4 years of friendship: Class of 2022 roommates since 2018

A collage of roommates is pictured. Madeline O’Donnell and Aneri Parikh outside their first-year dorm room in Tilton as seniors (top left). Parker Killenberg, Jordan Sclar and Naomi Karmel (top middle). Tejus Govani and Robby Nooney (top right). Caroline McCarthy and Allison Chow (center left). Greta Van Curan and Barrett Laird (center). Hannah Kerber and Grace Murray (bottom left). Harrison Witt, Peter Lindblom and Noah Shamus (bottom middle). Michael Friedman and Sam Klugherz (bottom right).

The Class of 2022 was the first class at Tufts to have randomly assigned first-year roommates, and, despite whatever discomfort that might have caused at first, some seniors decided to live with their first-year roommate all four years. 

Tejus Govani and Robby Nooney first lived together in a forced triple in Hodgdon Hall

In an interview with the Daily, Govani said that before moving in, he didn’t know anything about Nooney, as he wasn’t able to find his new roommate on social media. However, he did find someone with the same name whom he could tell he didn’t want to live with. When Govani arrived on campus, he set out to determine if they were the same person or not.

I was like, ‘I need to know anything about this person.’ So, I opened one of his drawers, and the first thing on the very top of this drawer was a sweatshirt that said varsity theater. And I was like, ‘Okay, so I’m good. We’re going to get along fine,’ Govani said.

They met on move-in day, which was marked by a strange experience with local journalism.

This woman came into the dorms and walked into our room … [and she said], ‘Hi, we’re with the Boston Globe and … we’re just covering move-in day at Tufts University,’” Govani said.

Govani said that the reporter asked him how he felt about Nooney taking the only non-lofted bed, which became an inside joke between them. They described that their friendship formed pretty quickly.

We just spent a couple of days together at college, and it’s like, okay, so we’re best friends now,” Govani said. 

After rooming together for four years, they learned a lot about each other. 

Tejus likes to stay up late at night … and likes to have some engrossing conversations. … It was a great time to bond. We had lots of fun. It also meant that, my freshman and sophomore year, I got no sleep, Nooney said.

This year, Nooney joined Govani in performing in “The Lightning Thief” (2014) at the last minute when other cast members were struck with COVID-19, and the two went to visit Robby’s family together over spring break along with their third first-year roommate

 

Hannah Kerber and Grace Murray also lived in a forced triple in Hodgdon Hall during their first year at Tufts. 

 

“I feel like it worked out so perfectly for us because we probably would’ve chosen someone similar had we been able to choose. … We were lucky enough to be paired with each other.”  Murray said.

Their sophomore year, Kerber and Murray lived in a double in Harleston Hall, and after that, they lived in the same house both junior and senior year. Along the way, they have learned lessons about themselves and about each other. 

Hannah’s a super patient and understanding person, so it’s been very nice to live with her,” Murray said. “It’s just been like a really warm and nice experience.

Kerber added, “I feel like it’s really nice to know that we’re on the same page about things. … I always am like, ‘Oh, I know Grace will … have good advice to give in general but also know me well enough to help me specifically.’” 

 

Greta Van Curan and Barrett Laird were also in Hodgdon Hall for their first year at Tufts. The two shared their first impressions of each other with the Daily.  

I didn’t really know what to expect when I was coming in to meet Greta. She’s very outgoing, and I’m very quiet, so it was just funny. But … [then] we realized that it was kind of a match made in heaven,” Laird said. 

Van Curan said that she and Laird are opposites, but they are “opposites that work.” 

I overthink everything. I love the library,” Laird said, to which Van Curan interjected, “I think I’ve stepped into the library twice in my four years here.” 

Despite their differences, there are also a lot of similarities between Laird and Van Curan

We both mesh really well because we kind of reality check each other always and really help to remind each other of what’s important and kind of stay on the right track,” Van Curan said. 

Laird said that their roommate relationship and friendship has worked really well and was an important part of her time at Tufts.

I wouldn’t imagine my Tufts experience without Greta,” Laird said. 

There must have been something in Hodgdon’s social scene during the 2018–22 academic year because Sam Klugherz and Michael Friedman are another four-year roommate duo who lived in Hodgdon Hall their first year. However, move-in day wasn’t the first day they saw each other.

Apparently, we were both at the same Jumbo Days. … My mom took a photo of me trying out a sweatshirt in the [Mayer Campus Center], and Sam’s in the background of the photo,” Friedman said.

In their dorm room, Friedman said that they had a rhythm.

“Sam and I didn’t always talk. … We had [these] unstated principles,” Friedman said. “Sam and I had this unspoken, ‘1 a.m. lights out’ [rule].”

Klugherz and Friedman quickly became friends, bonding over their shared love of music. 

Klugherz said that Friedman inspired him to have his own radio show on WMFO, and they would hang out in the studio and have fun.

When I look back on college, it’s like, Sam’s always been there. Which is just really … a very comforting, very nice feeling to have, [a] nice memory to hold onto,” Friedman said. 

Aneri Parikh and Maddie O’Donnell lived in Tilton their first year and are both from the Bay Area. They immediately hit it off and found many shared interests.

Outside of living together, Parikh wrote in an email to the Daily that she and O’Donnell have taken one class together every semester and have both been on the executive board of Tufts Students for National Abortion Rights Action League since their first year at Tufts. On top of that, Parikh wrote that their parents are friends and “conspire against” them.

Recalling their first year, O’Donnell said, “It was super nice to have a built-in best friend right away.”

Whether they would continue to live together after their first year wasn’t even a question for Parikh and O’Donnell.

We’re both only children, … so it was kind of nice the first kind of sibling-y experience was this,” O’Donnell said.

Parikh added that the two of them would do everything together and today, all of their mutual friends are each other’s friends. Even now in their senior year, while they don’t technically live in the same room, their rooms are “conjoined” and they can talk through the walls.

 It’s crazy to have someone who you live with and you’re so close with because you literally know so much about them. You see them more than you see anyone else, so they know all sides of you,” O’Donnell said.

Similarly, Allison Chow and Caroline McCarthy look back fondly on living in Houston Hall together their first year. Looking back on orientation, McCarthy said, “I think we just did so well. We really hit it off.”

Chow is a biopsychology major and McCarthy studies biology. Chow said that they’ve taken seven classes together over their four years.

“I feel like we’re not competitive. We do our work together and help each other out,” McCarthy said.

Not only do they have similar majors, but they will have the same role in health care consulting after graduation, albeit at different companies.

After living together for four years, Chow said, “We [learned] each other’s personalities and style, and we could answer questions for each other.”

McCarthy said through her friendship with Chow, she’s become more vocal and confident. 

“It’s hard to hide stuff from someone that you’ve lived with for as long as [we have],” McCarthy said.

Harrison Witt, Noah Shamus and Peter Lindblom lived in a triple in Bush Hall their first year.

They said that although the living situation wasn’t ideal, they made it work.

The entire room [was] basically three bunk beds where your nose was about five inches from the ceiling. All of our [stuff] was pushed underneath, and then we moved in some couches from the common room and kind of just made it our own. … It was definitely not the most ideal sleeping arrangement — especially because Pete would also scream in his sleep,” Witt said. 

After their first year, they lived in a ten-person suite in Haskell. 

“All three of us were in the suite, but none of us lived together, which was probably for the best, coming off of spending every second together freshman [year],” Witt said. “But we got to hang out all the time.”

Outside of the room, although they had different majors, they ended up learning a lot from one another.

We don’t all have the same interests, for an academic side. Especially with Noah, I don’t have a lot in common with CS … and so talking with him about that always is interesting to me,” Lindblom said.

“[We have] very different living habits and also interests too. … Had we not been put in that room, who knows what would have been?” Witt said. 

 

Jordan Sclar, Naomi Karmel and Parker Killenberg were in a triple in Metcalf Hall their first year at Tufts

Looking back at their four years together, Sclar said, “Overall … it was just a lesson in how people with different characteristics and personality traits and people that you might not necessarily think might be matched end up working really well together.”

Sophomore year, they were split up due to bad lottery numbers but managed to all end up in the same hall in Harleston. The three lived together during their junior and senior years, and after graduation, Sclar and Killenberg will be living together in Boston; Karmel will be just a couple of T stops away.

Sclar described the different roles they play in their friend group.

Our dynamic was very much like, I would cause trouble, … Parker would instigate and just go along with whatever, and Naomi would just shut it down,” Sclar said. 

Karmel talked about what she has learned from their friendship, which reflects how chance meetings at the start of someone’s time at Tufts can change not just their four years here but also who they are as a person:

“They taught me to chill out and have fun. … Coming in freshman year, I would get really annoyed because they were just being silly, and by senior year, I’ve become silly with them.”


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