March 23, 2022

MSM Admission Blog: Meet roommates Saviah Miller (BM ’25) and Vanessa Zou (BM ’25)

Classical voice student Saviah Miller (BM ’25) from Florence, South Carolina, and classical piano student Vanessa Zou (BM ’25) from Shenzhen, China, had never met before they became roommates in MSM’s Andersen Hall residence.

“We aren’t just roommates, but we are really great friends, too,” says Saviah.

Tell us what it’s like being roommates, considering you’d never met before!

Saviah: We were almost complete strangers before arriving on campus because we both found out we were each other’s roommates two weeks before school started. We were excited to meet each other and figure out how we were going to arrange our space! Considering we had never met before, it’s surprising how well we clicked and get along with each other. Getting to know each other by living together is so different than just meeting someone in class. We aren’t just roommates, but we are really great friends too.

What do you like best about being roommates?

Saviah: Vanessa is always there to listen and talk to me whenever anything major or minuscule is going on in my life. She even traveled to see me win a title in the Miss New York Organization, which meant so much to me because she took time out of her day to travel and support me. The best part about being roommates with Vanessa is that we make each other laugh a lot, we have a shared love for Robert Pattinson, and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I am lucky to have Vanessa as my roommate and friend!

Vanessa: I think it’s great to have someone to talk to. Plus, I love that we have different hobbies and interests, and that we share those things with each other. I tried Chick-fil-A for the first time with Saviah because it is a big thing in South Carolina, and she introduced me to The Bachelor and Twilight!

What do you enjoy most about living in Andersen Hall? 

Vanessa: Accessible practice rooms and our view! We have been told we have one of the luckiest views in Andersen Hall.

Saviah: We like to use the 15th-floor lounge for The Bachelor/Bachelorette nights and movies. The decorations for every dorm floor are so creative and our RAs, Sila and Quinton, have made the 16th floor awesome with a jazz theme in the fall and now a camping theme for the spring semester.

Tell us about your room. What do you like about it?

Saviah: We love being on the 16th floor, not only because it is quiet, but we also have an amazing view of Ulysses S. Grant’s Tomb and the Hudson River. Our space is very organized, which makes our room feel cozy and open. Both of our beds are situated against the two windows, and waking up to the sun shining is one of the best parts about living here.

Vanessa: I love the structure of the room and the way we have everything placed. Our space flows very well.

Saviah: I like my two photo walls because they make my side feel personalized and showcase a lot of the people and things I love.

“We love being on the 16th floor, not only because it is quiet, but we also have an amazing view of Ulysses S. Grant’s Tomb and the Hudson River. Both of our beds are situated against the two windows, and waking up to the sun shining is one of the best parts about living here.”

  • Personal touches make the dorm rooms feel like a home

  • Each room contains a desk and storage furniture

You are studying in different programs — how has this affected your experience as a musician? Do you plan to do any collaborations?

Vanessa: I would say I am more exposed to different kinds of music. I am very interested in opera, so I feel like it is a great chance to get to know this art form better by having a roommate who is studying it.

Saviah: I think it is so interesting seeing how different and alike our majors can be in the aspect of practicing. Vanessa and I collaborated last semester on a few of my Italian pieces. It is so helpful having a piano major as a roommate, and someone as kind and willing as Vanessa is to play for me if I ever need it! I also enjoy being a ‘private audience member’ for her, so she can practice how performing for other people feels.

Do you have a favorite club, campus activity, or tradition?

Vanessa: We love the activities that the RAs put together. The Chinese New Year event was wonderful because they had all the traditional snacks and food. Plus, RA Feihong bought red paper for us to write good wishes in calligraphy. The whole atmosphere reminded me of Chinese New Year at home.

Saviah: I am a part of MSM’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Bible study on Mondays. A tradition Vanessa and I have is going to the AMC movie theatre on 66th Street, and we use the student discount that MSM offers. We also enjoy any student performances from all departments at MSM and the master classes.

Where are your favorite spots around the city to visit?

Saviah: Our favorite NYC spots are the Metropolitan Opera, museums, SoHo, and Brooklyn. We have seen many operas together including Turandot, La bohème, and Porgy and Bess. The Museum of Modern Art is one of our favorite museums we’ve visited so far!

  • View from the room of Grant’s Tomb and the Hudson River

  • Beds and furniture can be moved around and configured in different ways

What are you most looking forward for the rest of this year?

Vanessa: I am looking forward to the Yuja Wang concert at Carnegie Hall in April, and I am excited to see any new opera productions at the Met. Plus, I am looking forward to my first summer in New York City!

Saviah: I am looking forward to seeing the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro and participating in Classic Lyric Arts’ Berkshires Program in June!

SLIDESHOW: See what an MSM dorm room looks like without personal belongings!

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