Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Freshmen deal with roommate problems

For freshmen, the first year of college has begun, and students are starting to learn the dynamics of college life. College freshmen only have one experience as first-year students. From roommates to joining clubs, it can be difficult to make the adjustment from high school to college.

“It’s almost like they’re in kindergarten,” Nora Montanaro, lecturer of journalism and communication, said about the freshmen at Plattsburgh State. “It’s such a privilege to be part of their lives during such a special time,” she said.

While the freshman fifteen may be slowly hovering over some freshmen, others are simply forgetting to eat well-balanced meals. According to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, which has done extensive research with nutrition programs, 59 percent of college students at universities in Oregon were considered to have poor diets. Most students were not fulfilling the three necessary meals for a well-balanced diet.

“Not at all,” Alejo Pijuan said when asked about how healthy he ate for the first two weeks. “I’ve been eating pizza and burgers, but now I’m trying to eat rice, pasta and more vegetables.” While Pijuan said how unhealthy his diet was, his roommate, Tim Verstandig, had another eating habit.

“If I had an option to do fewer meals, I would. I go to the dining hall maybe once a day, and then mid-afternoon, because I’m just not hungry,” Verstandig said.

Verstandig chose to live in a suite in Hood Hall over freshmen housing and said that he preferred the suite. “It’s a little less crammed and a lot quieter than freshmen housing.”

This can certainly cause tension between roommates when they have to learn to share a space. Even though they might not be used to it, it’s still important to be courteous and respect one another’s space.

“I think anytime you have people coming from different communities, and different environments with different experiences, there is some time to figure out what’s going on or what their expectation is,” Hood Hall Residence Director Maddie Hope said.
“Students sometimes have difficulty compromising. Somebody might have an expectation that they don’t communicate with someone else. And people deal with conflict, which people may have not experienced before, which can be scary,” she said.

“We have the roommate agreement at every first floor meeting, which I think helps a lot,” Hope said. Questions range from: ‘What are your standards of cleanliness?’ ‘What can I borrow?’ ‘What can I not borrow?’ ‘What are the expectations when coming home from a party?’

“I don’t keep him up studying,” Verstandig said. “He doesn’t wake me up when he comes in late. Sometimes, we wake each other up for class.”

Based on an article from The Huffington Post, roommates should discuss these specific questions, as food, cleanliness and social life are all major parts of living in a dorm.

“There are a lot of things on there that people don’t think to ask,” Hope said.

Hope said there is importance in going to the Involvement Fair, to be held in the Angell College Center.

“There’s a lot of research that says that students who are involved within the first six weeks of school are more likely to stay than those who don’t get involved,” Hope said.

The Involvement Fair will take place next week, when students will be able to check out the clubs and programs to join at PSUC. Freshmen looking for new clubs and programs to join should also check out the various posters all over campus. There’s plenty to look at such as sponsored events, traveling abroad, joining clubs and buying tickets to events.

Hope also stressed the importance of getting connected to something such as a job, Greek life, or hall council. She said if students aren’t sure where to start, the Student Involvement Center is also a good start.

“I guess I just want to remind students that there are people out there to help them like RA’s, RD’s or even a professor,” Hope said.

If a roommate is going through any troubles with dorms, school, or just life, make sure to reach out to a support system at school. Freshman year will go by fast. Enjoy it.

Email Kavita at kavita.singh@cardinalpointsonline.com

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