By | Will Matsuda ’15

Very soon after Hannah Rehak ’15 (Chicago) and Anissa Abdel-Jelil ’15 (Geneva, Switzerland) entered their shared first-year dorm room in Turck Residence Hall, they became close friends. Although they’d never met before coming to Macalester, the randomly assigned roommates became best friends.

Seniors this year, they still live together, now a few blocks from campus on Grand Avenue. “I’ve been super lucky with living arrangements at Mac,” says Rehak. “Being randomly assigned with Anissa was the best thing that could have happened to me freshman year, and now, three and a half years later, I get to live with my two best friends.” Rehak and Abdel-Jelil share their apartment with Mary Hellmich ’15 (Versailles, Ky.), who played volleyball with Rehak.

Determining living situations is never easy, even for best friends, the women say. “It has always been a nerve-racking conversation. I remember when we decided to live together for sophomore year, we teared up with relief,” says Rehak. “By junior year I think we just kind of knew we would live together for our fourth and final year.”

Taro Takigawa ’15 (Moraga, Calif.) and Dan Shi ’15 (Loveland, Ohio) were randomly assigned first-year roommates in Dupre Hall. Takigawa—a soccer player— and Shi—a golfer—arrived early in August for preseason. Their shared athletic and academic interests helped form a lasting a friendship. They still live together today in an off-campus house with Cole Erickson ’15 (Bloomington, Minn.), Devin Palmer ’15 (Helena, Mont.), Andrew Gage ’15 (Piedmont, Calif.), and Justin Wasik ’15 (Chicago).

Having a roommate in college produces a space where living and learning mesh. That first-year roommate does not always work out, of course. Personalities can clash and sleep schedules can differ. But this first-year rooming experience can just as often forge lifelong friendships.


March 2 2015

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