‘You have to be friends,’ long-running roommates say

issue 02 | spring 2023
Group shots of roommates

The four-year friendship of Andrew Lim ’23 and Nick Meyers ’23 started with a text message, as so many recent college roommate stories do.

But this pairing has its own spin. Meyers looked to his friend to share it.

“So I was at the World Yo-Yo Contest…” Lim began.

Theirs was just one of the origin stories shared at the 2023 Roommate Dinner, held April 18, 2023, in Knobel Hall. The dinner invitation from President Adam Weinberg was extended to 112 seniors who have lived together on campus for six or more semesters. Each was treated to a buffet and given a white Denison ballcap with “Big Red Roommate” embroidered on the back.

“This is one of my favorite celebrations,” Weinberg told the crowd. At a college that prides itself on meaningful relationships, “you represent that at its very best. These relationships only grow deeper over time.”

Some of these friendships began as random assignments. Others had known each other in high school. All found their own ways to navigate the challenges that are guaranteed to arise in any roommate situation.

Sam Secrest ’23 and Sully Janeck ’23 played football together at Bishop Fenwick High School in Middletown, Ohio.

“I was the center; he was the quarterback,” Secrest said.

They played for Denison and roomed together all four years. The two laugh easily, clowning football plays for the roommate portraits offered at the dinner, but Secrest grew serious when he considered the notion of living without Janeck in the fall.

“I hadn’t really thought about it,” he said. “It will be weird. Really weird.”

Liam Watters ’23 and Christopher Pascall ’23 began rooming together as sophomores, as did Sophia Yager-Motl ’23 and Miles Berry ’23. The two pairs, all friends, joined up as a quad for their junior and senior years.

All knew each other before becoming roommates.

“You have to be friends because it’s inevitable that you’re going to be annoyed at times whenever you’re living with other people,” Berry said.

It also helps to have some shared traits. Pascall said he and Watters were a good fit because “we both have terrible sleep schedules.”

Three of the four have the same taste in movies — eyeing Pascall, they teased that, as a cinema major, he has more rarefied tastes.

“It’s not a higher standard,” Pascall said. “Just a different standard.”

As for Lim and Meyers, they were a random pairing, and although Lim had mentioned yo-yoing as a hobby on his prospective roommate survey before his first year, Meyers is pretty sure he didn’t.

“I think it was just coincidence,” he said.

When Meyers texted to introduce himself on that fateful day, Lim mentioned in his reply that he was at the World Yo-Yo Contest in Cleveland.

Meyers’ response is now part of their friendship lore.

“He was like, ‘I also yo-yo as well,’” Lim said.

That was all it took. They lived in Curtis East their first year, moved on to Crawford and then Sawyer, and are finishing their Denison experience in an apartment in Upper Elm.

No roommate pairing is perfect, of course. But these two first bonded over yo-yos — they understand that for a friendship to work, you have to take the ups with the downs.

Published June 2023
Back to top