Transitioning From Only Child to Life in a Quad

Author: Randi McQueen

Two years ago, I was driving in the pouring rain on the highway in the middle of my trip from Cincinnati to Indianapolis when I finally received that long-awaited notification on my phone- the Office of Housing had sent me my residence hall and roommate information. I had researched every dorm, scoured multiple blogs, and counted down the days until I would receive this news. I immediately pulled into the closest exit and opened the e-mail in a gas station in the middle of nowhere.


I logged into insideND and pulled up my housing information. “Badin Hall” followed by not one, not two, but THREE names! I was in a quad, and I couldn’t have been happier. I would be living with three girls from Minnesota, Indiana, and New Jersey. My mind immediately imagined myself bonding with three other girls just like me who would become my best friends. As an only child, I never experienced life with brothers or sisters I could always play with or turn to, so I was thrilled to finally have the next closest thing to siblings.

Fast-forward to move-in day: my excitement had faded, and the reality had hit me. I had lived 18 years without siblings, and I had never shared a bedroom, bathroom, or even a fan with anyone else. On top of that, it didn’t take me too long to realize that most of my roommates were very different from myself; my visions of meeting my future bridesmaids on the first day of college vanished. I was terrified in so many ways, and classes began in just a couple days.


Over the next couple of weeks, things weren’t always easy. One quadmate had a completely different schedule and was a very light sleeper, so I couldn’t use the sink or turn on any lights when she was asleep. Another roommate was constantly Skyping in our common room, and we could hear her through the closed door. This was not at all what I was expecting.

As the weeks turned into months, I began to bond with one of my roommates and learned how to better communicate with my other roommates when I was bothered by little things. It took awhile, but life in the quad became smoother as time passed. Soon we began sharing details of our lives with each other, even if it was just something trivial like, “That cute boy from Theology talked to me today.”


Although my fantasy of having three random roommates who subsequently became my very best friends didn’t exactly come true, I did end my freshman year with what I longed for: three wonderful “sisters” whom I felt comfortable confiding in each day. As for the future, I have signed a lease with one of my freshman quadmates for an apartment senior year. I couldn’t be more thankful for my freshman roommates, and I wish them all the very best!