The bitter January air sent chills down the backs of thousands of Temple University students as they returned to the dorms after a month-long winter break.
While some were only coming back to a month of collected dust, others were fighting nervousness as they anticipated meeting their new roommates.
Mid-year housing changes are not uncommon, whether they are due to transfers, disagreements with previous roommates or other personal circumstances.
According to Harry Knabe, Temple’s Assistant Director for Assignments and Billing, approximately 190 room change applications were received for the spring semester.
This does not include the 180 transfer student applications or the 200 applications that came from students who had no previous on-campus housing.
Of the students applying, Knabe said, “a large majority got housing for spring semester.”
Alexis Sukolich, a 19-year-old transfer student from Northeastern University, was one of the many entering students who received on-campus housing.
As a member of the crew team she was informed that she would receive housing, however that did not seem to calm all her worries.
“You don’t know what to expect,” Sukolich said.
“You don’t know whether you are going to get along with your roommate or you end up with someone who throws up on your bed.”
Nicole Garafano, a 20-year-old junior, pulled up in front of “1300” that Saturday and began unloading her car.
She nervously entered her room, unsure whether she’d even have a roommate, let alone whether or not they’d get along.
“I’ve had bad luck in the past,” Garafano recalled.
“I was nervous about getting a new roommate since it hasn’t worked out for me in the past.”
Last February, Garafano left her roommate of a year and half after dealing with uncomfortable and inconsiderate situations throughout the fall semester.
Her new roommate, unhappy with having a single taken away from her, made it known that she did not appreciate Garafano’s presence.
Her roommate last semester left to spend a semester at Disneyworld, opening up space for Sukolich.
Neither voiced any complaints about the new arrangement.
“So far, so good” Sukolich commented, while Garafano nodded in agreement.
Senior Erin Dyer has a different story.
After studying abroad in Northern Ireland for a semester, Dyer was lucky to find on-campus housing.
She was placed in a suite on a primarily sophomore floor.
Although the outsider in a suite of three friends, Dyer got along with her new roommates.
However, their schedules didn’t match up.
“We were on different clocks. I am a morning person, while my suitemates were night people.
In fact, my roommate had all night classes and didn’t even wake up till three in the afternoon,” Dyer said.
Dyer wrote housing a letter explaining her situation.
She had lived in a studio before her semester abroad and was having a hard time adjusting.
“I have one more chance to make up things as much as I want,” Dyer restated as she enters her last semester at Temple.
Her main motivation for requesting a room change was to allow her to be with students that are facing the real world in a few months.
When Ian Spino’s roommate, Mike Boyer, decided to study abroad in Rome this semester, there was a bed space open in his apartment.
Boyer and Spino had lived together since their sophomore year, two and half years ago.
After realizing that he’d have a new roommate, Spino’s first reaction was, “This should be interesting.”
Jon Greenberg, a 20-year-old junior, stopped by housing over winter break and found out his room assignment.
After transferring to Temple last semester, Greenberg commuted from his hometown of Hatfield, Pa., a three-hour round-trip journey.
Greenberg was finally fed up with the travel and successfully convinced his parents to pay for housing.
Spino recalled the feeling of relief after he received a phone call from Greenberg over winter break.
He now knew he had a roommate and had a chance to discuss living arrangements.
The transition has been smooth so far, neither expecting any major
Happy with housing and his new living arrangements,
Greenberg said he looks forward to another semester at Temple.
Sticking two strangers into a small room is always a precarious situation.
Personalities may mesh or collide and the result is often a matter of luck.
As the new semester starts, many strangers are attempting to work out minor differences and hope for easy living for the next few months.
Pooja Shah can be reached at Pshah004@temple.edu