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Penn State’s New Student Orientation is a lot like the first day of school. You’re kind of excited, until you realize you’ll just be sitting in a classroom most of the time hearing basic, introductory information you most likely could figure out for yourself.

Also, similar to being seated next to someone on the first day in high school, you’ll be given a roommate for one night. That’s the good news: It’s only one night.

But that won't be the case for this year’s incoming freshmen as they’ll be participating in online NSO, and honestly, they’re better off.

NSO roommates can become best friends and people you stay close with when the fall semester rolls around. Or, you could have an experience like mine and never see the kid again.

When I met my NSO roommate, he seemed very nice and personable. We had a friendly conversation and it was all very pleasant. We went our separate ways for most of the night but eventually met up in our room.

What’s the only thing worse than spending a hot July night in an unrenovated Pollock Halls dorm room? Well, that would be having a roommate who does not want to share a room, which by the way has no air-conditioning.

Maybe in the time between when we met and when we got back to the room something happened to him to put him in a bad mood. If this were the case, I would have understood, but he never told me this so I was left to feel like, well, a jerk.

We both had our headphones in and were watching videos on our phones, and when my friend FaceTimed me, I stepped out of the room so I did not bother my roommate.

When I returned, he was still watching videos on his phone and I was, too. Eventually, he put his phone away and went to bed, or so I thought. I was still on my phone because I couldn’t sleep and I turned my brightness almost all the way down and the same with the volume, even though I had headphones in.


Perhaps you can imagine my surprise when he erupted and said, “So you’re just never going to sleep!”

I didn’t think it was too late with it being just past midnight, but I was now deathly afraid of the boy in the twin bed just 6 feet away, so I left the room. I figured that while I hung out with some people I had met earlier, he would be able to fall asleep.

I went back to the room at around 1:30 a.m. and entered as quietly as humanly possible. Apparently, he was still up and this was somehow my fault because I “stressed” him out.

I just stayed quiet and tried to go to bed. Can you guess what happened next? He started snoring loudly, sounding like the prized-hog at the county fair.

Apparently he believed that me watching videos with headphones was more annoying than his snoring.

Eventually I fell asleep, but when I woke up at 6 a.m. to use the bathroom I noticed he had taken the fan and pointed it directly toward him, which explained why I woke up in a pool of my own sweat.

It’s safe to say that after that whole experience, neither of us was interested in going to breakfast together.

I have not seen him around campus since, but I do hope he is doing well. I also wonder about his current roommate.

I could not have asked for a better roommate than the one I have now, and we were put together randomly. He is one of my best friends at Penn State and we have never once had a fight, or even a disagreement.

My advice to the class of 2024 is to be thankful you don’t have to sleep in a hot Pollock dorm in the middle of summer. You might have found yourself in a situation similar to mine — and I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.


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