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GOSHEN -- When Jonathon Casselberry-Scott moved into his college dorm room two years ago, he had no idea what awaited him.
Like most college students, he had heard the cliché that the lessons you learn from a roommate are as important as the ones you learn in class.
He just wasn't prepared for a roommate with Attention Deficit Disorder, a non-existent sleep schedule and no interest in socializing.
"I had gotten this coffee table out of the Dumpster," Casselberry-Scott said. "Everybody signed up for room assignments. He didn't get a single. He got so mad he punched the coffee table and we had to glue it back together."
That's how he first encountered Kevin, who random room assignments chose as his roommate at the University of Michigan. To Casselberry-Scott's disappointment, things didn't exactly improve from there.
"He went on these Jones Soda trips," Casselberry-Scott recalls. "He had 300 Jones Sodas in the room. He lined them up against the walls and took all his clothes out of his drawers to fit them."
At other times, Kevin stayed up for two days straight without sleep, only to crash and miss classes afterward. He also drummed his fingers on his desk at 3 a.m. He was, in Casselberry-Scott's words, a tough person to live with.
The two didn't talk about the problems until right before the year ended, but they managed to share a space until Casselberry-Scott transferred to Goshen College, where he's now a junior.
As for Kevin, he's a legend among Casselberry-Scott's new, and more cooperative, roommates in the Doll House at Kulp Residence Hall.
At Goshen College, many students avoid unfortunate roommate matches every year because housing officials pair up roommates based on questionnaires about musical tastes, sleep schedules, cleaning habits and social preferences.
"I think the most important part is, 'Do you see your room as a place where you'll study all the time or as a social focal point?'" said soon-to-be-junior Luke Nofsinger, who also lives in the Doll House.
"My roommate and I are both not quiet. We heard about people not liking their roommates and it ruining their college experience. We talked about how lucky we were."
Across campus at Miller Residence Hall, freshmen Anna Srof and Emily Roggie already act like friends, going to soccer games and even picking up their mail together. They've only lived together for a few days, but they've e-mailed since mid-June when they found out they'd be roommates.
"When she got here, I felt we'd known each other for years," said Srof, who lived in Goshen.
"We had a great connection. I feel like I'm her sister. We talked about the alarm clock and hitting snooze. She's used to her sister hitting it several times and doesn't care. I hit it a couple of times. We're very similar."
The blue, green and brown rug with matching trash basket shows that the two quickly agreed on which colors to use in decorating their room. They have found out they also share musical tastes.
"I was listening to Green Day and she said she liked that, too," said Roggie, who is from Akron, Pa. "I think we listened to Disney, too. I like everything. I'm not picky."
Perhaps it's because they're equally easygoing that they get along so well. It's still early in the semester, but they already laid the foundation for being good roommates by learning the lessons of communicating and speaking up if something bothers you.
That's a lesson it took Casselberry-Scott a year to learn. At the same time, living with Kevin taught him another essential life skill -- to get along with people very different from himself.
"It was interesting," he said, "because even though he was a bad roommate, I could make it work."
Contact Gitte Laasby at firstname.lastname@example.org.