"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
October 3, 2012
Love Me, Love My Roommates - by Michela Hunter
by College Voices
Michela Hunter
Freshman, Brigham Young University

I looked at my phone screen. 8:32. “He’s two whole minutes late,” I said. “How rude.”

Across the room, Sarah nodded but didn’t look up from her computer screen. I looked back down at the book I was reading for my personal finance class. From down the hall I could hear One Direction playing softly in Kylie and Tiffanie’s room. We were all working hard, trying to adjust to the workload of college classes, but Sarah, Kaitlynn, and I were tense as we listened for the telltale knock at the door.

Finally it came. “He’s here!” Sarah, Kaitlynn, and I yelled, jumping to our feet. We ran into the hallway, past Lauren, who was snickering as she watched us sprint to the front door.

Sarah opened it; Kaitlynn and I stood behind her with our arms folded across our chests, both of us wearing scowls and trying our best not to giggle.

A young man stood in the doorway. He smiled when he saw us. “Hi,” he said. “I’m here for Lauren.”

“Oh, we know,” said Sarah. “She’ll be out shortly.” She opened the door to let him in and pointed into the living room. “Sit on the couch.”

“On the...?”

“Sit on the couch!”

We shepherded him into the living room. I followed Sarah and Kaitlynn, knowing full well that what we were about to do was probably going to destroy any chance of any of us ever getting asked out on a date again.

“We have some questions we need to ask you,” said Sarah sternly as we ushered him in and gestured for him to sit on the couch.

He laughed. “Oh, by all means, please do,” he said, smiling pleasantly at the three of us as we sat down on the love seat across from him.

“Now,” said Sarah, consulting the list of interview questions she’d written in her notebook, “what is your name?”


“And why are are you late, Jaden?”

He looked surprised. “Late?”

“Yes! It’s 8:35. You said you were going to pick her up at 8:30. Why are you late?”

“Oh! We were cleaning up the apartment,” said Jaden. “For the date.” 

“Hmmmmmm.” Sarah looked down at her notebook again. “What will you be doing tonight?”

“Well, we’ll be going to my apartment and making cookies, then to the bell tower for a little bit.”

“Are you aware that the bell tower is closed?”

He looked taken aback at this. “Really?”

“Yes, it is. Why do you not know this?”

Sarah was quickly getting into stride. She was pretty good at this, I had to admit. Kaitlynn and I mostly just laughed as she interrogated Jaden, asking him where he was from, whether he had any kids, and if he called his parents on a regular basis. 

Then, our favorite of the bunch: “Does your family have any religious beliefs?”

He laughed at that one before replying without hesitation, “I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!”

Well, we had to give him extra credit for that.

He was relaxed and pleasant throughout most of the interview, which was probably a good thing considering the way we’d attacked him when he’d come through the door. Back in the hallway, I could hear Lauren laughing at some of the questions we were asking. Thankfully Sarah skipped several of them, so it didn’t take long before the interview was over.

“All right,” said Sarah, “it looks like you’re okay. Lauren! He’s clean!” Lauren emerged from the hallway, trying desperately to keep a straight face. Sarah, Kaitlynn, and I stood; Jaden stood as well, smiling (though I couldn’t tell if it was from relief or amusement). We each shook hands with him, with Sarah interjecting a stern “be back at nine,” and watched as he and Lauren left.

I suppose you could say that college so far has been a whole lot of getting used to — getting used to being away from my parents; getting used to buying and cooking my own food; getting used to managing my own affairs; getting used to the overall atmosphere here that urges us incessantly to “date, date, date like the wind”;  but above all, I’ve been getting used to swapping out my three biological sisters for five spiritual ones.

Probably my greatest fear about coming to college was the roommates. I’d heard horror stories: “They’ll be crazy;” “They’ll keep you up late;” “They’ll borrow your clothes without asking and ruin them;” “Don’t buy anything nice, because they’ll use it and break it.” Imbibed as I was with these words of wisdom from current and former college students, I didn’t know how I’d be able to handle the whole roommate thing. 

And so there was much trepidation as I selected my living accommodations. After deciding to go in randomly, I knew that I would be living with five strangers for the next year — five strangers about whom I knew nothing. It wasn’t long before I knew the names of my soon-to-be tormentors: Sarah, Lauren, Kaitlynn, Kylie, and Tiffanie. They didn’t seem like the names of crazies, but then again, you can never tell, can you? I’d have to find a way to find out for myself what they were like.

All I can say is, thank goodness for Facebook. 

After several months of Facebook stalking (let’s be honest, everyone does it), I figured maybe I should actually friend these girls and try to get to know them. This turned out to be an excellent decision. After a summer of writing back and forth, I was already friends with most of them and recognized each one when I met her in person for the first time. And after the first three days, I knew all of my fears about living with roommates had been completely baseless.

We’re definitely not perfect — we’re still getting used to each other, still learning how to be responsible for an apartment, which results in leaving each other’s dirty plates in the sink and learning to coordinate toilet paper purchases. And boy, we can sometimes be messy and boy, we can sure get on one another’s nerves. But we love each other anyway. Which is maybe why we still haven’t had any drama.

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. We hear about drama in other apartments, shake our heads about how glad we are that that isn’t us, glad that we take stupid pictures together after church on Sundays, and bake each other ugly cakes on our birthdays. We’re glad that we have dinner together once a week and make each other laugh. 

I was happy to hear from Lauren later that Jaden thought the interview was hilarious. I was also happy that it then became a rule of ours to interview gentleman callers when they turn up on our doorstep for the first time — mostly as a joke, but partly to make sure that the girl going on the date will have a good time and be treated well. 

At this point, I’m really not sure what I was scared about at all. Far from being crazy, my roommates are now some of my closest friends. I take care of them; they take care of me. I can get used to that.

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