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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 A.M. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest,

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old doom room is now filled with two freshman trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Yes, Mom, I Want To Study The Ocean When I Grow Up

I'm determined to make every child's dream my reality.

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Throughout my life, I've been to the beach three times. I'm from a rural area in central Kentucky, and the nearest ocean is at least nine hours away. However, I remember each time I visited the ocean quite vividly. The salty water is an emerald green to crystal clear blue (it depends on who you ask, honestly), and it's always mesmerized me. The world's oceans cover 71% of our planet, yet we know almost nothing about what lies beneath the water's surface. The ocean has always fascinated me, but I never really gave it much thought as a child - I just knew that I loved swimming in it.

Career planning is a big part of any child's life, and I'm definitely not an exception. I've wanted to pursue many different careers - I've dreamt of being everything from a doctor to a lawyer, but none of those aspirations were based on doing what I loved, what I was passionate about. It's important to note that although I've grown up in an inland state, I've spent much of my life in water. I've been swimming since age two, and as a fourth-year swimmer and senior in high school, I'm now Varsity Team Captain of my high school's swim team. I'm very much at home in the water, and I see now the role that this has played in my future career endeavors.

I never thought about pursuing a degree in Marine Science until this past July, on vacation in Destin, Florida. I sat on a boat in the middle of the ocean, parasailing on the Gulf Coast in Florida like the tourist that I was when all of a sudden, a school of dolphins began to hunt in the waters around the boat. I watched them as they swam through the water, having most likely stumbled upon a school of fish that looked like they would make a great lunch. I was instantly mesmerized by these dolphins, and this experience spurred a passion inside of me that has always been there, I just didn't know it yet.

In the days after I arrived back in Kentucky, I began researching the Marine Science field and all that you can do in it. You can do everything from coral reef conservation to studying shark migration habits. You can travel the world studying the ocean and its inhabitants, and there are many more opportunities around the world than one might think. The world's oceans are rapidly deteriorating and it's vital now more than ever to study and learn about them so that we can better protect them. As wide and vast as the world's oceans are, it's easy to find something that interests you and with drive and determination, it's certainly possible to build a career doing what you love where you love.

As a second-semester high school senior enrolling at Troy University this fall, I've decided that I truly do desire to study the ocean, and I aspire to build my life around it. You see, I've never been one to want a job that simply pays the bills and pays well. Work should excite you - it should fulfill you and genuinely motivate you to be a better person. I'm a firm believer that if more people in our nation and the world woke up every day excited to go to work and loved their work, our world would be a better place.

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