Posts Tagged ‘roommates’

Starting College, Roommates, and Italian for Dinner

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Before me is a white plate cradling little pockets of ravioli with a layer of parmesan, like snow dusted on top. The green of the sage just barely peeps through. My mouth waters and I look over to my friend Leslie whose face must mirror my own. Her plate of pasta speckled with pepper and pecorino beams up at her, same as mine does at me. “SO worth the wait,” she says. We dig in. 

Ravioli Burro e Salvia from I Sodi.

Months prior to this, Leslie and I met in our History of the Universe class. I noticed one of the girls I was waiting outside the classroom door with was wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt. I thought to myself, This girl is cool, I’m going to make sure to sit next to her. And thanks to our professor who loved to assign group work, we ended up working together because we were seated next to each other. Only about a month into the semester, I was waiting for the elevator in my residence hall when I bumped into Leslie taking out the trash one day. We both started apologizing profusely for the run-in before we realized who the other person was. “Wait, you live on this floor?” I asked, and she nodded. It turned out she lived just a few doors down from me (and it also turned out that this would be a huge blessing for me during my freshman year).

The more time passed, the more uncomfortable I got with my living situation. As Leslie and I got closer, I would spend more and more time in her dorm studying or just hanging out until I absolutely had to go to sleep, or she or her roommate did. Many times I would show up to class and she’d ask for updates on how it was going over in my dorm. I’d sigh and update her because there was always something to tell.

The issue? My roommate.

Or maybe it was me. Likely, it was both of us. The strangest part of it all was that when we were texting over the summer before the semester started, we got along really well. I actually had very high hopes for the school year and was thrilled that I was roomed with someone who was so friendly and who had all the same preferences I did on the housing application. So when things started to go south, I did my best to smile through the pain. She missed a week of cleaning? It’s okay, I’m not always good about remembering either. She had her boyfriend over and they were being too loud? That’s fine, I can handle it. He’s sleeping over now? It’s okay. I’m fine. He’s here again? Okay. Maybe it’s just a few days in a row. It will stop. Wait, he’s here again

Truthfully, it got worse. The amount of time it would take to tell every incident, to detail what life in the dorm was like, would be immense. There was yelling, a lot of it, then the strained moments in which we tried to compromise, then ultimately silence that was not just awkward, but filled with tension. We were definitely both at fault. I was used to my living situation at home, where I could be left alone in peace and quiet, and she was used to being able to have people over whenever she wanted. There were times we lost our tempers with each other, but we also tried to be civil with each other the following day. Countless discussions about what we could do to make the other feel more comfortable often came to nothing, and we even went to our RA for guidance at one point. At the end of the day, whether we had come to an agreement or not, we were left unhappy.

Since then, I’ve chalked it up to us being victims of circumstance. I am almost certain that if we hadn’t had to live together we would have been friends. We were just highly incompatible when it came to our ways of living. And unfortunately, it got to the point I’d do anything to be out of my dorm. 

“I know what we can do,” Leslie said one day as we lounged on her bed. Her eyes had lit up all of a sudden as we watched a movie on her laptop in the dark. We’d been dying for a break in routine lately and she knew I needed something to take my mind off of my living situation. “I Sodi,” she said excitedly.

I blinked. “What’s that?”

“I Sodi. It’s a super fancy Italian restaurant. You have to make a reservation, like, months in advance to eat there. But after our History of the Universe final, we should go there to celebrate!”

So we made the reservation (two months in advance) and saved the little money our parents sent us to be able to have a fulfilling experience come December. When the day finally came we threw on our nicest looking sweaters and coats and braved the cold wind, walking the streets of New York to finally arrive at the steps of I Sodi. And yes, it was worth it. Of course, it was nice to be out of the dorm, but it was also one of the few times that semester I genuinely enjoyed being in New York. We still felt out of place sitting amongst people who certainly looked like they didn’t have to save money to eat there, but the meal has lived on in our memories as one of the best New York has gifted us thus far since living there. Worries fell away, the food melted in our mouths, and I could forget about what awaited me back at the dorm.

I Sodi in New York City.

But many times when I look back on my freshman year, especially that first semester, I wish I’d done better. What if there was something I could have done to make my situation more tolerable not just for me, but for my roommate?

Here are some steps you can take to try to improve your relationship with your roommate:

  • Take a Breath – Maybe you are like me and you get overwhelmed by what is bothering you and want to fix it immediately. There were times I know I was a little too quick to get on my roommate for something when I should have calmed down first thing. So breathe. Sometimes it’s a case of having to choose your battles. If you think you can handle it, try to do so, especially if there is more than just one issue at hand. 
  • Talk to Them – Can’t take it anymore? Sometimes you have to start that awkward conversation. Make sure you know what you’re going to say first and make sure you have a positive attitude before you talk to your roommate. They will likely hear you out and try to fix the situation if you are nice about it. In other words, don’t be my roommate or me who many times just snapped at each other. 
  • Give Them a Chance – College is overwhelming. It doesn’t take long to realize that. So it is likely your roommate may forget (again? Yes, again! It’s okay, take another breath) that it’s their turn to clean, or that they promised they would take out the trash. Give them at least a week before you bring it up again. It can take a while to implement something into your routine.
  • Talk to Your RA – If you are still having issues, do not be shy to knock at your Residential Assistant’s door. They will more than likely smooth over the situation and will be a neutral voice that you can count on to help you and your roommate reach a true compromise. 
  • Take it Easy – It’s possible more issues will arise, likely a few of the same ones. I made the mistake my freshman year of getting too hung up on these things, of letting them eat away at me to the point I couldn’t enjoy my time in New York. Do your best to shrug these things off. Do things that you enjoy to take your mind off it. You cannot control your roommate, but you can take care of yourself. 

And if all that doesn’t work? Find your Leslie and your I Sodi and plan something amazing that you can look forward to. Spoil yourself. Do it. You need it. 

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By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Transition to Intentional Community

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

As a high school senior, I really didn’t know what I was doing when it came to college. The year was 2012, I was seventeen, and I still had no clue which college to attend. I procrastinated up to the line, until it was National College Decision Day and I was forced to finally choose. Originally planning to attend college in Los Angeles, I settled on Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, thousands of miles from my home in California. I had visited Calvin a month earlier, in April, and toured the newest dorm, named Van Reken after one of the many Dutch alumni who sponsor Calvin. My mom had discovered a living-learning floor for Honors students and, being an overachiever in her college days, encouraged me to apply.

By June, I dragged myself onto the Calvin website to fill out the Honors floor application. However, a description of another floor in the same building caught my attention. Called Grassroots, the floor was dedicated to exploring multiculturalism and combating racism. Every two weeks, students were required to attend a one-credit Contextual Diversity class, which investigated racism in modern America. Forget the Honors floor; I knew I had to apply.

My parents had become involved in anti-racism work before I was born. They were the area directors for Young Life, a Christian program for students, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for eight years. My dad had become involved in diversity trainings around the time when my parents married, and as a result, tried to integrate the largely white youth groups in suburban Kalamazoo with the largely black youth groups in other parts of the city. He was met with opposition, so, frustrated, my parents decided to relocate to Sacramento, California.

My parents’ vision was to form a multicultural community, with a church at its center, that fostered sharing life and learning from each other. They brought together groups of people that normally would never interact. And it was harder than they could have imagined. There was conflict, there was fallout, there was pain. But there was also compassion, and mutual benefit, and true friendship.

It was in this environment that I was raised. I had seen the heartbreak, but I had also seen raw connection that resulted in rich learning. By the time I was applying to live on intentional living-learning communities in college, I was hungry for that type of interaction. Even as a seventeen-year-old, I knew I wanted to engage in racial justice work.

Several months later, I moved onto Grassroots as a freshman. The floor was was the catalyst for not only my interests, but also who I was as a person. I was launched into community, and I had no clue what I was getting myself into: late-night talks about race theory, arguments, and the formation of lasting friendships. I was terribly uncomfortable, I learned a lot, it was the best and hardest two years of my life.

2nd VR women

The women of Grassroots during a dorm banquet.

Grassroots was a crucial step for me on a journey I hope to continue to take.

By Anna Lindner

Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books; we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings. 


How To Lose a Roommate in 4 Months

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

College roommates are tricky, especially in New York where space is limited, buildings are old, and once you’re off campus you’re living in a real world environment with real adults. As I approach 2 years in New York, I look back on all 4 of my roommates and wonder where it went wrong and where it went right.


1. Rooms Don’t Clean Themselves

As cool as it would be to sing a little tune and watch the cockroaches scattered about your apartment team up to tidy up à la Enchanted, this has yet to happen to me and boy have I tried. Freshman year, the cleaning in my suite was wistful thinking. Piles of dishes in the sink and beyond sported food remnants caked on like it had grown there. The stench was rivaled only by the trash, which filled every empty trash-looking container we had. A pile of unclaimed broken glass lasted over a week in a corner. The K-Mart Brand Swiffer was the only thing not dirty, it stood untouched next to the kitchen as a woeful reminder. I don’t really blame our suite of six girls – we were busier than ever, more independent than ever, and I guess more content to live in filth than I ever will be again. Early on we all claimed ourselves as clean people and concluded that there was no further need to discuss how we were going to keep each other honest and it spiraled from there. So my advice to you? Set up expectations and a cleaning schedule. Go buy cleaning supplies before you need them. And though we all have that laundry chair, just make sure there isn’t rotting food under all those clothes.


2. Talk in Person

The digital age makes communication much more accessible, but when it come to the person sleeping in the same room as you, it’s best to address things about your shared living space in your shared living space. Sure the occasional “Can you make sure my straightener is off?” isn’t going to do you any harm. But when you are sitting 12 feet from each other all afternoon, you shouldn’t receive a text about how they would prefer if you didn’t have people over on Wednesdays 2 minutes after you walk out the door. As someone who spent a semester living with that person, I would find myself falling into a trap of replying to these long texts about things that made her uncomfortable instead of bringing it up face to face. Learning to stand up for yourself or addressing a situation in person can be hard, but it’s always the best route to go. Otherwise, four months into living with someone you’ll get a text as you walk out the door saying that this living situation is no longer working for them, and you never see them again.


3. You Deserve Your Space Too

Maybe you’ve been graced with the perfect roommate whose schedule and friends fit perfectly with yours. I was not that lucky. One of my roommates was so adamant about never having people over to our apartment that on the occasional Saturday I did, she’d shut herself in her room despite my attempts to be friendly and socialize. There’s a difference between being a good roommate and a huge pushover. As much as I wanted to respect her space, I also felt I deserved to hang out in my own apartment every once in a while. Of course, there are times where it’s okay to request space from your roommate and all their friends, as long as this isn’t 100% of the time. It would have been unrealistic for me to be paying for an apartment that I was never in because my roommate didn’t allow people over. Living the early 20s adult life is all about learning to compromise and respect peoples living spaces on both sides.


4. Make a Friend

After you’ve sorted through the kinks of living with someone, it’s important to think about how you get along as people. A roommate can be just some person you share a living space with, or they can be someone you think of as a part of your home. Despite your own busy life, don’t forget to take a moment to talk to your roommate at the end of the day or even make plans with them every once in a while. The person you’re living with can have a drastic effect on how comfortable you are in your own home, and friendly conversation can bring things to a whole different level.


Looking for a way to get to know your new roomie? Have a Spa Day at IL Girasole! Whether it’s mani pedis before brunch or facials before a Friday night out, with your Campus Clipper coupon and Student ID you can get 15% all the time on any of their services.

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Image Credit:


By Caroline Flynn

Caroline Flynn is a Sales and Publishing Intern at the Campus Clipper studying Theatre at NYU Tisch. Caroline is passionate about the arts and dedicated to using her voice to make other people smile. As she heads into her Junior year, she is excited to be writing about how relationships have shaped her life while she takes on summer in the city for the first time. Check out her Instagram for more witty and heartfelt content on her life. 

We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 


How to Find an Apartment in NYC: A Guide for Students – Roommate (s)

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Deciding whether to have a roommate or to live alone should be settled on before you even begin hunting for an apartment. A very common mistake students make is thinking that moving in with a friend is a great plan that doesn’t require serious talk or consideration. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. No matter who the candidate is, you need to sit down with your potential roommate and go over several things before making a final decision. Some important things to talk about are: the logistics of who will be paying, the neighborhoods you’re willing to live in, and your expectations about cleanliness and guests. While every little detail doesn’t have to be figured out between you and your potential roommate, you need to be clear and honest in your expectations. Once your name is on a lease, your credit is on the line. So if you aren’t firm about not wanting parties at the apartment, or ensuring your roommate has a viable job that can pay rent, you may lose your security deposit, or worse. Initial discomfort when talking about tough subjects will pave the way for an easier time farther down the road.

If living with a friend isn’t an option, then there are plenty of resources to find a roommate online. Facebook and Craigslist are two great sites. And you can also print out ads and post them around your school. Some schools even have resources that help you find roommates as part of their off-campus housing department. Just ask around and don’t worry that you’ll end up settling for a roommate who’s not a good fit. At any given time, tons of students are looking for roommates, so you’ll find your perfect match. Just give yourself time. Generally a month or two is enough notice.

Additionally, if parents are going to be involved in paying for the apartment, it might make sense for you to meet them as well. It will give you peace of mind, knowing how much financial support your roommate is getting. And if your roommate is going to be paying rent himself or herself, don’t hesitate to ask questions about her work and income. While these aren’t the easiest things to go over with a stranger or friend, minor discomfort now will prevent any miscommunications or issues when you’ve moved in and signed a yearlong lease.

By Alex Agahigian

Alex Agahigian was one of the Campus Clipper’s talented publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to find an apartment in NYC. Follow our blog to read more chapters from Alex’s e-book and use her advice to make your own apartment-hunting more fun and easy. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Stay tuned for more tips from Alex on apartment hunting, check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

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Giving Back: Starting from Home

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

So you kept reading eh? Expecting me to list the best organizations that will help you change the world? Think I’m going to start with some statistic that is going to make you feel on fire for Cambodia? Well I’m not. Yes it is true that according to Compassion International for only $1.25 a day you could supply food, clean water, medical care, and education to a child in need, but I won’t bombard you with these facts, at least not right now.

Instead, let’s start from home. No really, start at home! Contrary to popular belief, we are not created to be alone. Independence will only get you so far in life. Yes, you can go out and get a job, stand out among the rest and work your way up the ladder, but in order to be truly successful you need community. Growing up you needed someone to guide you, but now that you’re an “adult”, you need friends to hold you accountable to your goals, build you up, and simply laugh with. Because of the mutual love and comfort you find in each other, these relationships cannot flourish without sacrifice.

So what better way to begin this journey of “giving back” than starting from home? You can’t learn to serve those around the world and strangers on the street until you learn to serve those you love (and sometimes can’t stand).

Here are some simple suggestions that will surely show you care:

  1. Give Housework Help
    When you live with someone, you start picking up on their “telltale signs” of a good or bad day. You can feel their emotions vibrate through the floorboards into your room. You just know. So on those days when their door is shutting you out, or they burst through yours crying about the stresses of a new job, give a helping hand. After sitting with them listening to their cries, and affirming that, “Yes, your boss is a jerk, no, they don’t deserve you”, take a moment to think of how you can help. Maybe the dishes are piling up and it’s their day to do them. Follow the Nike cliché and “just do it”. They may or may not notice, but that’s not the point. The point is you showed a little love to the person you spend every day with.
  2. Bring Friends Food
    Why do people say, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” when we all know it’s actually pizza, or that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, when in reality the stomach is the key to every person’s soul? Sure we’re all poor students, but if just a few extra bucks can make your roommate’s whole day, why not “just do it”? I noticed the importance of this the other week when I ordered some Thai food to be delivered to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn. I didn’t realize the portions would be so large, and there was no way I was gunna carry that back to Jersey. I offhandedly offered it to my friend and her eyes widened as she responded, “YES! That will be my lunch for tomorrow.” Finally I realized the importance of food to us struggling younglings in the city. So the next time you order from or browse through all the meal coupons on the Campus Clipper, keep your friends in mind!

    If your roommate ever snaps at you, check around the room for a coupon...or unopened bag of chips...

  3. Being Sick Sucks
    Let’s just stop and contemplate all the places you touch on a daily basis. Just thinking about the subway alone is enough to make me gag. In the fast-paced rush of the city, we just don’t have time to get sick! Most of the time we don’t even have a chance to sit down to eat a healthy meal. Yet every winter we put off our flu shots and brave the cold. Even if you don’t catch anything, there’s a chance that one of your roommates will. Before you routinely run out the door, take a moment to check on the people you live with. More likely than not they don’t actually need anything, but knowing that someone is willing to take care of them is comfort enough. Maybe you’re not much of a cook, but opening a can of soup and popping it in the microwave can be exhausting for someone who’s sick with the flu. Doing this will only take two minutes, but showing that you care makes the heart happy, and healthy.
  4. Show Active Appreciation
    Hopefully, you live with someone who helps keep the place clean, or gives you a text while waiting in line at Starbucks asking what you want. (If not, maybe you could just slide this article underneath their door). Regardless, the most important component of keeping a relationship strong is the act of showing appreciation. So when they sacrifice for you don’t just say “thank you”. Verbally express appreciation for your roomie. It doesn’t need to be a sob fest, unless that’s what they need, (refer back to the girl in tip 1), but showing appreciation for each other will help calm those inevitable crazy days that come with a shared living space.


Sometimes all you need in a city full of pushy grimacing faces is a strong and joyful relationship with your house buds. But as I stated before, the act of helping only begins here. Now we continue onto serving outside.


If my short snippet about Compassion International did in fact interest you, you can find more information here:


Samantha Bringas

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The Never Ending Joys of Roommates

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014










By Serrana Gay

Roommates. We all have them, and if you haven’t had one yet, chances are you will at some point. Whether your roommate is your best friend or someone you met a week ago at orientation, living with people is always a challenge.

I have lived with a whole cast of colorful characters: boyfriends, best friends, strangers, and strangers who have become friends. Each relationship has had its ups and downs and each relationship has taught me something different. But time and time again I always come back to the same thing: COMMUNICATION. Without it any relationship is destined to fail.

During my last year of college I fought with my best friend over who was going to vacuum the living room. We didn’t speak for a week. One comment from me led to a dismissal from her, which grew into a text message war, which exploded into a screaming argument and then total silence–endless, dragging silence. Days and days of silence.

Then one day I had an epiphany, a forehead slap moment. The reason we weren’t resolving anything was because we weren’t speaking. We had gotten into a vicious circle of non-communication.  Of course, I thought. We were never going to fix anything if we didn’t speak.

That very afternoon I apologized. I told her I was upset because I felt like I was the only one that ever cleaned, and that I realized that I  had played a part in making her upset. She said she felt like I was mothering her. We hugged and by the end of the conversation, we were laughing at our own stupidity.

What I took away from this experience is that 1) nine times out of ten, conflicts arise from misunderstanding or things left unsaid, and 2) it is better to confront things head-on than to stay mad.

I know this seems a little too easy, and that sometimes talking about your feelings can be difficult. But take it from someone who knows, without communication all relationships are doomed to fail.  As life coach Tony Robbins so aptly puts it, “To effectively communicate we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”

So I put it to you, dear readers, to be the different ones. Take up the challenge and share how you are feeling. Communicate. You will be surprised at how much more easily you will coexist with those you share the world with. And you just might find that the way you treat people will start to shape who you become, the person you are.