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Living With Freshman???


Marshalltown

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I received the housing assignment from the university I'll attend this fall. I had heard all about the amazing suite-style rooms available for graduate students, looked over the diagrams for the different types of suites, and numbered my choices from most desired to least desired.

The housing assignment shows that not only will I have a roommate, but the two of us will share a common living space with two other students who will live across from us as roommates. The catch is that the three students listed are freshmen.

 

Should I stick with it, see what the three students are like, and draft a roommate agreement, or am I in for some trouble living with freshmen? Would it be acceptable to ask for a different housing assignment, at least one where my roommate would be another graduate student like myself, or would that be perceived as bossy or snobby? 

 

Part of me feels like it won't be a big deal because these students have selected their majors and seem decent, but another part of me feels that as a graduate student I deserve a living arrangement that will allow me to study and work without the drama and headaches that can come from having a roommate or an underclassmen-oriented environment.

 

 

 

 

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Personally I'd worry more about the roommate* part than the freshman part, but I would also talk to the particular individuals involved to see how I think I'd get along with them. If it were me in this situation, I would probably request a reassignment, because I value my privacy and would want to preempt potential problems even if they may never arise. An unpleasant living situation can make grad school almost unbearable. 

* I am assuming here that roommate means someone who you actually share a room with. 

(Something to look into is whether it's possible that your status is somehow entered into the system incorrectly, so you're showing as a first-year undergraduate instead of a first-year graduate student. Being paired with 3 freshmen doesn't sound like a typical arrangement.)

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It could mean "freshman" as in "first year graduate student". Maybe? It's weird if they advertised as graduate housing but then mixed you in with undergrads. 

I'd be getting myself onto Facebook/LinkedIn once i have their names to work out if they're really freshman.  

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34 minutes ago, St Andrews Lynx said:

It could mean "freshman" as in "first year graduate student". Maybe? It's weird if they advertised as graduate housing but then mixed you in with undergrads. 

I'd be getting myself onto Facebook/LinkedIn once i have their names to work out if they're really freshman.  

I was thinking this as well, but during my final year of undergrad I lived with a Master's student, so it could very well be undergrads (though there's a much bigger difference between freshmen and grad students living together than there is with a senior undergrad and grad student living together.) Otherwise I think there is usually designated undergrad and graduate housing. It makes more sense this way anyway.

I honestly had enough of living with other undergrads as an undergrad (the only decent housemate I've ever had for 5 years was, coincidentally, the Master's student!), so if you don't think this is the best situation for you then you might consider asking for a re-assignment. I wouldn't worry about being perceived as snobby or anything, it's up to you if you want to give them a chance or find other arrangements. It's important that you are comfortable with who you are living with. The last thing you want to be dealing with during grad school is roommate issues. But as @St Andrews Lynx has said, I would try to find out if they are actually undergrads or not before making any decisions.

 

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13 hours ago, St Andrews Lynx said:

It could mean "freshman" as in "first year graduate student". Maybe? It's weird if they advertised as graduate housing but then mixed you in with undergrads. 

I'd be getting myself onto Facebook/LinkedIn once i have their names to work out if they're really freshman.  

It could be 'freshman' as in first year college student, but not 'fresh out of high school'. Is it possible that they are setting you up with folks that may be going to school after military service, or just starting at a slightly older age?

Checking your potential roomies on Facebook or LinkedIn would be a good idea. It would also be a good idea to fire off an email to them once you get their contact info.

 

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At most US colleges, the term freshman is reserved only for first year undergraduate students. I have not yet heard this term used to mean first year graduate students, ever. 

I agree with everyone that said you should contact the housing office first to figure out whether this is intentional or a mistake. Contact the school's housing office directly and confirm that they did intend to put you in this particular residence hall even though you are a graduate student. I think this is probably a mistake and it's more likely that they made the mistake of putting you with the other 3 freshman than they made a mistake of putting 3 people in your unit. It could also be a mistake due to the way they processed your form---maybe whoever processed your housing request accidentally filed you with first year undergrads instead of grads.

Or, it might actually be intentional and unfortunately they ran out of graduate housing spots and rather leave you without any housing at all, they placed you in an undergraduate residence. Or, it might just be temporary.

In any case, you should first work with the housing office directly to ensure there was no mistake. I do not think you should figure out who your roommates are or whether or not they are really freshman. It's not really your potential roommates' problem if there was a mistake and they can't really help you in any way. They are also brand new to the school and might not know what's going on either. I would only contact your potential roommates once the housing office confirms that your assignment is correct and once you are certain they will be your roommates. 

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Agree with the others -- contact the school to find out if it was an error.

Personally, I wouldn't have been able to function at the level grad school requires if I was living with a group of freshmen, even if I was 22 or 23. There's a maturity difference and also just the learning curve of entering college/university life. I think back to what I was like 10 years ago when I was an 18-year old freshman heading off to college, and current-me would not want to live on a peer level with then-me. 

Side note, are you from Marshalltown, IA by chance? Grew up about an hour away and it's not exactly a common town name and see you're in the Midwest...and what university are you attending, may I ask? 

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