Monday, June 25, 2012

West Towers Triple Threat

View from my West Tower room
Its my turn to share my roommate experience, living in the residents halls for the past four years has allowed me to collected a large amount of roommate stories of my own, my friends, and residents. My first year in itself was probably one of the most interesting years of my life, especially when it comes to roommates.

Four years ago was when RiverView was opened for its first full year. It was the year that our Living Learning Communities found life.  I remember getting my room assignment on the myhousing site and it listing that I would be living in a triple in West Tower living on the honors floor. Now I grew up sharing a room with my younger brother up until high school but it had been 4 years since I had to share a room. I was nervous but paying for college on my own a triple was my best option so sharing a room was the best option.

I remember moving in and being so excited to finally be at UWM on my own. Except I was that kid who moved in and went on one last vacation before school started hardly even meeting my roommates.  I don't recommend it since that first year is where you learn some much about the campus, the people you live with, and what to do.

Now my roommates  were rather different than myself to say the very least. One was big into sports and came to school with a not very opened mind.  The other a very smart guy who I would say didn't make the best of life choices. Than you have me the kid who will talk to almost anyone but really does his own thing.  I was the lucky one because if you don't know what a triple looks like it is pretty much a double and single room put together and I got the single room space.

My roommates and I got a long rather well, sure we had a few arguments at first considering this was back in 2008 during a very historical time for our country and not everyone had the same view points or opinions but we learned from each other.  The first we had to figure out was to work around each others sleep schedules when some of us had earlier classes than others or one liked to sleep in more than another.

We ended up spending a large amount of time together especially at the start of the year. We would play video games and have tournaments and competitions. We would have movie marathons and get each other hooked on different shows that we owned. We even would go to the beach and play volleyball out on the courts outside of Sandburg. Something we get together now and still do 4 years later. I think what I enjoyed the most was our entire house felt like our room because our community was so close that we would go in and out of each others rooms and do things with a good amount of people from the floor that it made it easy for us to all live together.
One lesson that students quickly learn sharing a bathroom is that it is a team effort to make sure it stays clean. Not to mention, if you don't buy your share of toilet paper you will surely be the most hated person in the suite.

Having three boys living in a room however did have its downsides. The biggest thing we ran into being an issue was keeping the room clean.  We made the mistake of having the messiest roommate having his part of the room by the door. There would be times that he would have clothes blocking the door way or his garbage over flowing. Something that really became an issue during second semester when everyone just became a little to comfortable with each other.

My RA and me!
We figured that talking to him and asking him to do something about it would fix our problem. We talked to him several times and each time he would cleanup or move things around. However as the semester went on it got worse. Eventually we had to go talk to our Resident Assistant because the problem seemed to progress. Our RA sat us all down and we worked out a plan that worked for all of us and made things a lot more livable. It didn't solve all the problems but it sure made the rest of the semester a lot more enjoyable.

Overall I loved my first year here at UWM and will surly be in touch with my roommates and friends from that year for a very long time. Its great to live in a community meeting people from so many different backgrounds and places. It really helps you figure out who you are and what you like as it opens your mind to new ideas.  I didn't come to school knowing really anyone and honestly I am so thankful to have had the random roommate and be off on my own. I got to make friends with whoever I wanted to and do whatever I wanted to do and not worry about leaving someone out or leaving them behind.