Carolyn, Female, Freshman, 18 Years Old, Lives on Campus

Length of interview

24:59

Living Situation

Carolyn lives in a suite style dorm. She has one roommate that she shares a bedroom/living space with and the bathroom is used by a total of six girls. The six girls that share a bathroom are considered suitemates. A lot of drama has risen amongst the six girls in regards to the bathroom. There is one sink, one toilet, and one shower. This year is the first year that Western has elected to not have janitorial staff clean the suite style bathrooms or stock them with toilet paper and other bathroom necessities. What this has done is made it hard for six freshman girls to put together a structure for cleaning the bathroom as well as understand bathroom etiquette. Etiquette in a girl’s bathroom according to Carolyn includes cleaning your hair out of the drain after you shower, and other basic cleaning up after yourself type of things.

Roommate Relationships

The two roommates did not know each other before coming to college and connected on a Western roommates page online where new to Western students can find people they might like to live with. Carolyn’s initial description of her roommate was “I like her and I don’t like her.” They have “weird conflicts” as she put it that are related to them not necessarily knowing each other for that long. Weird conflicts for Carolyn include, being loud at unnecessary times, and not understanding personal property in an appropriate manner. For example, Carolyn’s roommate is very fond of the clothes Carolyn has and started asking if she could borrow some of them. After a few times of hearing yes, the roommate borrowing the clothes thought it was okay to continue to do so without asking because she had not heard no. However, this began to bother Carolyn because she began wearing some of her favorite things and sometimes wears multiple articles of clothing and shoes in one outfit. Carolyn has sisters and understands sharing and borrowing things. But she did lay down some rules on new pieces of clothing and certain pieces of clothing that she loves that can’t be shared even though she is not big on confrontation.

Roommate Interactivity

Aside from sharing a room and talking in the dorm room I was curious what types of things the two did together. She said per week they do things about five or six times and she is perfectly content with that amount. Those things include going to Fred Meyer to grab miscellaneous things, going to the dining hall on campus together, going to hang out with friends, watching American Horror Story, walking to class together. They have different friend groups but Carolyn’s roommate has made lots of friends through Carolyn. Sometimes when Carolyn goes to meet up with her friends she reluctantly invites her roommate because she feels bad. A lot of times she doesn’t come and Carolyn is definitely okay with it. She said that when her roommate does not come with, her friend group does not act differently personality wise but her boyfriend and other friends are vocal in that they are glad when she does not come.

I also asked about alone time. Carolyn definitely feels like she gets enough alone time when her roommate is at work or in class or just not around. But I extended that question to ask how she felt when she came back to the dorm and had been gone for a long time and her roommate wasn’t there. She said she can do things that she wants without having to respect her roommate’s space like listen to music as loud as she wants or listen to Netflix without headphones plugged in.

Being Close and Trust

I asked Carolyn if she was close with her roommate and if she trusted her roommate, and what being close and trust meant to her.

What close means to Carolyn is that she will miss someone if she doesn’t see them for a few days, she loves spending any time with them she can, and she enjoys the time spent with them when she does spend time with them. She would not consider her and her roommate close, but compatible. Compatible meaning she can live with this girl, but if she left for a week it would not be the end of the world.

What trust means to her is she can leave her door open and know none of her suitemates will go in and take or vandalize her stuff. In terms of emotional trust she says she would trust her roommate’s word and knows her roommate would keep a promise if she said she would do something or clean something or meet her somewhere. She also occasionally has moments where she trusts her roommate enough to vent about what’s going on in her life with her boyfriend or family and knows her roommate won’t go around telling people.

Last Words

“Hopefully it gets less weird. It could have been worse.”

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