Roommates: Through Thick and Thin

One of the most terrifying parts of first arriving at college is meeting your first roommate. You have probably never met before and yet  have been paired to live together for at least a semester.

Juniors Ashley Lenz (left) and Kirsten Martinez (right) watching YouTube videos. They have been roommates since their freshman year.

Juniors Ashley Lenz (left) and Kirsten Martinez (right) watching YouTube videos. They have been roommates since their freshman year.

Images from the horror movie, The Roommate, surely creep into the minds of students as they drive to Belton for move-in day. While their own first roommate stories don’t unfold as violently, some can be horrific in their own way.
However, on rare occasions, roommates hit it off, and they become best friends.
Senior education major Chad Manns wasn’t sure what to think about his roommate, senior mathematics major Ryan Frusha, when they first moved into McLane Hall their freshman year.
“For the first two or three weeks, it was pretty awkward. We talked about school, and that was it,” Manns said. “I think the thing that brought us together was our music. I was listening to Usher, and he was like ‘you like this music?’”
Once they discovered their similar taste in tunes, the duo decided to make some music videos.    Frusha said that was when he started to get to know his roommate better.
“The first time we met, he was real quiet, and I was more upbeat. And then he came out of his shell a little bit when we did those videos,” he said.
Whether or not they would be roommates past their freshman year was never mentioned between Frusha and Manns. It was an unnecessary conversation.
“If anything, it was when the housing process came, we expected to stay roommates. The conversation was more of who’s going to be our third roommate,” Frusha said.
Usually differences and disagreements are reasons why freshman roommates don’t stay together. Frusha and Manns are exceptions to the rules.
“We’ve only had probably two arguments. But they’ve all been about sports,” Manns said, laughing.
They both enjoy playing and watching basketball. However, Manns is an avid Dallas Mavericks fan while Frusha chooses to root for the Miami Heat. For many this could be an obstacle to friendship given the hot rivalry that has developed between the two teams over the past several years.
“We weren’t at each other’s throats about it,” Frusha said. “When the Mavs won, he was pretty cool about it. Whenever they were beating the Heat, he wouldn’t bring it up. Then the next year when the Heat crushed them, I never said anything about it.”

Seniors Chad Manns and Ryan Frusha have been roommates ever since freshman year.

Seniors Chad Manns and Ryan Frusha have been roommates ever since freshman year.

Their friendship doesn’t end once they leave Belton. This past summer, Frusha and Manns went to Hawaii to do mission work. They said the experience helped them grow closer spiritually.
Another duo that has withstood the test of time is junior social work major Kristen Martinez and junior art education major Ashley Lenz. They had all the usual worries that students have about meeting their roommate. But three years later, they’re still roommates and still living in Remschel Hall where their journey began.
Martinez was worried about how she would get along with her new potluck roommate when she first moved to the university.
Lenz jokes that their “mutual weirdness” is part of the bond that has grown between them.

After the initial phase of getting to know each other, Lenz and Martinez have become best friends, which Lenz says is a “long­­_term relationship.”
The two of them say  they could not imagine rooming with anyone else.
Martinez said, “It’s mostly the fact that I’ve just kind of like become attached to her, in a good way. Not in a weird creepy way like The Roommate.”

Author: Seth Stephens

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