Friends by Chance, Roommates by Choice

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In 2013, freshmen Connor Gaby and Sean Salomon met through mutual friends while playing Xbox. Neither of them could have predicted that they would have become great friends and end up as college roommates five years later.


Connor Gaby, from Freeburg, Illinois and Sean Salomon, from Oxnard, California first started playing Battlefield together in 8th grade. The friends played for roughly two years before their group split up and played different games, only joining back to play together once or twice each year.


During their senior year of high school, they rekindled their relationship as Salomon posted on SchoolsApp (a messaging app designed for university students to make connections before coming to campus), asking if anybody had a gamertag. “I saw it late that night, and responded with my gamertag. Sean sent his gamertag as a response before I fell asleep, but I didn’t think anything of it,” Gaby said. It was only the next day that Connor realized that the tag was familiar, but he couldn’t remember where from. He asked one of his friends, who recognized the tag as Sean from 8th grade.


Salomon and Gaby reached out to each other and caught up on life while teaming up again on Xbox. Salomon told Gaby that he was deciding between three schools, one of which being Maryville. Gaby, who had already decided on attending Maryville, kept bugging Salomon to choose Maryville. “It got to the point where Connor was asking me almost every other night,” Salomon said about committing to Maryville. Ultimately, both decided to attend Maryville and to be roommates.


They met in person for the first time in California, when Gaby’s family was in the state. They decided to meet at the nearest Bubba Gump Shrimp.


“We walked in on opposite sides, looked around the room, locked eyes, pointed at each other and smiled,” said Connor Gaby.


The boys got along very well from the start, talking about video games, soccer and Maryville. They then went to a pier to get ice cream. “We both thought about how much this looked like the pier from Grand Theft Auto,” said Sean Salomon.


Since then, the boys have talked frequently about what to expect for being roommates, who was bringing what and how excited they were to be at Maryville. The soon to be roommates also met up at the START orientation day in late June. Gaby had bowling nationals that weekend, and Salomon took the day after START to go to Illinois and support his future roommate, and to buy matching shirts (pictured above).


Xbox united two middle school boys who would end up being great friends in college. Three weeks into school and they are getting along very well and have joined the club soccer team together.  The roommates still play games together, from across the room now instead of halfway across the country. For the record, in games that they play: Connor was better at Battlefield in 8th grade, Sean is better at Rocket League and Connor is “vastly superior” at Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.


Connor Gaby and Sean Salomon pictured playing Xbox together in their room. They enjoy playing Rocket League, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and Battlefield. Photo courtesy of Eric Cowan.


Sean Salomon (left) and Connor Gaby (right) pictured together wearing the matching shirts from Gaby’s bowling tournament. The roommates match clothes admittedly more than they like.


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