An Unexpected Suitemate

After living here alone for the past week without any sign of another student moving in, I assumed I would have the entire four-person suite to myself. This wasn’t the case.

As I was practicing guqin, my door swung open and our dorm manager came in with a young man carrying a bulky suitcase, his guide—a local student—helped him with his lighter belongings.

“Sorry—I forgot to knock,” the dorm manager said to me.

“No worries,” I replied as I got up from my seat.

As my new suitemate was getting settled into his room, the dorm manager mentioned that a third person would be joining us. No idea when, where he’s from, or what his name is, but there’s some third person supposedly joining us some time down the road.

My suitemate’s guide noticed my guqin and remarked, “Oh, are you a part of the guqin club?”

Hold up—there’s a guqin club on campus?

“No,” I replied, tilting my head in curiosity. “Can you tell me more though? I’d love to join.”

“Yeah, hold on,” she said. “Let me introduce you to the club president…”

As she typed a few things into her phone, my mind wandered towards other possibilities.

“Is there a calligraphy club too?” I asked eagerly.

“Yeah, do you wanna join that too?”

“Yes, please!”

And with that, I joined two clubs in one night.

At this point, my new suitemate had finished moving his luggage in, and we introduced ourselves. He’s from Seoul and had just finished his bachelor’s degree in Chinese language. Later, I found out that he’s also a Classical Chinese geek, although he switched his concentration from classical to modern Chinese about a year and a half ago.

Having just arrived, my suitemate was both exhausted and hungry. And so, we walked to the dining hall and talked over a bowl of spicy noodles before going shopping for household essentials. Since he arrived on a Friday night, he’d have to survive the weekend without a data plan, since starting a student phone account required a student ID, which he couldn’t get until Monday.

In the meantime, he survived by using my hotspot every so often and sneaking into the local McDonald’s for their wifi.

He even left campus on an adventure Saturday night, taking the subway into the city to meet up with his guide for a date. He came back with a bag of roasted chestnuts for me!

It’s a bit odd, as I’ve gone my entire four years of college without ever having a roommate. I did have a suitemate my senior year, but I was living with someone I had known since freshman year rather than a complete stranger. Although, it’s a bit comforting that even the strangers I end up living with share quirky interests like Classical Classical literature. Now, I wonder if our third suitemate is also a history/literature geek…

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