Roommates reflect on relationships

At home, most cherubs have their own bedroom. At Medill, most don’t. This summer, 62 of the 84 cherubs had roommates. The community associates, four rising sophomores at Northwestern University, did the matchmaking.


Hannah Seewald and Hannah Feuer

Shortly after moving into their dorm room in East Fairchild, roommates Hannah Seewald of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and Hannah Feuer of Bethesda, Maryland, realized they share more than just a first name and a passion for journalism.

They’re both messy and lactose intolerant. They both laugh at “Friends” and their struggle to wake up in the morning.

“And we both change our outfits like a million times,” Feuer said.

Sure, Feuer gets up early to run. But Seewald sees the benefit. Her roommate can wake her up if her alarm does not work – or if she ignores it.

“I sleep in, and it’s gotten to the point where if she comes back and I’m still sleeping, she will wake me up,” Seewald said. “She’ll be there for me.”

Seewald was nervous when she met her roommate on the first day of the program, she said. She worried her chattiness would make a bad first impression, but Feuer readily accepted it.

“We’ve been able to encourage each other and hype each other up,” Seewald said. “I’ve been able to gain more confidence from having a great friend like Hannah.”


Maddie Aitken and Sophia DeLuca

When roommates Maddie Aitken of Montclair, New Jersey, and Sophia DeLuca of Decatur, Georgia, moved into their dorm, they greeted each other with a hug. This warm welcome would later set the tone for their close friendship, Aitken said. Since then, they have become inseparable, spending almost every minute together.

“The first night, we decided that we weren’t going to have an awkward roommate moment. We jumped right in and started talking about our lives,” Aitken said. “We’re always together, so we’ve just gotten really close.”

Besides bonding over their love of journalism, DeLuca said they both like Big Sean’s “Bounce Back.”

Aitken said her roommate’s “outgoing, bubbly personality” rubbed off on her.

“I think Sophia has pushed me to be more extroverted, live in the moment and not care what other people think about me,” Aitken said.

DeLuca said her first cherub friend, Aitken, made her experience special.

“We are undoubtedly the best roommate pairing in this entire program,” DeLuca said.


Emily Lu and Kacee Haslett

Emily Lu of Austin, Texas, missed part of the first week of the Medill cherub program because of a science conference presentation in Houston.

When she arrived back on NU’s campus, her roommate, Kacee Haslett of Indianapolis, helped her catch up.

“When I came back, she introduced me to everyone on our floor,” Lu said. “It was really nice because I thought I had missed out on meeting a lot of people, but I hung out with everyone.”

Haslett said she bonded with Lu over their picky eating habits. One day, she discovered Lu eating her go-to order from Blaze Pizza — pizza with white sauce and bacon.

She also realized that they both hate tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, steak and beef.

“I’ve never met anyone like that before, and it weirds me out because I thought it was only me,” Haslett said.

Lu said she plans to stay in touch with Haslett.

“I think our personalities definitely mesh really well,” Lu said. “I think we definitely got paired together for a reason.”


Bilal Ahmad and Andrew Rowan

Normally, Bilal Ahmad of Doha, Qatar, and Andrew Rowan of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, live 6,700 miles away from each other. At the Medill cherub program, the distance narrowed to a two-foot gap between their twin beds in East Fairchild.

Like all cherubs, they learned each other’s names and hometowns when they got to NU.

“I didn’t really know what to expect because I read on the website about international students last year,” Rowan said. “I was interested in how he has a totally different color palette of a landscape.”

Rowan and Ahmad said they have different sleeping schedules, but they have learned to adapt. Rowan goes to bed around 12 a.m. and gets up early, while Ahmad goes to bed around 3 a.m.

“When I wake up, I try not to wake him up, and then when he goes to bed, he tries not to wake me up,” Rowan said.

Ahmad said he learned about Instagram and Twitter from Rowan, who runs social media accounts for a local restaurant in his hometown.

“He seems to have a lot of knowledge about social media and social media marketing, so I’d love to learn about that stuff,” Ahmad said.