For Roommates, Unexpected Challenges, and Joys | Connecticut Public Radio

For Roommates, Unexpected Challenges, and Joys

A roommate will  either get on your last nerve or change your life for the better. In my freshman year, I was assigned to live with two football players, one of whom dropped out at Christmas. I roomed with the other, Ken Jennings, for three years. He was African-American, from right outside D.C. and much more of a straight arrow than I was in those days. 

Susan Salisbury is director of residential life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
Credit Chion Wolf

We turned out to have very little in common except for a secret life as a comic book nerd. But over the years, we discovered other, deeper commonalities and watched each other's backs. It's a difficult thing to quantify, but I am somehow a better person for having roomed with Ken. And we're still friends. We live on different coasts, but we have dinner once in a while. We wouldn't have chosen each other, and that's part of what our show is about today.

You can join the conversation. Leave your comments below, e-mail or tweet us @wnprcolin


  • Susan Salisbury is director of residential life at Trinity College in Hartford. 
  • Dalton Conley is a professor at NYU. 
  • Richard Fry is a senior research associate at the Pew Research Center.
  • Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic.
  • Shyaporn Theerakulstit and Danny Dempsey are two of four men living in “Fortress Astoria,” which was profiled last year in the New York Times.



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Four Men, Sharing Rent, Friendship, for 18 Years"They have no children, no linear career histories, no readily disposable savings. The four men, all heterosexual, approaching 40 and never married, have lived together for 18 years, give or take a revolving guest roommate, cohabitating in spaces like an East Village walk-up, a Chelsea loft and, now, a converted office space in Queens."