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Roommate Life

Erin describes her first term living at college and how roommates work at Carleton.

Erin describes her first term living at college and how roommates work at Carleton.


I’m an only child and an introvert, so I was really scared about the idea of rooming with another student here.

Freshman fill out surveys on preferences before coming to Carleton, answering questions like: What time do you usually go to sleep/wake up? Would you prefer to live in a predominantly freshman dorm? Do you want to be placed on a quiet/substance free floor? How messy/clean are you?

A couple weeks after you complete this, you get your assignment! Funnily enough, my roommate and I had already talked a little bit prior to being assigned because we were in a group-chat together. After getting assigned together in Nourse Hall, we started talking back and forth more, and setting some ground-rules for our space.

I know some people who didn’t talk as much to their roommates before meeting them in person and some who did—although I would recommend communicating at least a little bit before coming to Carleton, it’s not make-or-break. I’m very glad that my roommate and I started talking beforehand though, because we were able to get to know each other better before actually meeting, and we set up rules before moving in together.

This was especially helpful for me because as an introvert, it can be hard to make a connection with someone you’ve never talked to before, and you’re suddenly living with.

We haven’t had any issues together so far, which has been so nice!

Our general roommate rules are:

– Ask before inviting people over

– Don’t be unreasonably loud without warning!

– Communicate your needs

– Respect each other’s boundaries

When I asked my roommate if they had anything else to add to this list, they jokingly said, “don’t leave your Halloween pumpkin out until it rots,” and, “don’t get any more ear piercings because I’m not dealing with more infections!” I have to admit that I have been guilty of both… but in my defense, the pumpkin was so cute I just didn’t have the heart to throw it out!

My roommate and I got lucky with a big room (our dorm was originally a triple, but because of Covid, it’s only the two of us) which I think definitely factors into how we get along. We’re both introverts, so while we can spend time together, we also have our own sides to the room and can get alone time, too.

Generally, we study on opposite sides of our room, occasionally distracting each other with random conversations. Saturday is our “cookie night” (today we made Christmas cookies!), and Sunday is our “watch-a-kids’-movie night.”

stress-baking

After freshman year, you get your living space from the “Room Draw” process. The process to figure out what priority you get is random and sorted by class-year: the lower the number, the better your pick.

In Room Draw, you can choose who you want to room with. Right now, my roommate, friend, and I plan to go in together—we will room with whoever gets the lowest Room Draw number in a triple. My roommate is also contemplating being a Resident Assistant (RA), in which case they will live alone in an RA single. We’re all hoping for a move to Evans Hall next year!


Erin grew up catching salamanders, recklessly climbing trees, and running around barefoot in the Appalachian Mountains in a small town in North Carolina. This is her first year at Carleton, and she’s looking forward to meeting new people, exploring campus (especially the arb!), and experiencing her first Minnesota winter. She is currently interested in studying psychology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studiesMeet the other bloggers!