I hope you are blessed with a heart like a wildflower.
Strong enough to rise again after being trampled upon,
tough enough to weather the worst of the summer storms,
and able to grow and flourish even in the most broken places.
- Hearts Like Wildflowers, Hearts Like Yours | Nikita Gill
I got lucky. Extremely lucky.
I know that not everyone becomes great friends with their first college roommate, but I did. I hadn’t ever had to share a room or bathroom with anyone before, so I didn’t know what to expect. All I really wanted was to coexist with my roommate, not clash. What I got was so much greater than I could have imagined.
I remember being really nervous to find out who I was assigned to, since it was completely random. I checked my email at least five times that day, about a month before I actually moved in. My memory is so vivid of receiving the email. I was in the back seat of my friend’s car, right in the middle, on the way to the beach to go camping for her birthday. As I read the email, my friends crowded around. I quickly looked her up on Facebook. “She seems nice” I remember saying. The reassured me of these facts, excited for me and already hoping of the best. I remember texting her almost immediately and waiting a half hour for her to reply because, as it turns out, she was in a movie. We played a kind of 20 questions. She was from Oklahoma, but no one would ever guess, and a big Oklahoma sports fan which I loved as I could talk sports all day. A vegetarian and a dancer with a strong sense of family and a close high school friend group. We were so similar already, even though I can’t dance or stay away from meat for more than a day.
Fast forward to our first meeting. I was already moved in because I got to the dorms two weeks early for volleyball. She walked in with her dad and my first thought was, “she’s so short!”. I was glad because, especially for a volleyball player, I’m short too. She greeted me happily and I could see why no one thought she was Oklahoman- no trace of an accent. We talked more, attended the Orientation events together, and got to know each other throughout the week. Early on we joked that we are the same person: haters of country music, food lovers, and suckers for anything Marvel. And the rest is history.
It’s almost a year later now and we’ve shared too many memories to count… all of them good. I can’t think of a single complaint. We were both neat, keeping things on our side of the room at the very least. We shared food, before she went vegan at which point she couldn’t eat my food anymore. As the months went on, we became real friends, not just roommates. We connected over Disneyland, One Direction music videos, and Marvel bloopers. I will never forgive her for introducing me to Pressed Juicery as our frequent visits continually drain my wallet. Our late night talks, which actually took place at around 11 because we are both grandmas, consisted of sending each other funny gifs from across the room because neither of us wanted to get up. I sincerely apologize for all the times I got up before the sun rose for workout and probably woke her up, though I know the fact that I can sleep through any and all disturbances may have made coming back from late night rehearsals easier for her.
To those reading this, I don’t know what your experience will be like or was like. I can only hope you make the best of it. I've got some tips and tricks for you in an upcoming blog post, to make the process a whole lot easier. I guess I want you to know it is possible to have an incredible friendship with a randomly assigned stranger.
In summary, if you are reading this Skylar, you made my freshman year absolutely great. I am sad we are no longer living together, but our monthly themed dinners make it seem like we never left NoMo. I hope your new roommates appreciate your Spongebob obsession as much as I did, even when you had to explain the references.