Introverts in College: The Dorm Situation
Blogger: Miranda Sieg
It was my birthday on last week! Not actually that big of a deal, but everyone I know is excited for this excuse to party. Not that we’re partiers… or rather, not that I’m a partier. In fact I’m very much not a partier. I’m what you might term an introvert. That doesn’t mean I hole up in my room all the time and snap at people when they’re in my personal space and suddenly turn off of social mode and… ok that’s exactly what it means
To those of you who feed off socialization like Oxy’s squirrels feed on fear, congratulations, you have nothing to learn, skip to the next blogger. For the rest of you, I know your pain. When I was first considering the daunting matter of living with a roommate for at least the next three years of my life, I was effectively considering the timing and course of my resulting madness. By my senior year of high school I couldn’t even stand living with my family. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, I just hated having them up in my business and barging into my room unexpectedly. I couldn’t imagine what sharing a room would be like, especially with some stranger, except to think that it would end in bloody destruction and mayhem.
Since Oxy is still standing, obviously nothing bad happened. In fact, me and my first roommate hit it off great! I can tell you that when I got Oxy’s roommate-matching questionnaire, it was not nearly as thorough as I was expecting. Basically they asked when I tended to wake up, go to sleep, my policies on sharing, and my likelihood of partying in, or out, of the room. I’ve heard of other colleges that go all in-depth psychology on roommates, but honestly, most of my dorm of over 100 students was happy with their roommates even with the truncated questionnaire.
So getting back to the topic of extroverts and introverts, that question of whether or not you are likely to invite people over to your room or not is probably the most important, for me anyway. I can sleep when my roommate’s light is on and she’s listening to music, and I haven’t had any problems with personal-space and or items disappearing, although setting out those guidelines from the start is pretty important. But definitely the most important is knowing that when I come home, it is our space. I don’t even mind having people over occasionally, but I never, ever, want my room to become the party room. I never thought about it before, but this year my boyfriend’s room is the party room. It isn’t my room, so it’s fine, but every once in a while when that introvert switch turns on and I just need to get away from everyone and be quiet, with my computer or a book, I am very, very glad I have the option to go back to my room. And even if my roommate’s there, it’s still our private space. She’s a lot like me in that when we talk it’s great, but we don’t always have to talk, and our space is very much our own. In fact, I feel like I’m trespassing if I go over to her side of the room, even if she isn’t around. It’s not a claustrophobic feeling or anything, but I know that it is her space, just as she knows my half of the room is my space. It is a comforting feeling to know your area is as respected as you respect your roommate’s.
So, if you’re like me and need any amount of alone-time, don’t worry about having a roommate. Oxy does it’s level best to ensure you live in an environment that is safe and productive for you. If it doesn’t work out the first time, although usually it does, you can just apply for a room change! I actually lived in a triple in Bell-Young my junior year, due to a series of asinine events, and it worked out great even though the room was pretty small for three girls. So don’t let fears of crowding or lack of alone-time scare you off. My roommate experiences have been some of my most important memories at Oxy, and they are some of my most valuable friends. Good luck with your studies, your college choices, and your roommates!