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Daughter gets same college dorm room as mom 33 years later: 'The memories hit me like a tidal wave'

The 51-year-old mom was shocked when she learned that her daughter's dorm room was in Emerson Hall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Daughter gets same college dorm room as mom 33 years later: 'The memories hit me like a tidal wave'
Cover Image Source: Miami University

When freshman Sarah Bowling received her dormitory assignment in Emerson Hall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she did not realize her mom had stayed in the same room more than three decades ago! Laura Everett Bowling moved into her first-year dorm room in 1990 and now, 33 years later, her 18-year-old is staying in the same space. "I said, 'Are you kidding me—this was my exact room,'" Everett Bowling told TODAY when she realized the incredible coincidence. The 51-year-old graduated from Miami in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and now works as the senior account manager for Cincinnati Magazine in advertising and event sponsorship sales.

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Angela Chacón
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Angela Chacón

While reminiscing about her time at the university, she revealed that she first visited the campus as a middle schooler and fell in love with it. "My older brother also attended Miami, so I visited him often in high school. We attended hockey games, and I spent the weekend for Lil Sibs Weekend, which sealed the deal on my decision," she said, according to Miami University. "Miami was the only university I applied to. I applied for Early Decision, just like my daughter Sarah did. I still remember the day I got my acceptance letter in the mail in December 1989."

And it looks like her daughter loves the campus just as much. Sarah said: "It just feels like home." Before moving in, the mother and daughter duo said they were "much more prepared this time around. In 1990, we didn't have pictures of the dorm rooms to help plan what to bring to campus. 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." 

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The chances of Sarah getting the same room as her mom were incredibly slim. According to John Bailer, a professor emeritus in the Department of Statistics at Miami University, tossing a coin and getting 10 heads in a row has a similar 0.1 percent or 1 in a 1000 chance of occurring; being audited by the IRS has a greater chance. "In sports terms, a 0.1 percent chance corresponds to a baseball player with a 300-batting average having six consecutive hits or a 90 percent free-throw shooter making 65 free-throws in a row," Bailer told TODAY.

Whatever the odds, the love for Miami University seems to have trickled down to Sarah, who finally moved into her new home last month. For Everett Bowling, it was not only an important milestone in her daughter's life. Taking a trip down memory lane made her feel more connected to her daughter than ever. "Walking in, the memories hit me like a tidal wave," she said. "There was the window with a big ledge where my friends and I sat and the furniture was in the same position, though the desk and bed are longer. The floors and ceiling are the same."


Her teenage daughter found her mom's reaction truly priceless, likening it to "a kid in a candy store" that day. "My first thought was that the room is tiny," admitted Sarah. "Then I saw how excited my mom was and I thought, 'It's cozy and it's going to be awesome. If I'm homesick, I'll remember that my mom was once here and she turned out great. These are the best years of my life and I get to share that with my mom."

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