The pleasant lack of roommate-induced cabin fever

RachelAnn Degnan, Senior Reporter

With the stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic, some students worried that every morning they would have to wake up and do online schooling in a living space that they had to share with people they did not respect or like. However, they were pleasantly surprised by how much they have bonded with their housing companions.

Joshua Petersen, a senior majoring in computer science and mathematics, only knew one of his five roommates when he moved into his new home. 

“It was weird trying to get to know them during quarantine, but I feel lucky because they are all chill and pretty much keep to themselves,” Petersen said.

One of Petersen’s roommates is an artist and spends most of his time creating new music. 

“It is really cool to hear his work, and since I’ve moved in I have learned a bit about making music,” Petersen said. “But that’s not all I have had the fun privilege of learning from them.”

In the few months that Petersen has lived in his house, he said he has learned multiple profound life lessons.

“For example, one of [my roommates] spent their entire quarantine with their best friend, and now they absolutely can’t stand each other,” Petersen said. “It’s really eye-opening to how too much time can ruin relationships.”

Brook Monteith, an education junior, has had a very different experience. Monteith signed her lease in February and, at the time, had no idea she would be isolated with her roommates.

“I knew both of my roommates, so I didn’t feel overwhelmed when I found out I was going to be trapped with them,” Monteith said. “I just had to assume and trust that they were safe and that we would take all the precautions we needed to.”

Monteith preferred being isolated in her Ellensburg apartment over her childhood home.

“I love my family, but the two things I am most excited about to have here in Ellensburg over my home is the internet and having my own space,” Monteith said. “I hang out a lot with [my roommates], but we also respect personal space, and it prevents us from overwhelming each other.”

Monteith said she was also extremely grateful for her roommate’s cat, who provided comfort when she felt alone.

“The cat is so nice to have around even if she does steal our blankets,” Monteith said. “There is just a presence always in the apartment, and sometimes that is really comforting when I feel alone.”

Ben Brown, an aviation junior, lives in a dorm with his three roommates.

“At first, since we were in the dorms, we had to mask up and keep to our [individual] rooms for about a week,” Brown said. “Now, when we have everything done, we hop on to one of our roommate’s TVs and play Xbox games together.”

Brown said he was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and accepting his roommates are, and he has continued to pursue a friendship with them.

“Recently, we went up to Snoqualmie Pass and hit the mountain together,” Brown said. “We haven’t had any problems with working online either because we just communicate with each other and let others know we are in a meeting. It makes the whole everything online part of college a bit more bearable.”

Brown is excited to continue making memories with his roommates, and he suggests that other people put in the effort to get to know the people living in your home.

“Reach out to them, if you can, before you move in. Find some common interests and try to find things you can do together,” Brown said. “Doing this will make it easier to communicate and stay civil throughout your time together.”