Roommates at Western Washington University

The word roommate can mean so many different things. It could mean sharing a bedroom with your sister or sharing an apartment with people like the cast of the TV sitcom Friends. The focus of this collection is roommates and college; specifically, roommate scenarios at Western Washington University. This project will open your eyes to the world of roommates across a college campus. To broaden the spectrum of roommates away from one specific group, I have elected to showcase the roommate scenarios of two in the dorm college freshman, and two upperclassmen out of the dorms.

In order to showcase these roommate scenarios, I interviewed four students at Western. All of the interviews varied in length, but the general framework for the interviews was the same. I had three main topics I wanted to address:

1. How long the respondent (student) has been at Western.

2. The types of relationships the respondent has with his/her roommate(s).

3. How often the respondent does things with his/her roommate(s).

These may seem like vague topics to discuss that have the potential for simple answers. In order to avoid this idea of simplicity, I formulated multiple questions within each topic as a general guideline for where I wanted the interviews to go. However, I understood that all the interviews would entail a wide range of different things. With this in mind I got the permission of all four students to record their interviews so I could focus on interacting with them more directly during the interview. What I mean by more directly is if my guideline of questions did not fit directly with how the interview was going I would be able to formulate questions on the fly. In recording the interviews, I would be able to ask questions more quickly and make the students feel more comfortable in an interview like setting rather than writing down furiously everything they had to say.

The next four installments of this collection will include the voices of each of the students I interviewed. While each installment on its own is its own story, the installments together tell a unique story about roommate life on a college campus from a range of people in different living scenarios. I am the one writing the next four installments, but I do not want to lose each individual student’s voice. Because of this, I have decided to hold off on my personal analysis of roommates on a college campus until the final installment to this collection. My goal in writing each student installment is to have these people’s personal stories teach you as much as they have taught me about this drama-filled, fun, interactive, annoying, learning experience we call roommates.

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