One of the things I was apprehensive about before arriving in America was living with roommates. I had thoughts of being isolated or left out of jokes and of not settling into the routines everyone already had in place for the semester. I was also just slightly concerned I’d be put with people who were my complete opposites: incredibly dirty/messy ones who loved the TV and music I hated and stayed up till 4am weeknights.
In reality, my roommates are lovely. First off, we have things in common – TV included. This ends up in Sunday evenings spent watching the latest episode of Girls and our slight addiction to watching Jeopardy every weeknight. There’s also a large likelihood that if someone is in our living room during the day there’s a really terrible reality show on Bravo playing (terrible in a you just cannot change the channel way).
All three are seniors here at GW, and have been helpful with both advice on subjects and protocol (and directions!) as I’ve settled in. Their stories about college life and about living in America generally have been both interesting and eye opening. They’ve all had different experiences that have led them to GW and DC – one’s from Kentucky, another from just outside Boston and the third is from Connecticut – and all three have studied abroad and have tales to share. This means they completely understand what I’m going through – helpful when I get a bit homesick for Melbourne.
We’ve got a pretty efficient chore chart worked out too, so arguments about taking out the trash or doing the dishes are redundant. From what I gather from my roommates, these can be seriously contentious issues in college dorms! All of us seem to prefer sitting on the couches to study and do homework, and none of us are up all hours of the night blasting music either.
What’s been most wonderful about my roommates though is their friendliness. They’ve invited me along to brunches, to the inauguration and even spring break. I’m included in the ‘in’ jokes and I’m not just seen as the little lost Australian girl here for the semester. They bemoan my under-21 status right along with me, and purposely plan evenings out to places I can go.
Last week on Friday we went out with a few of their friends, and my friend Rhiannon, who’s also from the University of Melbourne, to a pottery place. You pay approximately $25 dollars, can bring in food and drink, and get to paint a piece of pottery that then gets fired in a kiln. It’s such a fun, easy night out and we had great fun making fun of each other’s pretty abysmal artistic skills (although when we will get around to collecting our pottery is unknown…)
This Saturday our House Staff/Proctor had organized an ice-skating trip, and so we went along with our neighbor. At the rink it was only me who had abysmal skills, as evidenced by the horrific bruise on my knee today! I momentarily forgot about the knee pain and bruising when we went out for dinner afterwards in Georgetown – perhaps it was a food coma. We were at this amazing pizza place called Pizzeria Paradiso that I’d highly recommend!
This afternoon we spent cooking nachos, ordering in pizza and eating far too much food (including carrot cake, because for some reason two of my roommates had bought one the other day). The amount of food was totally justified, because we ate it while watching the Super Bowl … until we got a fire alarm and had to evacuate the building. Luckily the alarm went off while there was a delay in the game thanks to a lighting fault at the stadium.
All in all, having such instant friends and roommates here has really made the adjustment to life at GW easy.