By: Jeremiah Wayne
For most students, the Gatton Academy is their first time having a roommate. Sure, we have all been to camp and spent the night at friends houses before, but actually living with someone for 2 years is a whole other ball game. When I was first accepted, I was warned of the dangers of rooming with someone I know. Most students at the academy don’t, and instead the staff handpicks roommates based upon a personality survey. But it just so happened that a longtime friend of mine had also been accepted and we both thought it would make our transition easier if we roomed together. So we did, and I earnestly believe that I made the right choice.
My roommate and I have had tons of good times together, but we have also hit some bumps in the road. People told us that ALL roommates eventually have their first fight, and after that the masks come off. Well, they weren’t wrong. My roommate and I had our first argument over something very silly in afterthought.
After using the bathroom one day, I discovered that our toilet wasn’t flushing properly (it wasn’t clogged, rather broken). I told my roommate and he took off the tank cover to pull on the chain underneath. Nothing happened. After deciding our best approach to the situation was to give it some time and then again try later, he left the tank cover leaning against the toilet and we left. Whenever we came back, he accidentally tripped over the cover and we both watched it slowly slip down the side of the toilet. For a moment, it stopped, stuck on a groove in the tile, and both my roommate and I looked at one another with an expression of great relief. Only to look down and watch it slip again and then shatter into practically a million ceramic fragments. There was no repairing it, no hiding it. We both knew it was going to have to be replaced. And once we had to decide who was at fault, our friendship was in danger of becoming the next thing that shattered. He felt I should pay for part of it since I technically was the last to use it before it broke, which prompted him to remove the lid in the first place. But I felt that since I didn’t remove the cover, lean it against the toilet, or knock it over, that he was at fault.
Ultimately, Gatton ended up having an extra and we didn’t have to buy a new one. But that didn’t change the fact that we still had disagreed over the person at fault. And ever since then, my roommate and I have been much more open with each other. Whenever we are irritated by one another, we say it right then and there and don’t let our frustrations build up over time. This way, we have both learned what we do and don’t mind. I know that I should not ever move my roommate’s towel that he very properly folds on the vanity. My roommate knows that I will get absolutely no sleep if my box fan isn’t turned on and facing me. I have learned that the best way to handle situations with anyone you must live with is to simply be honest with one another and deal with problems as they arise. I, for one, sure am glad that I learned this lesson now and not later down the road.