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A Home Away From Home

The countdown is on! With just two weeks before the start of school, students have packing lists, school-supply recommendations, and hopefully not too many butterflies.

Earlier this week, boarding students got information about whether they will have a roommate. That little update is big news, in that it gives each boarder a better sense of how they'll be sharing daily life with classmates on campus this year.

As the following article — from the May edition of Brooks' thrice-yearly Bulletin magazine — shows, roommates enjoy a special opportunity to get to know each other.

For more stories about on-campus events, as well as articles about the lives and accomplishments of Brooks alumni, parents and friends of the school, check your mailbox: The new Summer edition will be out soon!

Brooks students lead a busy life: They spend their days in class, on the stage and in the game. They traverse Main Street, Wilder Dining Hall and the bounds of the school's campus. They study, they eat and they explore their interests, strengths and weaknesses. Now, we look at the lives and stories that unfold behind the walls of our dorms and inside the rooms of our boarding students. The Bulletin spoke with seven pairs of Brooks roommates — and photographed them in their dorm rooms — to shine a light on the experience of having a roommate in high school. As you'll see, each pair is different, each relationship is different and each room is different. One theme, though, runs throughout: These students, these roommates, wouldn't have it any other way.

Living at Brooks: Learn more about how students from all over the United States, and the world, come together as one community.

Caitlin Peirce '19 & Katie Warren '19

These Merriman residents (shown above) met as prospective students at an admission revisit day, and they knew from the beginning of their time on campus that they'd be friends. Now, these fifth-formers have lived together for two years, and they're hoping to live together again in the same room next year (hint, hint, dorm parents!).

Caitlin (left): Katie and I balance each other out. She reminds me to do my homework, and I remind her to go out and have fun.
Katie: When I first met Caitlin, she was very bubbly and outgoing. And she still is — she's really fun to be around and very talkative. I'm very reserved when I first meet someone, so I appreciated that.
Caitlin: Our room is a no-judgment zone. In here, we can talk about anything. There's a lot of stress and pressure from school, so it's nice to be able to come back here and talk and just let it all out.
Katie: Also, we have tea time! Caitlin loves tea. Last year, she would drink two or three cups a day. So, we would have "tea time" — we would drink tea together, de-stress and center ourselves.

Andrew Stevens '18 & Matthew Kim '18

This sixth-form pair (shown above) each started at Brooks as fourth-formers. They were placed together for their first year on campus, and they've stuck together since. Stevens, the captain of the New England champion boys 1st soccer team, says that the pair shares a strong bond despite engaging in very different activities outside their Chace House room.
Matthew (right): We haven't fought in three years. We respect each other, which is the most important thing as roommates. I love Andy the way he is, and I hope he loves me the way I am.
Andrew: We have our different lives here — he does his thing and I do mine — but at the end of the day, we come back here and it's always just been easy.
Matthew: I'll remember Andy's passion for soccer. He thinks a lot about soccer and we've watched a lot of soccer on television together. I've heard him talking to teammates about soccer. Now that I've met Andy and seen how passionate he is about this thing that he loves, I've started to look for the thing in my own life that I have the same level of passion for.
Andrew: I'll always remember our first day of school here. I was a homesick fourth-former, it was all new, and Matthew was this kid that I didn't know at all. We were trying to get out the door to get to breakfast, and for the life of me, I couldn't get my tie tied correctly. Matthew came over and he helped me. He tied my tie perfectly for me. Since then, of course, I've learned how to tie my tie myself, but in the moment, I was so grateful; I thought, "this kid's good."

Eddie Choi '19 & Myles Pember '19

These fifth-form residents of Chace House love their room. In fact, they've set it up with an eye toward hosting large groups of friends and dormmates. The layout of your room, they assert, "can really change how you spend your year."
Eddie (right): The way our room is set up, it's perfect for everyone else to come in. That's our work section over there [gesturing to two desks against the opposite wall], and this is our "chill" section. I like it that way because when I do homework, I need someone doing homework next to me to keep me motivated.
Myles: We motivate each other! And if I have a question on my homework, I can just slide my book over and Eddie knows to help me with it. It's a beneficial relationship. I help Eddie more with social things.
Eddie: If you don't decorate your room, if you don't set it up so that it's convenient, people aren't going to come to your room. It's the little things that make people want to come to your room.
Myles: Our room is like a second common room for the dorm. There are usually, like, six people in here. We like it that way.

Olivia Jarvis '18 & Lucy Lannan '18

These Hettinger East residents joined together to deliver their Senior Speech on their time together as roommates. The duo took to the Ashburn Chapel lectern to reveal the hard work that's gone into their lasting relationship, a topic that they spoke about again in this interview.
Olivia (left): The only argument we've had consistently is that we'll get in our beds and then Lucy will try to do her English reading and keep the light on. So for her birthday this year, I bought Lucy a book light that hooks over her book.
Lucy: We've really just figured it out. After you've been together for three years, you just kind of know. We've had times where we've argued, and you'd think it wasn't going to work out, but that's not true at all. It's actually gotten so much better. The time it takes to settle into a relationship is really important.
Olivia: I have a brother, but I think Lucy's the closest thing I have to a sister. And not in the sense that we're best friends but in the sense that sometimes we argue, and then we get over it.
Lucy (to Olivia): It's like when you bought that light for me. You were with some of your other friends, and they all said that's a weird present and that I wouldn't like it. But, I loved it!

Tianshu Wang '19 & Connor Wright '19

This pair likes living in Blake House. As neighbors last year, they became good friends. Now, they live together, and they form a great duo.
Connor (below): Tianshu and I are pretty close. He's someone that I really enjoy spending time with. He makes living in a dorm so much better.
Tianshu: Thank you! When I applied to Brooks, I wanted a roommate. I want to live with someone, talk to each other, learn more about society and the world. That's the whole point of why I came to America for school. Connor adds to my life at Brooks.
Connor: And Blake is a great community. Especially this year, it's harder to go home on the weekends than it is to just stay here and hang out with friends in the dorm.
Tianshu: Also, Connor makes the room smell nice.
Connor (laughing): I have the Febreze air fresheners.

Millie Brady '18 & Blakely Dimeo '18

These Gardner House prefects are among the first group of sixth-form girls to live in a dorm reserved for third-form girls. They've lived together all four years at Brooks, and they say they wanted to be role models for Brooks's newest students as the third-formers found their own home on campus.
Millie (left): Last year, we had singles next to each other. We ended up combining our rooms because we decided we wanted to live together. We put both our beds in one single, and then we had a living room and a bedroom.
Blakely: Next year in college, I'll miss coming back to the dorm and knowing that my best friend is here to talk to. I've gotten so used to having her near me over the past four years.
Millie: We both understand what the other is going through with school, sports, social life — and we work well in terms of our similarities: cleanliness, quiet time, everything.
Blakely: The first night we were here as third-formers, we had our beds pushed up against a baseboard wall heater. There was a space between our pillows and the wall, so our pillows kept sliding into the crack where the heater was. It was funny — that first night, both of us up at midnight and trying to figure out how to work through that together, not really knowing each other.
Millie: We were up for an hour after that, just sitting in our pajamas and laughing. We connected so well, even on our first night here. I see how far we've come together from that first night to now. It's different, but it's still very much the same.

Jacob Iwowo '18 & Terrell Brown '18

These self-described extroverts exude energy. They enjoy living together in Thorne House (here, they are photographed in the common room), and they agree that, as Terrell says, "the people make the dorm."
Jacob (left): I'm a social person, and I don't really need a lot of time to be by myself. I'm always talking to other people, so having a roommate to spend time with, and to have people come to our room, matches my personality.
Terrell: I had a single my fourth-form year, and I didn't like it. I was always in other people's rooms.
Jacob: It's good to learn how to live with someone. But, you learn about yourself. You find out what you're like when you live with someone else, which is important in college and in life.
Terrell: I think about all the times when we were just together and alive. We love to dance, we love to laugh and joke around. There have been times when I couldn't breathe because I was laughing so hard with Jacob. To have that one person here that you know you have as a friend; I know I always have this guy here.

Follow Brooks School on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see the projects, trips and happenings in our community each day during the school year.


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