Freshman year is about the beginning of your journey through college. You’re officially on your own (at least for nine months out of the year) and campus is your kingdom. Unless you know someone from high school, you don’t really have anyone to fall back on when you first arrive. You’re a small fish in a big pond and you’re trying to find where you fit, as well as where your regretted 8 AM class is. If you’re lucky like we were you’ll get to live with the girls that become your people. Let me just say how extremely lucky we are to have “people” in the plural form. We’re talking the Meredith and Christina friendship, but with two other people. When residential life put a blonde Taylor Swift look-alike, a curly-haired Chicagoan, and an initially shy brunette together, I don’t know what they were expecting. What they got, though, was a trio that bought a bouncy ball that went 10 feet in the air to play monkey in the middle with in the quad. They got dance parties in the bathroom to Beyonce and G-Eazy before weekends out (that may have been more fun than actually going out). They got endless supplies of Coke and coffee and singing to Frozen in the science building before a test. They got a couple unapproved-by-parents ear, nose, and belly button piercings. They got two independents and a Kappa, one history major, one bio major, and one bio and english major. They got a support system that survived the grilled cheese in the dining hall, many boys that didn’t deserve our time, and both moving days and finals weeks. As the saying goes, we didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.
Sophomore year, you like to think that you’re the cool kids on the block now. You’ve got the first year under your belt, and again, you have your people. We turned 20 that year, making us even more adult-y than we were before. We learned a lot that year in our newfound adulthood. We found out how to study to the point of exhaustion for multiple subjects at a time, and knew when we needed to stay in for a weekend and binge-watch netflix instead. We joined separate clubs tailored to our interests, but never grew apart. Instead we would talk about how awesome the group was or how terrible the people in the group were. We made more trips to the big bad city of Columbia, MO and ate Hu-Hot to our hearts’ content. We found out that spiders can in fact make their way into our rooms and one of us is now the designated killer of said spiders. We learned to never take a 3 hour long class that only met once a week, and how to stow away the school’s toilet paper for the next year. And again, we made it through every boy that tried to bring us down, and even found happiness with a few. We made time to be healthy and work out, and we were almost convinced that we had our lives together.
When we finally made it to our junior year, everything began to fall into place. After a brief living hiatus we were finally able to live together our third year. Our upstairs bedrooms became our favorite getaway. We spent countless hours upstairs trying to do our hair and perfect our makeup for the night as we sipped on crazy concoctions. We sang and danced to our favorite songs while we showed each other our clothes for the night. Heels were swapped and advice was given. No matter what would happen that night, the next morning we would sit in our robes and discuss all the crazy things that happened. We learned how to cook trial by error. Thankfully we had a wonderful cook that would make us steak and rice. We made endless amounts of chocolate chip cookie dough that soothed our stressed out souls. Early morning classes were almost skipped, but having someone there to push you out the door made it a whole lot easier. Mcdonald's runs for coke and cookies were a weekly adventure as well as a run to the local gas station for zebra cakes and coffee. Our partners in crime were our study buddies. When we couldn’t take any more we would pile into someone’s bed as we all cuddled and watched Grey’s Anatomy. Most of those times it turned into a nap feast. What started off as the second half of our college career became my favorite year.
As the summer begins to crawl towards an end, I can’t help but wonder what is going to be in store for our last year together at our small school that has become our home away from home. For some of us, the school year will be filled with challenging classes and being consoled with bottles of wine. For others, it will be trying to get those poor academic souls out of their rooms for their last year to make mistakes, watch too much netflix and eat copious amounts of chinese food. There will be many dance parties in the living room to music we danced to in fraternity houses from our freshmen year while we laugh about that “one time when…”. There will be boys to cry over and boys to be mad at. When we finally discuss our future plans it will be over the dinner table with laughs and tears during the late night hours as we stare at our exam content and papers. We will be sad to see one chapter ending, but so excited to see another one begin. There will be ugly snapchat wars, phone calls filled with post-graduate fear, facetime when we just miss the other person’s face. Group chats will be filled with ever changing topics that will make you laugh until you cry. What could be more exciting than taking on life with the people who have turned into your family?