Roommates reflect on what binds them together

By Bailey Baker

Some people come to college dreading having to share a room with another person, others are excited by the hope of finding a life-long friendship. Several students came to Bluffton this year unaware of anything about their roommate other than their first and last name. Whether rooming with someone you know very little about or rooming with someone you’ve known for years, it can be both stressful and enjoyable having a roommate.

“I think that it is important to be open to having a roommate,” said Kevin Williams, director of Residence Life. “It’s all about trying to learn through experiences, and the opportunity to learn to live with other people. You learn what makes you upset, and you learn how to address those things to that person.”

Freshmen Eric Bender and Patrick Spillman are roommates and teammates. They say a shared sense of humor helps make their roommate experience enjoyable. Photo by Bailey Baker

Williams said that the process of pairing two students as roommates is done by the housing questionnaire, which matches as many common interests and personality traits as possible.

“We didn’t actually meet until the first day on campus,” said Patrick Spillman, a freshman who lives on campus. “We texted a lot and had each other on social media. We discussed who was bringing what before we got ready to move on campus because we didn’t need two of everything.”

Spillman and his roommate, Eric Bender, are both a part of the men’s soccer team and enjoy being teammates and roommates.

“One thing that we have in common is that we both talk about how ripped we both are, but we both know that we really aren’t ripped at all,” said Bender. “We joke around a lot, and we can do that because we have a good understanding of each other. We have a great friendship. I am so good at FIFA that Patrick can’t hang and I ALWAYS beat him.”

Williams said it’s important to choose roommates carefully.

“It is important to room with someone who allows you to grow as an individual, while also is willing to grow and learn with you as a roommate,” said Williams.

Many upperclassmen will choose someone whom they know they click well with to be their roommate. Whether it be their major, the sports team they play on, the clubs or organizations they are a part of or small characteristics that make an individual, roommates often share qualities that bring them closer together and allow their friendship to be greater.

“We have a lot in common, but the one thing that we both focus on is that we both have love for God and that bond has been what helped to make our relationship better and our friendship closer,” said Elaina Alpeter, a senior at Bluffton.

Alpeter and her roommate, D’Nae Reese, enjoy rooming together, as they both undergo their senior year together. After getting close during their sophomore year track season, Reese and Alpeter realized they had more in common than what they originally thought.

“We’re best friends, and it’s very easy to get along with each other. We laugh a lot,” said Reese. “Because we are roommates, best friends and both education majors, we work well together. We often bounce our ideas off of each other and get advice from the other.”

Reese and Alpeter both admit to being scared to room together in the fear that their friendship may be hindered; however, it has only made them closer thus far.

“Even though we are both busy, every day, we make sure to eat lunch with each other, it gives us time to hangout and chat about our days,” said Reese.

D’Nae Reese and Elaina Alpeter are more than roommates, they say. They’re best friends. Photo by Bailey Baker

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