Since the end of our senior year of high school, my closest friends and I had been talking about visiting each other at each of our colleges. My very best friends, of course, decided on schools wayyyyy out of reach; a quick trip to Southern California from Connecticut isn't exactly a feasible task. But I, being the absolutely incredible friend that I am (alongside my other close friend, who did all of the driving) decided that driving to West Virginia to visit our mutual best friend was a genius plan, especially considering the fact that we didn't tell her we were coming.
Yes, we did surprise her. And yes, it was a really awesome moment being with my bffs after a few months of separation. What accompanied her surprise, though, was my own surprise of how different college life can be a few hundred miles away.
First and foremost, we went to visit her during her "Fall Break," a concept probably native to most schools, but foreign to mine. Her roommate wasn't there, nor were her floor mates, nor was anyone in her building, really. West Virginia University seemed to be pretty empty -- or so I thought.
Turns out as soon as the actual students leave, everyone from every other state comes to visit. Why, you ask? One word. Football.
Regardless of most people being home for the long weekend, the stands were chock full at the WVU vs. Iowa State game this weekend. My friends and I quickly became friendly with the group standing behind us (who did not seem to be too sober) and we had gotten to ask them which one of them actually went to WVU. Alas, not a single one of them attended the school; all of these guys were from Ohio, just visiting for the game. I know my school just isn't as big of a football school, but what? The level of commitment in WVU fans far exceeds any UConn fan I have seen. (Disclaimer: I am NOT dissing UConn's school spirit. We have plenty. Bleed Blue.)
While getting to the game, though, it was quite the trip. My friend lives about 45 minutes from the center of campus, and since my other friend and I had to stock up on merch before the game, we had to hit the bookstore. Little did I know that we wouldn't be walking, nor taking the bus. We would be taking the "PRT," a little monorail with different routes to get students all across campus. It was a little cramped in there, but it has bumpy and hilly and ultimately felt like a rollercoaster. Definitely a unique method of transportation.
After the game, we got some good burgers and shakes and talked like best friends talk. We went back to her room at the late hour of around 9:30pm and got in our pajamas and sat on our blow-up beds watched youtube. After only a few months at our own schools, I could tell we all needed time together, and this impromptu trip was much needed for all of us. Ultimately, we're all just freshmen, and none of us really know the ins and outs of college yet. We still have yet to make our life-long college friends, and we're still helping each other through the adjustment process. Yes, I did learn a few things about another college, but I'm not even close to done to learning about mine.