bad roommate, I think it is often premature and ends badly.)

 

True, and I agree that moving in with a significant other should only be done as a positive thing, not to avoid a negative situation, however that's typically a situation that arises after the two have been roommates for some period of time, not preemptively, so a different scenario altogether. My issue with this switching beforehand continues to be the way in which it is at least appearing it's able to be done. Again, let me preface that I'm acknowledging that we don't know the specific reason these girls opted out (which they appear to have done based on the wording of the call from housing), so I'm speaking of the practice in general. There are three scenarios I'm seeing for switching before the students have met or lived together at all:

A) The school shuffled due to unknown administrative issues, one drops out, etc. Okay, irritating because kids start getting invested in a roommate relationship and start planning, possibly buying, based on the original assignment. If this is a regular occurrence perhaps the school should wait to announce assignments until things are likely to be more stable. There should be no harm in telling the students the situation is related to this, even if they can't go into specifics.

B) After listing as random, one of the roommates finds someone they actively want to room with, say a team mate or someone they met at orientation. Again, potentially irritating because of the change in plans, but understandable. This is a change "to" something positive, and, again, there should be no problem in the administration mentioning that this is the general situation.

C) One of the roommates says, "I don't want to live with this person because I found out/think they are [insert label] and [insert label] people are [insert negative characteristic(s)]." The label could be anything-- "gay," "non-Christian," "theatre person," "liberal," "Catholic," "black," "conservative," "Muslim," "athlete," "science major," "homeschooler," "Jewish," "fat," "Southerner," "from a  small town," "from a big city," "working class," "ugly," "poor," "rich," whatever. This is without having met the person, without exchanging more than a few "hello" texts or seeing a few photos, so it's highly likely to be based on stereotypes and assumptions. This is the one I have trouble with, and the one that the lack of communication suggests. To my mind, college is about challenging those stereotypes and assumptions, one of the places where you should actually expect to encounter and learn to live with people who may be different than you, at least if you haven't picked an extremely homogeneous school precisely to avoid that.

So, for switches among students who are (relatively) randomly assigned by the school before the semester starts, I would expect b and possibly a to occur and both students be told the general reason, but as an administration would put very tight restrictions on students being able to do c. In this case, maybe the school does have those restrictions and I just don't know about it. The school does have a policy allowing an open room switch after two weeks of residency if things aren't working out once you have actually met the person and your concerns are based on actual behaviors and facts rather than assumptions. I do say this even as someone who had poor fits (though not absolutely horrible or unsafe ones) both times I had a random roommate assigned. In one case, we made it through the year, in the other we switched for spring semester to people we'd rather room with. I also say it as someone who has had a history of inaccurate negative assumptions applied to me because of stereotypes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, KarenNC said:

 I'm actually primarily irritated at the way the school is handling this rather than the kids involved. There has to be a way to approach it that doesn't set up the likelihood of creating unnecessary awkwardness and issues between the students. 

Don't worry, she's not changing anything, and is mostly annoyed that she can't pin down whether her roommate will already have a fridge. ?

Gotta love a planner! :-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...