April 18, 2024

NDSU Roommate Success Stories: Rylan and Tyler

Moving away from home and sharing space with a roommate can be an uncomfortable thought for some incoming freshmen. However, NDSU has several resources to make sure first-year students have a positive residence life experience. 

Rylan Swenson and Tyler Heckman, who met through NDSU’s roommate matching website prior to starting classes, were both nervous with the idea of having a roommate. Those fears were quickly diminished when they got to know each other. 

Once they moved into their room in Seim Hall, Swenson and Heckman made sure they actively hung out together by participating in Welcome Week activities and attending NDSU football games.  

“If you’re just living with each other, you’re not really going to make a connection. But if you actually put in the effort in spending time with one another and actually making that bond, I feel like it’s really worthwhile,” said Heckman, a business administration major from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 

Both learned of their common interests even before moving into their residence hall through My College Roomie, NDSU’s roommate matching software. The software allows incoming students to create a profile and complete a questionnaire to determine similar interests with other students who also have completed the process.

“It helped ease things because you get a little bit of a snapshot into the type of person they are, like their hobbies and interests. We both connected over golf right away,” said Swenson, a statistics and sports management double major from Lake Park, Minnesota. “It gives you a little bit of an insight of what your connections are and what you have in common.”

Heckman said having the ability to connect with Swenson before becoming roommates helped create a foundation for their friendship. 

In addition to creating a bond with his roommate, Swenson said being a part of a community in their residence hall also has helped with the transition from high school to college.  

“You’re pretty much all freshmen, you’re all going through the same thing, you’re all having the same experiences,” he said. “This is your first time away from home, so you kind of get to know each other and bond through that right away. That helps lead to more connections and a better sense of community in the residence hall.”

Having a positive experience with their roommate has contributed to a positive first year of college for Swenson and Heckman. 

“It’s helped me with personal things in the transition to college, and it’s helped me do a lot of things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise in college,” Swenson said. “I would have kind of shelled up, but having a roommate and having someone you can just lean on that you know is just a couple of feet away from you to help you go do more things and get out into the community really strengthens your college experience.”

Swenson and Heckman’s advice to incoming freshmen is to connect with your roommate before moving into the dorm so you both can get to know one another and plan out living arrangements that will work for both of you. Additionally, Swenson and Heckman recommend incoming students actively hang out with their roommates outside of the dorm.

“My biggest piece of advice is put some effort in,” Heckman said. “I feel like it’s really easy for incoming freshmen to think that everything’s going to be perfect with their roommate and you’re going to be best friends instantly, but it still takes effort. Not only having that preparation before, setting that foundation, but also putting that effort into spending time with them and making that bond.”

Learn more about Tyler and Rylan’s story by visiting on the official NDSU YouTube channel

Apply now to start the journey to find your next best friend or schedule a visit to see what campus has to offer.

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