Unit 1 Paper “A College Education Should Include Rooming With A Stranger”

This blog wrote by Anna Altman was wrote in 2014 regarding freshman in college rooming with someone they did not know. Throughout the blog Altman explores other peoples opinions and research into this subject with arguments both for and against whether freshman should room with a stranger as well as how universities try to accommodate and get around issues that may occur.

In Anna Altman’s blog post she talks about incompatible roommates. In the article Natasha Singer makes a very good point about getting stuck with an incompatible roommate, “Moving students around within dorms can be a headache, but there’s even more at stake: the risk that students will be so unhappy that they might transfer out of the college before sophomore year.” I agree with Singer and I can imagine this is the case why lots of people do drop out because of a bad roommate experience. I can speak from experience on this matter as last semester I had a bad roommate, however I did not let one person cloud my college experience and I feel my college experience was as good as anyones. Singer then goes onto discuss how colleges are trying to get around this problem by using companies such as “RoomSync” and apps to match roommates, again like I said my roommate situation previously we couldn’t have really got more compatible, both international students, both played on the same team so shared a lot of the same experiences but somehow we still did not really get along. May be this was because we shared too much time together and needed our on individual space? But either way it did not work. Now this semester I room with a none athlete and a so called ‘stranger’ and it works perfectly so this disproves the point that the more comparable the two are, doesn’t necessarily mean your roommate experience will be good. Singer also talks about commodities that universities are spending money on to attract incomers for example better mattresses and good views, I think this is important as you have to remember people are moving away from home for the first time and could be a long way from home so making it a nicer more homely place to live means it is easier to settle and makes their experience more enjoyable.

I think that Olga Khazan makes a very good statement that people can discuss one of two ways “Anxious roommates make us more anxious, but unfortunately happy roommates don’t make us happier, while depression was more easily transmitted among men than among women.” The way i would like to discuss this is why don’t happy roommates make us happier? and why if they’re anxious should it make us more anxious? I think this quote can be correct in one sense but not the other, because obviously you spend so much time with each other their mood can rub on you. However what if your roommate was anxious about a test they have tomorrow? why should that make you anxious if you don’t have that test? I think this is very situational. I personally think that if my roommate is happy it makes me happier too just speaking from experience.

Ms. Khazan goes onto say “Finally, roommates are likely to start talking alike: By the time roommates return from winter break, Ms. Khazan reports, “all of the roommate pairs were sounding a lot more like one another. The men who were better friends with their roommates exhibited even greater levels of this sort of linguistic ‘convergence.’” I definitely can relate to this personally more so probably because I’m from another country but at christmas break my parents and friends back home noticed I used different words and had a little bit of an accent. I can see how this would work with Americans too for example the way I see it would be someone from the north moving to the south and having a southern roommate and at christmas back home and saying “y’all”.
I personally think having a stranger as a roommate is important, I agree to a certain extent you have to be somewhat compatible but differences are good because we learn and experience new things we wouldn’t ordinarily which at the end of the day is exactly what college is all about.

Works cited
Altman, Anna. “A College Education Should include rooming with a stranger.” The New           York Times. The New York Times, 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2016



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