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More Roommates, No Worries

When I made the decision to come to Penn State, housing wasn’t really on my immediate list of worries. I was excited enough about coming to school that when I received a supplemental housing contract, I didn’t really care. I’m not saying that I didn’t freak out a little about having six random roommates instead of one, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

For non-freshmen that received a supplemental contract for next year, I feel you. In fact I am one of you. Facing supplemental housing again next year wasn’t really something I was excited about. However, I will always preach the benefits of this kind of living situation. So if you have this contract for next year, please don’t freak out just yet. Here are a few reasons why I think you should give supplemental a chance:

1. Supplemental isn’t forever: For those of you that haven’t gone through the process of switching rooms, it really isn’t hard. Your first step would be to go on to the online room exchange board and try to find someone to switch with you. I know it doesn’t sound like it would work (who would give up a regular double?), but it’s actually how I gained two of my roommates. Some people really will pick location over number of roommates, apparently. If this doesn’t work, don’t worry. In the beginning of the fall semester, housing will offer you the opportunity to move out whenever more rooms become available.

2. There is strength in numbers: The old adage holds true for number of roommates. There will instantly be more people to share experiences with and there will be no want for excitement. Plus, these people really can become your support group. There will be more people to go to dinners, football games or parties with, and more roommates to help you with homework or let you in the building when you’ve forgotten your ID card inside. As a freshman, it was awesome being able to have a small group of people who felt as awkward and new as you did, and I would like to think this would apply to next year as well. There will always be comfort in knowing more people.

3. More people, more stuff: This doesn’t exactly sound good at first, but trust me on this one. Things I didn’t buy for my dorm room my freshman year: A TV, a gaming system, DVDs, most posters, a coffee maker, etc. You get the point — you provide for the room and your roommates can provide as well. If you’re living with other like-minded people there are a lot of different things you can share — ladies, how does seven closets to pick from when you go out sound? Yeah, it’s awesome.

4. Your roommates could surprise you: I mean this in the best way possible. You may not know all of your roommates for next year, and for some this is cringe-worthy. Honestly though, keep an open mind and you could be happily surprised. You are being given the somewhat rare opportunity to live with more people and the chance you can become closer to them. You will meet a more diverse group of people and learn a lot more. Your new roommates could open your eyes to the clubs they are a part of, the classes they have taken, their majors, and anything else interesting. I may not be living with the same people next year, but I was given the chance to meet six awesome people here and have been exposed to many different things Penn State has to offer.

5. You will become a better person, at least a little bit: Living with six other girls this year has taught me how to compromise, to communicate better, to learn to make sacrifices, to solve conflicts, and to better accept other people’s differences. Living with one person can teach you a lot, but it’s put on a bigger scale with more roommates. It might not always be pretty, but in the end I can promise you that you will learn a lot about yourself that you didn’t know before.

6. It’s cheaper: I hate to be “that girl,” but let’s face it: college is expensive and living on campus is expensive, and any way to save money can be helpful. It’s not as obvious, but splitting the cost of delivery food or pizza with my roommates has also helped save some money. I know a lot of us are broke college kids, and any way to save money is awesome.

I know for most of you that have supplemental contracts for next year it was not what you were expecting. I don’t blame you. But if I’m not dreading it, you have nothing to worry about. I cannot promise you your experience will be the same as mine, but I can tell you that this year has been insane and funny, exhausting and awesome. You could actually end up really enjoying your room next year — you never know.

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