Monday, August 19

Luck of the Draw - The NY Times sheds light on the delicate process of getting to know your college roommate. Thanks to technology, it's easier than ever to establish a relationship from a distance. Instant Messenger can be a good way to get to know the likes and dislikes of a person and figuring out logistical concerns. But there's no guarantee that making that contact will ease all the tensions of the getting-to-know-you phase. I know that buying matching bedspreads wouldn't have been my top concern.

At Stanford, it is tradition to not learn who your roommate is until you arrive on campus. Nearly all freshman have a roommate, but the process of assigning students to particular dorms and rooms is done by hand by a team of two students who work in the housing office. I remember being incredibly anxious the night before moving into my dorm, but would I have been any better off had I known in advance who my roommate was? I'm not convinced that I would have. I think I would have gotten bogged down by preconceived notions about my roommate, without having the chance to get to know him. In the end, we were a great match and became friends and roommates for our whole undergraduate careers. Remarkable that the match made by the housing gods was so successful.