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On living with extroverts

| Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The clock shows 2:30 a.m., and my roommate Maria (the inside column queen) says “Good night, sweethearts” to the room. She then pauses just long enough for me to fall into a blissful almost-but-not-quite sleep. “Sara, call us a term of endearment.”

In my exhausted state, I struggle to process her request. “Good night …” I trail off and take at least 30 seconds to think. “Roommates,” I say finally.

Maria’s response is immediate. “You monster!”

“Good night, monsters,” I reply, feeling more certain of this answer. (On an unrelated note, everyone to whom I tell this story seems vaguely appalled, and I can’t fathom why).

This is a fairly typical interaction between any given roommate and me, as the three of them are among the most extroverted human beings I have ever encountered. They like affection, attention and terms of endearment. I, on the other hand, have often been described as “cold” and take no offense to that.

They do all of their homework from the comfort of our futon while engaged in ongoing conversations. I am rather fond of the air-conditioned building full of books and study carrels, but my roommates do not share this appreciation. What I call studying, they call my “library excursions.”

When “Bachelor in Paradise” is on, our room gets loud. As one recent episode began, my roommate Julianna begged for me to sit and watch with her. By the time the theme song started, I had to reach for my headphones. As it turns out, “Bachelor in Paradise” is pretty funny when you hear Car Seat Headrest instead of the contestants’ voices.

I started writing this column at my desk, but my third roommate, Emily, did not approve of me sitting so far away from the three of them. I am now wedged between them on the futon, which is approximately 18 inches from my desk. I explained that I need to leave soon, and Emily added “My Heart Will Go On” to the Spotify queue. I am vaguely afraid to stand up and have them all start singing.

When I first visited Saint Mary’s, people kept talking about sisterhood. It sounded ridiculous to me back then. As I think about — and sit between — these extroverts I call my roommates, I can’t help thinking about how wrong I was to be skeptical of the sisterhood. It exists, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

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