After their parents finally left, freshmen Aroog Khaliq and Amanda Nguyen sat with their roommates, staring at each other and not really knowing what to say. This was the first time they had all hung out together, and they were now living together.
Flash forward three years to the present day. Khaliq and Nguyen, both seniors, have been inseparable roommates ever since.
“We don't believe in the best friend label,” Khaliq says. “But we have many good friends that we are close to, and Amanda is one of those for me.”
Before college, Khaliq and Nguyen both worked at the same tutoring place, Kumon, but never said more than ‘hi’ to each other since they worked in different departments.
They both grew up in the Overland Park school district but went to different high schools. Even though they had barely spoken before moving in together, it didn’t take long for them to become close.
“Aroog made it super easy to talk to her, which is why I felt like we got along,” Nguyen says. “Due to random circumstances, we ended up rooming together because we have a mutual friend.”
During their first week as roommates, people would mistake them for being long-time friends because of how well they clicked.
“People thought we knew each other better than we did,” Khaliq says. “That was always funny, where they'll be like, ‘Oh, so you haven't known each other for this amount of time?’ and we're like, ‘No, why would you think that?’”
Khaliq and Nguyen continued to grow even closer their first year because of their shared class schedule.
“Amanda and I had so many classes together,” Khaliq says, “to the point where if we went one place without the other person people would be like ‘Oh my god, where is she? What are you doing by yourself?’ And people would joke like we had separation anxiety.”
The two regularly spend time bonding by baking and cooking intricate meals together. Nguyen says she wasn’t always into cooking, but after four years of being roommates, Khaliq taught her the ways of the kitchen.
Once, instead of studying, Khaliq convinced Nguyen to make a several-course meal the night before her big test. During their interview for this article, they were baking apple and pumpkin pies from scratch, laughing at each other's jokes.
Khaliq and Nguyen’s personalities meshed very well as friends and roommates, which is one of the reasons their friendship has lasted all these years.
“I love that Aroog is a goofball. She’s also soft at the same time so it’s so cute. I always see stuff and I’m like, ‘OMG, that would fit her so well,’” Nguyen says.
For Khaliq, she says she admires Amanda’s drive and the dualities in her personality.
“I think one of my favorite things about Amanda is just how dedicated she is. I would totally trust her to do anything, even as she doesn't trust herself that much,” Khaliq says. “She’s just such a dedicated person and she’s also very very humble and kind. Which you usually don’t see that exact combo in one person, but I see it in her and I admire it a lot.”
After these years, the two have been able to continue their relationship as roommates and friends partially due to their ability to openly communicate with one another.
“We really haven't had any roommate beef or anything,” Khaliq says. “It's because we're also really emotionally open people within a friendship in general. I feel like if anything does bother us, we're able to say it ahead and not say it in a way that the other person feels it's criticism. It's just second nature to the way we communicate.”