Living in a twin room might seem like your worst nightmare, but you do save a lot of money compared with the usual price of living in one of Otago’s residential colleges.
“I can’t image paying full price,” said Carolina*, who lives in a twin room in Aquinas. She only pays $11,500 for the full year of living in Aquinas, compared with the full price of $16,340.
The twin room experience goes a step further than just flatting with someone. There’s only one desk in their twin room, and just one mirror, so it’s difficult whenever you want to study or get ready for a night out.
“We did talk about signals for ‘don’t come in’, we talked about putting a scrunchie on the door,” she said. “But I don’t own any scrunchies. So I just lock the door and hope for the best.”
Carolina thinks she’s been pretty lucky in terms of her roommate. “We are scarily well-matched up as a pair,” she said. “Plus [my roommate] ended up getting into a relationship in the first couple of weeks, so she stays in their room and I often have the room to myself.”
Carolina reckons the twin room has been “pretty good, especially considering the savings”, but she is cautious about recommending the experience to anyone else.
“I’m gonna be real with you, I feel like I’ve been quite a bad roommate,” she confessed. “I’m messy, and so I feel like if you were okay at that it might be better. But there are some things that bother me, like leaving a wardrobe open. They just build up and annoy me.”
Exams were “stressful” as Carolina and her roommate study different degrees and work on different schedules. “She’s up really early — when she gets up, I’m going to bed.”
“You’ve gotta really let some things go. Someone will come in when you’re sleeping, and if that bothers you, the twin room is not for you,” Carolina said. She reckons it’s been a “learning experience” of getting used to living with another person. “Bringing home a date, you can’t do that, you have to go to their place,” she said.