Gender not an issue for some students living with members of the opposite sex

By Marie Wilson

Noele DeLeon has two younger brothers, so living with two male roommates is no big deal for her.

“Because I grew up with guys, I just know how it is,” said DeLeon, senior in FAA.

DeLeon said she thinks guys are easier to live with because they are less prone to causing drama. Gender aside, she said she gets along with her roommates because they all share and respect each other’s belongings.

Some of the larger household items in DeLeon’s apartment belong to her male roommates.

“They bring in the big items,” DeLeon said, referring to the big-screen TV in the living room of her four-bedroom apartment. “The TV situation is always ESPN, no ‘One Tree Hill.’ But I did get one of them hooked on ‘90210.’”

DeLeon’s fourth roommate is a female. Their apartment has two bathrooms, allowing one for the male roommates and one for the females.

But Dan Sochacki and Sheila Parinas are roommates in a house with only one bathroom. They also share it with a third male roommate.

“It’s actually never been a problem,” said Sochacki, a student at Parkland College. “We all keep it pretty clean.”

Parinas, who commutes to nursing classes at Eastern Illinois University, also said sharing a bathroom has not been a problem, especially because the three keep very different schedules in the mornings.

“There’s only been one or two times when either of us got in each other’s way,” Parinas said.

DeLeon, Sochacki and Parinas all said they had lived with roommates of the opposite sex before moving into their current living situations.

“It was a little adjustment, but nothing major,” Sochacki said. “We’re both laid-back, go with the flow type of people. I thought it would be strange, but it wasn’t.”

DeLeon also described the transition as natural, but Parinas said she changed her behavior a bit the first time she lived with a male roommate.

“I had to watch what I wore in the shared space,” Parinas said.

The living environment at her house reminds Parinas of living in the residence halls, because she and her roommates often spend time biking, an activity they all enjoy.

“One of the first things that appealed to me when I heard about Dan was that there were bikes everywhere,” she said. “I’m really into mountain biking, too so we all have that in common.”

DeLeon said she shares a common interest in sports with her roommates of both genders. Though her apartment splits 50/50 over the Cubs or White Sox divide, she said she enjoys watching sports and participating in a fantasy football league with her roommates.