Some matches are made to last. Caroline Peters ’18 and Morgan Malatesta ’18 were randomly paired as roommates their first year and they’ve been living together every semester since – study abroad aside. This week The Mac Weekly sat down with these housemates and best buds as they looked back on three and a half years together.
Peters is a Spanish major, Geography minor and a Community and Global Health concentrator from Boston, MA. Malatesta is an English and International Studies major from Brookfield, WI.
TMW: Do you remember first meeting, when you were assigned each other’s roommates?
Morgan Malatesta: I don’t know if I remember.
Caroline Peters: You don’t remember our first meeting? It was like, “Yah!” but then it was really awkward, and it was like, “Do we hug?”
MM: I don’t remember it very vividly, which tells me it was probably fine.
CP: It wasn’t special to you?
MM: It was special. But it was probably just okay.
TMW: Which dorm were you in?
MM: Turk. (Unison): 304.
TMW: And you were in the same First Year Course, too?
MM: Same FYC, which was Intro to Hispanic Studies. And then we were also in Lives of Commitment, which is a pre-orientation program.
CP: Then also Intro to Urban Studies! With Paul Schadewald.
MM: We had two classes together. We were just with each other a lot.
TMW: So then you decided to live together every year after first year?
CP: Every year! We were going to live in a suite at first, with some of our friends.
MM: I remember we went to look at the suite and then we were walking back from GDD and I was just so overwhelmed, and I was like, “I just want to live with you again, Caroline.”
CP: It was almost like we said it at the exact same moment. We were on the same page.
TMW: Do you have sort of the same routine?
CP: Kind of. We have a similar routine, but we’re never overlapping.
MM: We don’t do anything together, really.
CP: Okay, that sounds sad. But we’re both like vaguely morning people, we get up sort of early, and go to the gym –
MM: – but never together, always like half an hour apart.
CP: I think we’re both low-key.
MM: She’s okay when I leave all my dishes in the sink.
CP: True. And you’re okay when I leave all my homework on the coffee table.
MM: Yeah. But I do that, also. I’m messy.
CP: Also, all my dishes are in the sink right now.
MM: Yeah. But so are mine.
CP: It’s a full sink.
MM: I wish we had a dishwasher.
CP: Or a bigger sink.
TMW: What’s the best thing about being roommates or housemates for a long time?
CP: I come home and it’s like, “Morgan, let me tell you the craziest thing that happened to me today.” It’s nice to have someone to share that with. That has become a habit of ours.
MM: It’s hard for us, if we miss a day, to recoup from all the things that we didn’t go over. It also works really well because she can be like, “Remember such-and-such person from my high school that I may have mentioned two years ago?” and I’m like, “Oh, yeah,” and then she can just tell the story. She doesn’t need to do the whole –
CP: – no background, no wasting time –
MM: – I’m here, I know exactly what she’s talking about.
TMW: You studied abroad near each other – where did you travel and when?
MM: I went to Mendoza, Argentina, which is right up against the Andes mountains, and then Caroline was –
CP: In Santiago, right against the other side of the Andes mountains. On a map, it looks like they’re right next to each other. Did I think that they were an hour away from each other? Yes. Then I mapped it and they’re, like, seven.
MM: Just because you have to take the mountains. If it was a straight shot, it would be close.
CP: Less than seven hours.
MM: But you have to go up. And then to come down the mountain is the scariest experience ever.
CP: It’s a beautiful drive.
MM: Yeah, but it’s scary, also.
CP: We did it for each other!
MM: They had these crazy double-decker buses.
CP: It’s all switchbacks, so if you’re not into that, that would be hard –
MM: – it was hard –
CP: – but it’s beautiful! I left Santiago and it was, like, 70 degrees. Then when you get to the highest point – the border – you get out and do customs, and it was, like, 30 degrees! It’s so high. There’s snow. I wouldn’t have expected snow.
TMW: So what about after graduation? Will you still live together?
MM: We haven’t talked about this.
CP: I don’t know where we’ll end up. I don’t know where I’ll end up, I should say.
MM: I mean, me neither, but –
CP: Morgan, I would do this again.
MM: You would live with me again?
CP: I would do it for four more years!
MM: Wow. So would I. We’re also not effusive about each other –
MM: – Caroline’s not touchy –
CP: – so maybe people – I think a lot of people don’t realize that I like them, or value them as a friend, because I’m not outwardly expressive of that. But I think that Morgan understands that I really value her. You [Morgan] are a great friend.
MM: I understand that. Even though we never touch. Or hug.
CP: Yeah. Only occasionally.
MM: Sometimes we hug.
CP: After a long separation.
MM: Or before a long separation.
CP: True. Accomplishments! Sort of.
MM: When did I hug you for an accomplishment?
CP: Remember when you were in the musical?
MM: You hugged me then?
CP: I hugged you then!
MM: That was, like, three years ago.
TWM: What do you do together?
CP: We watch “Jane the Virgin” on Fridays.
MM: That is a must.
CP: We did the half marathon! Again, did we run it together? No. But we both did it.
MM: We finished within, like, a minute of each other, so it really could have been that we ran it together.
CP: We did almost the same pace!
MM: But other people that sign up with a marathon or a half marathon with their friend, would be like, “We’re going to run this, together.”
CP: But that’s also why we’re good. Because when you said, “I want to do this at my pace,” I was like, “Yes, so do I.” We have the same set of expectations.
MM: I know that I can ask her to go anywhere with me, except the theater.
CP: Oh, we go to the grocery store!
MM: Oh yeah. I turned her on to Trader Joe’s. That was a highlight for me.
CP: Also – I would go to the theater. I just don’t like it.
MM: If I asked you to go to the theater a lot –
CP: – if I had to pay more than $10 I wouldn’t go. It’s nice to go every once in awhile.
MM: That’s why I have other friends that go to the theater.
TMW: Looking back on three and a half years of being here, is there anything you would do differently?
CP: I wish I didn’t worry so much about which classes I had to take. I wish I’d just taken classes that sounded interesting, rather than what I felt like I needed to fill academically.
MM: I don’t know. I like to think about all of it being a learning process.
CP: No regrets.
MM: So maybe I would do certain situations differently, but overall, I don’t think I would change it. Anything. Just because, it got me here and I don’t know – it gives me a lot of joy to be able to look back and connect things I did in the past with things that I’m doing now and skills and people and experiences and stuff like that.
CP: See how you’ve grown.
MM: Because I came to Macalester very different than I am right now.
TMW: What advice would you give to first years?
CP: Take advantage of the city. I think it’s so sad when people only stay on campus and don’t do things in St. Paul or Minneapolis. And that goes for fun things to do on the weekends and internships and volunteer opportunities. People should get out as much as they can.
MM: I would say, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. Total pillar of my experience at Macalester. And also – I would say, don’t be afraid to go to your professor’s office hours, which is something that I struggle with to this day, but occasionally it’s really helpful.
CP: Not to bring this back in a corny way, but find the people that you’re good living with. I think some people equate housemates and roommates with your best friends. I feel like we are very functional as housemates and really great friends, but that’s not always the case for everyone. So prioritize your own needs, and be careful of who you live with! Because it can turn out beautifully. Right, Morgan?
MM: (laughs) Yep. It can.