Hearing about college application decisions recently really got me thinking back to two years ago when I first received that package in the mail. Freshman year was a blur, but I remember the first time I met my suite-mates; two of them are still my roommates now. These two characters have definitely contributed to how I've changed over these two years, and I would not have experienced so many different things without them.
I came to Los Angeles as a sheltered girl from central Taiwan who grew up with conservative parents and never had "bad" friends in school. I never got into mischief, never tried drugs or alcohol, never worried my parents, and maybe never had fun. I wouldn't know. My roommate, however, grew up in the US and did all the things that a "normal" teenager did in high school. She was also willing to try out everything offered by the different organizations on campus, and of course, dragged me along with her.
Thus, Freshman year became an eye-opening experience for me. From learning about the concept of Greek life, to embracing Thursday as the new Friday, I became more spontaneous and less tense. This helped me cope with the increased amount of stress and got me through multiple rounds of homesickness and culture shock. There's a confidence that comes with shamelessly signing up for info sessions just for the free food, and a satisfaction of utilizing school resources to your advantage.
Without my roommates, I would not be where I am today. Even though my grades suffered during Freshman year, I am incredibly grateful for them for those experiences, and would not have done anything different.