A college first-year is in shock after being assigned the same dorm room her mom stayed in 33 years ago.
Laura Everett Bowling graduated as part of Miami University's class of '94 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. In August this year, her daughter, Sarah Bowling, was assigned the exact same Emerson Hall dorm room that she first occupied as a student in the fall of 1990 on the campus in Oxford, Ohio.
Her mother echoed the same feelings.
"My first reaction was total and complete surprise," she said. "I was hoping she would be in South Quad, just because that was where I lived, but never ever expected her to be in Emerson, let alone in my exact room."
Miami University, which boasts 4,474 residence hall rooms on campus, believes this might be the first case of a mom and daughter occupying the same room.
"The odds of being assigned to the same residence hall of a parent are about 0.1 percent," said John Bailer, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Statistics, adding that the Bowlings' odds of being assigned the same exact room 33 years apart were a tiny "1,099 to one."
Ms. Laura Bowling's older brother attended Miami University when she was in high school. Visiting him during that time to attend hockey games "sealed the deal" on her decision to apply early just like her daughter did this time around.
Her hall of residence, Emerson Hall, was originally a women-only residence back in the '90s. Now, Emerson along with all university residential facilities, is considered coed, which is a huge change from back then.
Another change is the usage of technology. Ms. Laura Bowling had to sign up for classes by "searching for the course in a paper book" and circling the sessions she wanted to attend before making a phone call to sign up. Solving glitches necessitated waiting in line at the registrar's window.
Luckily for her daughter, who will be heading to campus with her own laptop, everything is online these days.
Additionally, the Bowling family also seems more prepared this time on what to expect.
"In 1990 we didn't have pictures of the dorm rooms to help plan what to bring to campus," Ms. Laura Bowling said. "There are so many more fun options for dorm decor and storage now, so I'm sure Sarah's room will be much cuter than mine."
She is also curious to know if the desk in the room is the same one that she had, adding that a pullout couch and storage bin that she remembers, have since been replaced.
Ms. Sarah Bowling, a Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy graduate, plans to bring her guitar. She will major in Integrated English Language Arts Education for grades 7–12, and says the Miami college campus "just feels like home."
"I am so excited for classes to begin," she said. "Like most people, I am a little nervous, but I also have a sense that I am coming home. Miami is where I am supposed to be."
Her mother felt the same way during the 2023 orientation when she had the pleasure of showing her daughter all the spots she remembered best. "It's a happy place for me with some of the best memories of my life," she said.
Ms. Sarah Bowling moved into this special dorm room to begin her college career on Aug. 24.