Written by Caroline Voigt and Bongi Kellner.
Make or break
Caro: One of the greatest questions that occupied my mind before I left home to study at Hult was who my roommate was going to be. At that point in time, they were a complete stranger. I had chosen to live in a shared room with a bunk bed in what was then the Hult Towers & Studios. This was something that seemed like a fun adventure on paper but actually started to worry me as my departure date neared. Sharing roughly 18 square meters with someone I’d never met before was beginning to sound like the “make or break” moment for my time at Hult. Well, it’s safe to say that this was the absolute “make”. Meeting my roommate Bongi is one of the best things about my experience.
“…like Caroline, I was quite nervous at the thought of sharing 18 square meters with a complete stranger.”
The importance of the relationship
Bongi: The experience for me was a little different. Probably just as nerve-wracking, but I’d say I was a little more prepared. I moved out of my parent’s house at the age of 16 to go to boarding school in a different country. I lived in a dormitory with around 50 other girls, so I knew the importance of the relationship with the person I’d be sharing my space with. However, I luckily had my own room throughout boarding school. Like Caroline, I was quite nervous at the thought of sharing 18 square meters with a complete stranger. My journey to Hult was the complete opposite to Caroline’s. I had never been to the U.K. before, and I traveled to university on my own. Yes–no emotional breakdowns and/or cute scenes of my parents and I getting lost in a vibrant big city. There was just me, getting lost on my own. I arrived in London before Caroline, which made me anticipate meeting her even more.
Emotions and introductions
Caro: Before we actually met in person, I was told upon arrival at Hult that my roommate had the unique name of “Bongi Kellner”. When I found her on Facebook 30 seconds later, my cultural awareness obviously did not kick in in time. I did wonder though how someone can attend a school in Nepal and live in Zambia at the same time–however, I just thought to start the conversation with a friendly and direct “Hallo, ich bin deine Mitbewohnerin. Wo bist du?” (“Hello, I’m your roommate. Where are you?”) . Little did I know that 2.5 years later, it would take us 25 minutes to scroll through our entire conversation. My memory from the night we met is, just like our friendship, filled with various emotions. I was crying because I had just said goodbye to my Mom, but running into Bongi in the hallway lifted my mood, and her inviting me to whatever plans she was literally walking to.
“The university journey has definitely been an emotional rollercoaster for both of us–good and bad, but it’s definitely a lot more worthwhile having someone to share the experience with.”
Sharing the experience
Bongi: The university journey has definitely been an emotional rollercoaster for both of us. It’s been good and bad, but it’s definitely a lot more worthwhile having someone to share the experience with. Mental breakdowns due to an assignment you started just a little too late are much easier to survive with someone there. It’s good to have someone around who feels that your overreaction is appropriate in the moment. Our journey at Hult is slowly coming to an end–but hopefully, this friendship will be a part of Hult that will always stay with us.
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Caroline Voigt is an undergraduate student from Germany. She’s currently the President of Hult Model United Nations in the London campus and a Board Member of the Consulting Club and Ski Club. Caroline hopes to start her own social enterprise in the education sector or to work for the German Government in the United Nations.
Bongi Kellner is a German-Tanzanian student majoring in Marketing at the Hult London campus. She’s the current President of the African Society and the Head of Student Life of the Hult Student Association. Her dream is to start a successful business in a developing country and run projects that help the needy.
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