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Madeline Sterner: How a Roommate Becomes a Best Friend

Nov. 13, 2019

Madeline Sterner is a sophomore from Plainwell, Michigan, majoring in professional and public writing. She wrote a letter to her freshman year roommate while reflecting on her time at MSU. The following content originally appeared in The Odyssey and was repurposed with permission.

To my freshman year roommate,

I'm currently texting you as I'm writing this, but that only makes this all the better. Although I've told you countless times how thankful I am for you, I figured a letter would do it more justice. So, here we are!

First of all, let’s get it out there. I was absolutely terrified to live with you. The entire dorm situation was so bewildering to me, I almost wanted to change my mind and go to a school with the option of having a single room so I could have my own space. However, I sucked it up and chose to attend a school where the only dorm choice was traditional-style. And let it be known that this was my absolute nightmare at the time. I've never lived with another girl since I don't have any sisters, and had never shared a room with anyone up to that point. I was beyond nervous for that- let alone living with a stranger.

When I met you online through the Facebook page, I figured that you seemed normal enough to live with and committed to being roommates after about a month of awkward snapchatting during senior year of high school. Although I knew from looking through your Instagram that you were cooler than me in high school, I was still excited to meet you in person. You quickly became one of my closest friends without ever meeting before move-in day.

Through the nine months I lived with you, you became undoubtably the best person I have ever met. From the first day I met you, (yes, even in that awkward phase when we were overly nice to each other) you have made me a better person. Compared to who I was first walking onto campus to now, I'm a completely different person and a lot of that is because of you.

For most of my life, I have been a person who has naturally stuck to the background. I never stood up for myself and always let people walk all over me, even if I loved them. It's not something I was ever ashamed of, it's just who I had been. That all changed when I moved in last August.

You showed me my worth by telling me to stand up for myself. You helped me let my hair down for once in my life and not be so serious all of the time. You were, and still are, the first person I go to when I'm upset or feeling down. I do this because I know you have my best interest in mind, even when I don't.

Since we live over two hours apart, it's been a long summer of not seeing you. I miss our late night talks, loud laughs that probably annoyed the girls who lived next to us, all of our rants and even the times where we would both be crying, hear each other sniffling, but ignore it anyway. There was peace in knowing you were only a bunk away, ready to talk about whatever stupid topic I came up with next.

So, thank you for making me someone I'm proud to be. There is no one else I would have wanted to figure out college with than you. You are so smart, beautiful and worthy of all the good that comes your way in life. I can't wait to be your friend forever and always pick up your weird slang along the way.

Love,
Maddy

PS: To my suitemates and girls across the hall who are about to come for me in my texts for not writing about them, I love you guys, too. See you all so soon.