August 12, 2015


By Rachel Tenney ’18

She is a messy person. It’s not that she’s a slob, it’s just that her lifestyle is “organized chaos.” This was the first thing I noticed.

I walked in, and there were piles of schoolbooks and papers on the rug, a jumble of shoes next to the mini-fridge, and dirty dishes on the dresser. Her bed was a tangled mess of blankets, sheets, and pillow pets. It seemed as if the mess was radiating from her, cross-legged on the floor in the center of it all. “Hi,” I said. “I’m Rachel.”

So I moved in. I’m a fairly neat person, myself. For me, everything has a “home,” and everything is nearly always where it belongs. Nothing is out of place for very long. But her mess didn’t bother me–it was kind of endearing.

Since then, we’ve gone on road trips to the beach together, sent countless embarrassing Snapchats back and forth, drunk hundreds of iced coffees from Wawa on the quad, rolled on the floor laughing, cried together, had entire conversations in French via text, and spent far too many sleepless nights talking.

It didn’t take long to discover that we have the same taste in music (mostly alternative, with plenty of show tunes and oldies thrown into the mix). You can often find us studying in our room blasting music, and we know each other’s playlists as well as our own. Over the winter interim, we saw Les Mis on Broadway, one of our favorite musicals. We even planned a trip to a music festival this summer, and had the time of our lives!

From time to time, we’ll have “roommate dates,” where we grab sandwiches from Simon’s (buffalo chicken for me, classic melt for her) and watch Sherlock or Grey’s Anatomy or Psych together. We make a pillow fort on the floor and have movie nights in, or just stay up all night talking. Last semester, I was in Philosophy and she was in Psychology, so you can bet we barely slept for fifteen weeks! Some of our best discussions have happened in the middle of the night.

Soon, it came time to consider housing options for Sophomore year. I was nervous: “Do you want to live together again next year?” “Sure,” she said, “but you have to do a room-posal.” WHAT? “You know, like a prom-posal, but a room-posal!” We laughed. She was kidding.

It took a few weeks, but eventually, inspiration struck.

Her birthday was on Valentine’s Day. I got her her favorite Dove chocolates (I snag them from her all the time); pizza goldfish, which we both love; and bubble wrap, for de-stress popping purposes. Inside the bubble wrap, I put a note that said, “Don’t burst my bubble… Be my roommate next year?”

She said yes!

A hand written note that says, 'Don't burst my bubble..Be my roommate next year?'  A view from behind of the writer and her roommate, each with an arm around the other

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