Living with someone who has a different lifestyle can be hard — but it can be even harder during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some Penn State students have made adjustments and set rules to making sharing a living space less stressful amid the coronavirus.

Natia Frisby, who lived in Ritner Hall during the fall 2020 semester, said she initially was not used to sharing space.

Frisby (freshman-public relations) said she and her former roommate had to set rules to ensure neither of them would contract the coronavirus.

“She tended to go out a lot more and to a lot more parties,” Frisby said. “I didn’t want to go to any parties because I didn’t want to take any chances.”

Frisby said her roommate’s decisions made her uncomfortable, but she did not know how to deal with it.

“I never brought it up because I didn’t want to make her feel like I’m imposing on her,” Frisby said.

She said it was hard to adjust to her roommate’s lifestyle. But, she decided to switch dorms and is looking forward to living with her new roommate.

“She’s a lot more relaxed,” Frisby said. “We have a lot more in common.”

Serena Davanzo said throughout college, she has not had the best luck with roommates.

Davanzo (junior-theater studies and broadcast journalism) said her first roommate was messy and another one was quiet.

“I think we said a total of 100 words,” Davanzo said.


Nothing could have prepared Penn State students for pandemic learning. Spending long hours i…

For fall 2020, Davanzo was matched with a roommate she felt comfortable living with. She said they would occasionally go for bike rides together, and they were always on the same page.

Davanzo said they both hung out with their separate friend groups, but she didn’t worry about her roommate doing anything that could put them at risk.

“She never brought back COVID,” Davanzo said. “She was always safe.”

Furthermore, Shubh Javia said he and his two roommates have been friends since their freshman year.

Javia (junior-applied data sciences) said adjusting to living together was initially difficult because they were just getting to know each other’s lifestyles during the coronavirus.

“There was a lot of wearing masks in the beginning,” Javia said.

Eventually, he said he got comfortable with his roommates, and they started doing almost everything together. Now, Javia said college during the coronavirus is “a lot less lonely.”

He said there are no major differences in how each of them spends their time outside of their apartment, so it was not hard to adjust. They also share the same friends.

Aamir Siddiqui said he and his roommate live in a studio downtown, so they are in each other’s space most of the time.

Siddiqui (senior-biology neuroscience) said it is hard living so close to someone other than family, so this was a learning experience. He said his roommate is always home, so he tries to go to campus or take walks downtown so he can have some time to himself.

“With him always being home, it feels like I can’t be there,” Siddiqui said. “I kind of just take myself out of the situation.”

Siddiqui said his roommate occasionally brings guests over without his permission. He said he would not mind if it were not during a pandemic.

Now, Siddiqui said the guests make him uncomfortable. He said he doesn’t know if they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

However, after communicating and creating rules, Siddiqui said he and his roommate have found common grounds that made it easier for him to adjust.

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