Morgan Donnohue is from Appleton City, Missouri, population 1,074. Her graduating class could fit in a Greyhound bus twice over. She knew almost everyone in her hometown, let alone in her school. She had no intention of living with a stranger in college.

Emma Novak is from Nashville, Tennessee. To her knowledge, no one from her high school had ever attended Mizzou. She assumed she would arrive on campus knowing no one. Months before classes started, when she started receiving Instagram messages from Donnohue, who had noticed her profile on the student smartphone app You@Mizzou, she welcomed the connection.

The two shared many similar interests, including their choice of major (journalism), their eagerness to pledge a sorority (Kappa Kappa Gamma for Novak, Alpha Delta Pi for Donnohue) and their Christian faith.

Instagram messaging soon moved to texting, eventually leading them to choose each other as roommates for their freshmen year at MU. They would live in Johnston Hall as part of the Women in Media Freshman Interest Group.

By move-in day, they had already developed a detailed room design plan and decoration scheme together through Pinterest. “We had a plan, and we knew what we were doing,” Donnohue says. They had also developed a close friendship.

“We just decided we were the perfect match to be roommates,” Donnohue says.