Room rules

Everyone can use some advice about relationships.

How do you make them last? How can you find the right person? How do you handle fears of commitment?

Three pairs of GW roommates, who have lived together since freshman year, may not be experts on love, but they can tell you something about making a roommate relationship last a lifetime, or at least until graduation.

Amanda Uliano and Rashika Hettiarachchi met during Colonial Inauguration four years ago and lived together in Thurston Hall freshman year. Since then, the women, who are seniors now, have lived together in off-campus apartments.

Beyond having similar values and living styles, we have the same weird tastes, Hettiarachchi said. There is no one else who would watch Disney’s The Torkelsons with me on TV or understand my obsession with John F. Kennedy Jr.

It definitely feels like we’re a married couple sometimes, Uliano said. I come home from work or classes and dinner is on the table. One time last semester I was late coming home, and I got yelled at for not calling.

While Uliano and Hettiarachchi say they finish each other’s sentences and hardly ever fight, each have their own quirks that drive the other crazy.

According to Rashika, Uliano never changes the toilet paper roll when she finishes it. Uliano disagreed and quickly pointed out that Hettiarachchi never replaces the roll either. She just places the new roll on top of the old empty one.

The best advice the roommates have for friends planning to live together is to be honest from the start and to not let petty things get in the way of the friendship.

Being good friends beforehand is a completely different world than living together, Uliano said. It’s the good with the bad, and you have to come home to that.

Eugene Yuk and Nick Patton-Palmer met in their five-person room in Thurston Hall three years ago. Since their freshman year, this roommate pair has been residing in the Hamilton House apartment building. They say they get along well because they are not girls, who presumably argue more frequently.

We’re living on our own for the first time, Patton-Palmer said. We’re just having fun. No worries.

Yuk associates their similar backgrounds as the reason they get along so well.

We’re both from the Southwest, very low key and laid back, Yuk said. Not being from typical GW places helps.

Both agree the best thing about living together is that they help wake each other up. The best advice they offer is don’t take everything so personally, Yuk said. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Mary McKenna and Heather Schweizer also met in Thurston Hall their freshman year. They became friends through a common acquaintance who neither one liked. Since then, McKenna and Schweizer have inhabited several residences, including the Dakota, a town house 23rd street and the Claridge House apartment building. All totaled, the two have lived with nine other roommates in the past three years.

It’s been crazy, McKenna said. But it’s nice to finally have a place to ourselves.

For the first time in a year and a half, McKenna and Schweizer are sharing a bedroom in their new apartment.

It was nice having our own bedrooms when we lived in the house, but we’re adjusting, Schweizer said. The main problem we have is when guys sleep over. Mary’s guys seem to always snore and mine always cough in their sleep.

The words of wisdom each couple shares are simple. It helps if you have similar living habits and interests, and never underestimate how horrendous a roommate can be. Make the rules clear about how you want to live and be able to take criticism. And always remember, nobody is a perfect roommate.

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