Living with a total stranger turned friend was one of the best experiences of my freshman year. Of course, seeing Mike the Tiger, cheering for LSU football, and engaging with various events on campus contributed to the excitement of freshman year. However, my roommate taught me the value of friendship.
There is always this high expectation for your freshman roommate. You are supposed to become instant best friends. Then, in five years you are supposed to be in each other's wedding as a bridesmaid or maid of honor. Your children are supposed to grow up and be best friends. Right? Wrong, at least at the beginning.
Abby and I only met one time before move in. My family drove to Baton Rouge all the way from southeast North Carolina. We talked about our excitement for school and butterflies for college. We moved in and I was so ready for my instant best friend. Or so I thought. Living three feet away from someone is hard. It is really hard when you barely know each other. Tiptoeing around each other, walking on eggshells in your own room. It was hard. We were both homesick and figuring out the whole college thing. We never argued and there was never bitterness, we just weren't instant pals.
As fall semester drew to an end, I was discouraged that Abby and I weren't close. I remember praying for spring semester to draw our friendship deeper. And boy was that prayer answered. After being away for a month and coming back to our room, things turned for the better! Abby and I went to tons of tennis matches! We went shopping and to movies. Sorority socials and the beloved Dairy Store. We would watch TV in the dorm and eat cookie dough. We helped each other get ready for formals and even dates. We dried each other's tears and read the Bible and nightly devotions together.
Having this first-year experience with Abby taught me so much about myself. She taught me that even if things don't seem to work out, there is always a plan and I just have to remain confident to see it unfold. She taught me that true friendship is unconditional, even on the most awful days, our friendship was always there to encourage us. Even if one of us was crying at midnight, the other one was always there to bring comfort.
Proverbs 17:17 — A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.
Proverbs 10:12 — Hatred stirs up conflicts, but loves covers all offenses.
I am so thankful that my freshman roommate wasn't an instant best friend. She is my chosen best friend.