Bucknell first year roommate pairings

Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Co-Editor

As a residential college, one of the requirements for first-year students are their random roommate assignments. Students of other colleges may have opportunities to try and connect with classmates before arriving at school to select their roommate, but for first-years not on a sports team, everyone goes random. 

Coming to college is entering a new environment and to live in a small space with a stranger can be a daunting concept to many. In the summer students are asked to fill out a form that helps to pair them with a student they would potentially live well with. 

Some students admit that before moving in their first year, they questioned what paired them to the roommate they got, but from this system comes the story of many friendships between Bucknell students.

Grace and Gwen

Grace Overend ’24 and Gwen Scopelliti ’24 were randomly assigned to live together in Vedder their first year at Bucknell. Still roommates three years later, they shared their story with the Bucknellian. 

“Bucknell was one of my top choices for school,” Overend said. “I was on a tour before applying and when we passed a first year dorm the guide stopped to explain that everyone is assigned a random roommate. After hearing this I was so nervous I told my parents I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to apply ED anymore.”

Overend explained that after more consideration she did not let the tour change her mind and she stuck with the decision to apply early decision to Bucknell. She was accepted, and mid-summer of 2020 she was assigned Scopelliti as her roommate.

“I reached out to Gwen through social media but we didn’t talk much before coming to school,” Overend said. “On move in day we hit it off immediately, even my parents said they saw that. We realized how much we had in common and were bonding so quickly.”

The roommates explained that they made great memories their first year together and have chosen to live in a double the past two years as well. Scopelliti shared what it’s like living together three years later.

“It’s gotten to the point where we think out loud,” Scopelliti said. “Multiple times people have asked ‘what do Grace and Gwen do all day’ and most of the time I don’t think we even have an answer for that. On a daily basis one of our closest friends mixes up our names in almost every sentence. She admits that it’s hard with two G’s it seems most people just associate us together.”

Overend added to that point saying, “If I’m not with Gwen people always ask me where she is.”

The two shared that even after these three years of living in the same room they will be choosing to live together their senior year in the same house. Scopelliti explained that she will be going abroad to Australia in the spring semester, Overend will be remaining in Lewisburg and it will be her first time living here in a single. 

When asked about their favorite memories over the years they explained that their first year in Vedder has by far been their favorite and was also their favorite room.

“Our Roberts double was definitely the nicest but if I could go back somewhere for another night without a doubt it would be Vedder,” Scopelliti said.

Molly and Caroline

Molly Tuthill 24 and Caroline Moriarty 24 are another set of first year roommates that three years later are still living together. Although no longer in the same room they now share a gateway with two friends they also met during their first year.

Moriarty shared her experience getting to know her random roommate during their first year at Bucknell.

“Going into freshman year, I was definitely nervous about having a random roommate,” Moriarty said. “I was nervous I would not live well with them, but as soon as we moved in our first year, I knew it would be no issue with Molly. I quickly realized how funny she is, how easy it was to live with her, and we became close very fast.”

Moriarty explained that they did not live together their sophomore year with Tuthill being an RA but they still remained very close friends. “We always stayed very close and had the same group of friends which made things even more exciting. We are now roommates again which is so fun and such a full circle moment. I am so thankful to Bucknell housing for pairing me with Molly who has become one of my best friends.”

Not a positive connection for everyone

While many students are able to make a new friend through the random roommate process some students don’t click. Jason Rohrbaugh ’24 shared his experience. 

“Unfortunately I didn’t make the connection with my first year roommate that many others do,” Rohrbaugh said. “Lots of my friends are still very close with the first roommate they had here, but my situation was just a bit different. We didn’t have as much in common as others did and while I think we both made an effort throughout the year it did not result in any type of lasting friendship.”

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