“How’s it going with your child’s roommate?” asked a work associate whose child went to the same university as our son. Her daughter had a random roommate assignment as well, only it didn’t work out well for her. The roommate situation that we often see exaggerated on sitcoms or movies isn’t as funny in real life. In my college dorm, our neighbors went out until three in the morning several times a week, came home and cranked their favorite song–at least ten times in a row–on the loudest possible volume. To this very day, Phil Collins “Groovy Kind of Love” makes me want to throw something. Probably PTSD from the serious sleep deprivation of freshman year.
The dice-roll of a college roommate is not something to leave to chance. It’s not just the clean vs. dirty, loud vs. quiet, studious vs. slacker situations. Going off to school is a big deal, and living with anyone can be tough at times. Like all important situations in life, it requires prayer.
For LB we knew two of the guys that were going to be my son’s suite-mates already; and they were good guys from wonderful families. What we didn’t know was the wild-card–the fourth suite-mate–and he would be the one to share the small, out-dated dorm room at the large in-state university that was three hours away. I wasn’t going to leave this to chance. It was July, with a few weeks left until move-in day and I was going to call on the help of people who had some serious connections.
I don’t want to drop names or anything, but I decided to talk with the Mother of God, and her mother, who I will call Grammy Ann, for the simple reason that in our family, NO ONE MESSES WITH GRAMMY. These are two of the feast days in July that I use for this particular novena prayer for college kids (in general, not just the roommate situation). Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16 (also our Grammy’s birthday)
and the feast of Saint Ann, who is best known for her intercession in getting couples together. I figure if she knows how to play matchmaker, she must know how to find a good roommate. Her feast day is July 26.
We are now preparing for senior year and the same four guys who moved in together three years ago are sticking together once more because when you have a Holy Mother and a Holy Grammy, all asking their son/grandson for some help, you have some good allies.
We were blessed with that wild card, who ended up being anything but wild; he is a really nice person and a good friend. I have never heard one complaint about a roomy from the kids I place at the feet of Jesus with this prayer, but if there was a situation, I know God is still on His throne and His providence is at work even then. That’s where I am putting my money.
If you have a college student you would like to add to my list, please put their first name or initials in the comments section below.
“A novena is a nine-day period of private or public prayer to
obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special
petitions. (Novena is derived from the Latin “novem”, meaning nine.) As the
definition suggests, the novena has always had more of a sense of urgency
and neediness.” (EWTN)