Rooming with an athlete: 7 a.m. lifts, early bedtimes and everything in between

Oct. 25, 2017, 1:00 a.m.

We’ve all seen them around campus toting their trademark red backpacks, sporting some combination of tights/joggers/sweatband/trainers and carrying some serious muscles. But there’s a group of students who really get up close and personal with student-athletes — their roommates.

I had heard the horror stories of having an athlete for a roommate: they wake up ridiculously early and sleep early as well — an arrangement that wouldn’t really vibe well with my night owl lifestyle. In my Approaching Stanford roommate form, I made sure to emphasize just how incompatible my living habits would be with an athlete’s.

In the end, my roommate didn’t turn out to be a recruited athlete. But she is a serious runner (her wall decor includes a string of running bibs she’s accumulated over the years). Most days when I wake up at 10 a.m., she has already gone for a 10-mile run, showered and left for class.

But thankfully, we are both really cool about our uneven sleeping schedules, and we try our best to be quiet when the other is sleeping. We even celebrate the rare occasions we do go to bed at the same time.

Sometimes, we do core exercises in our room, though we aren’t exactly on similar fitness levels (understatement of the century). Also, she has a fantastic array of healthy snacks, which I get prime access to. #roommateperks #shoutouttomargot

Like me, Fiona Henderson ’21 confessed she was initially scared when she realized her roommate was a recruited lacrosse player. “I am a sleep-late, wake-up-late kind of person, so I wasn’t sure what rooming with an athlete [would] be like.”

Yet, the situation turned out better than she had expected: “I’m a pretty light sleeper, so sometimes I get woken up when she leaves for morning lifts, but I can easily fall right back asleep.”

Hailing from the East Coast, Fiona is a tad more familiar with lacrosse than the average Stanford student. And though she is not a big sports fan in general, she does make the effort to ask her roommate how practice and matches went. “I just think it’s really cool how she is so passionate and genuinely loves her sport,” said Fiona.

As we are doing this interview, her roommate is away for the weekend for lacrosse — something that will happen more regularly in spring quarter when the official season starts. “I can be introverted at times, so I enjoy having some alone time, but I think I will get lonely if all her stuff is here while she is gone,” said Fiona.

Tyler Packard ’21 also said his roommate, Dylan Boles ’21, had a hectic football schedule, which meant he was not around much. “Dylan usually sleeps from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and I sleep from 3 or 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. There’s maybe a three-hour period when we both could be in the room together while awake. But we are planning on setting aside time to grab lunch together soon.”

Pro tip for light sleepers: Tyler said he swears by earplugs and an eye mask. “They work pretty well; I don’t think I have been woken up in the past three weeks when Dylan gets up for morning lifts.” On his part, Dylan has gotten more conscientious about his morning routine: “I set an alarm for morning lifts and I’ve gotten much better about not snoozing it so that it won’t ring repeatedly and bother Tyler.”

Tyler concluded our interview by saying: “Dylan is a cool guy, and we get along really well. My parents both went to Stanford as well, and even today, they still keep in touch with their freshman roommates. I’m sure it will be the same for Dylan and me.”


Contact Kyla Zhao at kylazhao ‘at’

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