Sophomore year is the first time when nearly everybody on campus lives with whoever they want to. Some people stay with the roommate randomly assigned to them freshman year, some people choose a new roommate, and some live alone (mostly RAs).

Last year, I was assigned to Riley Jerome Samuelson. This year, we chose to live together again. When I tell people who I’m rooming with this year, they often ask, “Who’s that, again?” It’s a complicated question, but hopefully this will begin to answer it.

Riley one of the most interesting and unique people I’ve had the good fortune to encounter. He is an aficionado of classical music, fine art, and Saltine crackers. He is the kind of person that can’t contain their excitement about a well-made peanut butter sandwich, or a new episode of Downton Abbey, or playing with the bubble wrap that a new package comes in. These things may sound completely unrelated, but if you know Riley, it totally makes sense.

He grew up in Decorah, and is always willing to recommend a dish at a restaurant, or a trail to hike on, or a route to get to a specific destination. He has worked at the Decorah Public Library for a few years, and usually goes home on the weekends because he has to work, but also to catch up on TV shows without disturbing my weekend routine (you know, doing nothing).  

All of those things being said, they don’t express what a kind and genuine human Riley is. He is the kind of person who will offer me cold medicine if I even hint at feeling sick. If I’m sleeping, he will move so quietly around the room - like, beyond what a normal human is capable of - in order to avoid waking me up. He sprays deodorizing stuff on his shoes every night just in case they smell bad, because he doesn’t want to make the room smell.

In other words, he is the perfect roommate.

He is also a great friend. 

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