FreshMen/Gender Studies

CJ found out his housing assignment last week.  The dorm, although not ideally located, has a common room with ping pong, foosball, billiards and video games, so he's all set there.  And the roommate sounds great – a smart team captain from a mid-Atlantic state who, like CJ, attended a small, progressive private school.  A computer randomly assigned them to each other, and unlike other universities which require students to fill out elaborate forms for roommate matching, CJ's school just asked four questions (with CJ's answers in parentheses):

Q: Do you smoke? (A: No)

Q: What time do you go to sleep? (A: Varies)

Q: What time do you get up? (A: Varies)

Q: Do you listen to music when studying (A: Yes – Does this mean they BOTH will listen to different music at the same time, or that his roommate doesn't listen to music, but doesn't care if his partner is noisy?)

Congrats to the computer program for what seems to have been a stellar job of matchmaking considering the minimalist nature of the above questions.  Other colleges ask if you hang up your clothes, whether you've shared a room before, if you prefer classical to hip hop, and to identify your favorite flavor of ramen noodles.  Although I secretly hoped CJ would be assigned an African prince, I'm sure there will be one or two down the hall, and it won't be such a bad thing to live with someone with a similar background.

But although this seems to be a match made in heaven, CJ has been reluctant to communicate with his new roommate.  While girls we know have been planning color schemes, exchanging long lists of favorite films and sharing class schedules, CJ and his roomie have each sent each other just one two-line private message on Facebook.  When I suggested that he find out his new pal's phone number, my son looked at me as if I were insane.  Okay then, how about finding out where he lives, his summer plans or whether he's bringing the refrigerator or the microwave? 

Mortally embarrassed to use any method of communication other than instant messaging, CJ said he will wait until they both happen to be on Facebook and then send possibly initiate a chat, he said.  I guess they must have asked a fifth question, which I did not see:

Q: Would you ever consider using any technology other than Facebook (email, a land line, cell phone, snail mail, I-chat, AIM, texting) to contact your new roommate? (A: No way…those are for girls)


FreshMen/Gender Studies — 4 Comments

  1. Ah yes, telepathy seems to be the primary form of teen male communication these days.

  2. My son will also be a freshman in college this year and just received his roommate assignment. It appears this is a trend for teen boys. Almost a week after the mailing (and after much hounding by his mother), my son finally sent the roommate a message on Facebook. When I told my son that I “googled” his roommate, he almost freeked out. Well, you weren’t telling him anything about him. It appears the roommate is even more “laid back” then my son. He isn’t even sure what day he moves in….this will be interesting…..

  3. Sue C. – What a relief that this is a trend. We had a similar googling incident here.

  4. Loved the blog – but as a former international student who came to college in the U.S. with two suitcases – can’t understand what parents are so concerned about – roommates, room decor etc etc – kids are going to college for an education – everything else is nice to have but secondary !!