To High School Seniors, As You Look for College Roommates

To High School Seniors, As You Look for College Roommates

It's hard to find roommates, and it's even harder to find ones you're compatible with, but having random roommates might be a blessing in disguise.

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Going away to college can be a daunting event. You're moving away from home, making new friends, taking harder classes, exploring a new city, and living with people you're not related to. Finding roommates is hard, and finding roommates you're compatible with is harder, but unfortunately we can't take our families with us to school. So instead, we try to find other students to live with through school-provided sources or social media. And despite the horror stories about awful roommates that your relatives or teachers might tell you, or you might see on TV shows, it's unlikely you'll get stuck with roommates like that. In fact, sometimes getting a random roommate (or roommates) is the best thing that can possibly happen to you.

A year ago, I was completing my last year of high school. I had a severe case of senioritis like most seniors do, and could not wait for the day my next level of education began. However, at the same time I never wanted the day I had to move away to come. Leaving behind my friends and family and the only town I'd ever lived in was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I had a saving grace, though. One of my best friends throughout all four years of high school was attending the same university as me, and we were going to be roommates along with another girl from a nearby city.

Over the summer the three of us met up to get to know each other and bonded within a short amount of time. We knew we'd make good roommates when the time came in the near future. We talked about what building we wanted to live in and who was going to bring what and so on, so that when the time came to apply for student housing we'd be prepared. It had occurred to us over the summer that we might not get into the building we wanted, but we never considered we wouldn't get placed together as roommates. So when the university sent out our roommate assignments, I think it's fair to say we were all shocked to find out we hadn't been placed together. Instead, my best friend and the new girl we'd met were assigned together while I was assigned with three strangers.

To make a long story short, there were a lot of back and forth emails between myself and the head of housing at my future university, some switching of roommates, and even some possibilities of being moved to a different building on the other side of campus before a change was finally made ― and it wasn't what we were hoping for. I had been removed from the room with three freshmen I'd never met before (so they could have the fourth roommate they wanted) and placed in a different room with three other strangers. The catch, this time, was that these strangers were not freshmen but instead sophomores.

Before I knew it move-in day was upon me and the housing situation had never been resolved. My family helped me move all my stuff, I met my RA for the first time, and tears were shed as I said goodbye to my parents and brother. Then, I found myself alone in my dorm room ― because sophomores moved in a few days after freshmen did.

When the day did come for my new roommates to move in, I was overwhelmed by how kind, considerate, passionate, funny, and amazing they were. Of course, I didn't realize this all within the first day of meeting them, but it didn't take me long to learn that being placed with three sophomores I'd never met before was the best thing that could have possibly happened to me my freshman year.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I would have loved to room with the friends I had originally planned on rooming with, but being placed with three strangers was a blessing in disguise. As sophomores, they had a whole year of college experience that I didn't. They knew where things were and how to do things, they gave really good advice even if they didn't realize it when they were giving it. And regardless that the three of them had lived together for a whole year before meeting me, they accepted me and included me and I never once felt left out.

Thinking about it and writing about it now, it's crazy to think that was just nine months ago because it feels like a lifetime. And it's this perspective that I'm hoping high school seniors will take away from this. If you don't have any friends going to the same school as you or you get assigned random roommates, don't look at it in a purely negative light. Yes, starting college can be a scary time, especially when you don't have anyone you know by your side, but you might get lucky and meet some of the greatest people your college has to offer.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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