This is my second semester of my first year here at Winona State University. I spent my first semester living with a roommate in Prentiss-Lucas. My roommate and I connected through the Winona portal and talked throughout our senior years of high school, working on getting to know each other. Now, not every roommate experience is like the ones we see in college-related movies, but my experience was. We would stay up late most nights working on homework and binge-watch the show Friends together. We even decorated our room based off the season. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Throughout the semester, we looked out for each other in sticky situations. It was nice knowing I had a roommate who cared about my well-being.
I personally believe that for every college freshman—I don’t care what lifestyle you were raised in or what your personality is—college is (and should be) all about stepping outside of your comfort zone. For gosh sakes, room with someone you don’t know. No matter how cliche this sounds, living with someone you barely know teaches you skills you wouldn’t learn in a classroom. You also learn more about yourself as the semester or year goes on. Throughout the semester, my roommate and I participated in different activities and agreed upon a room change.
My advice is, if you room with someone and butt heads, move out, but leave on a good note. There is nothing worse than creating unnecessary bad blood in a place you’re going to be attending for the next four years or so. My roommate and I still talk and catch up, comment on social media posts, and whatnot. I do not regret living with her; she changed me for the better, even if we didn’t agree on certain things. That’s just life.
For my second semester, I chose to room alone in Lourdes on West Campus (if anyone is reading this that attends Winona State, they know what I’m talking about). So far, the only bothersome changes is having no sink in my room and having to take a shuttle to attend classes on Main. Other than that, I am loving the experience. I like to say I am outgoing and enjoy being sociable, so if you have a personality like mine, you are able to live alone. I have gotten to know most of the girls in my little hallway, and they all seem awesome. That is mainly what I wanted from living on campus. I wanted to be close with all the girls that live next to my room or a little ways down the hall from me.
I have noticed I study more while living alone since I don’t have that roommate distraction (which is good since this semester I am taking 17 credits). I love that when I need a break from the world and socializing, I can go back to my dorm and just have “me” time. I can come back at whatever time I prefer and don’t have to worry about waking up somebody.
Living alone is an easy answer if you don’t want to participate in the roommate life, but I honestly am so appreciative that I am able to live both experiences. Living with someone who was a stranger but transformed into basically another best friend was amazing. However, living alone is also allowing me to learn more about myself and I am grateful so far for all those lessons.