Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2001 - breaking out

college was an interesting change for me. i've always been an introvert, but at that point, i was also relatively anti social when it came to larger groups. i was fine with close friends, but i had a hard time reaching out. as i made my way across campus each day, i had to make a conscious effort to actually keep my head up, look people in the eye and greet them with a quiet hello. sometimes the greeting was so quiet it actually came out silent because it had been so long since i had spoken that my throat needed to be cleared first.

near the end of the summer of 2000, i got my dorm room assignment: 115 shipp hall. i was to live with five other girls. the notice listed their names, home towns and contact information in case we wanted to connect before school started. three of my soon-to-be roommates had already come for summer term, so as the six of us emailed back and forth, i got information about all of their backgrounds as well as a little about the apartment and area of campus. 

i'm still not sure if contacting them before school started was a good idea or not. i began to formulate preconceived ideas of who they were and what they were like before i even met them. i knew i'd have nothing in common with some and just hoped i'd click with at least one. 

i was the first of the three new roommates to move in. my mom and kelli had both gone to work and, as it was a thursday, my stepdad richard had the day off and drove me down i-15 and into happy valley. together we unloaded my belongings, took a trip to the grocery store and then he was off. as i was unloading some things in the kitchen, i became a little wary of my new roommate who was sleeping in the sunlight resting on the windowsill. yes, the windowsill. later, i found out she also frequented the top shelf in her closet for some shut eye as well. when she woke up, she introduced herself as L, from the midwest. as our conversation progressed, L dropped to the floor and proceeded to pretend that she was attacking herself with a razor blade.

that was it. i was outta there. 

and i so would have been had richard not already been a half hour up the freeway. i shook it off and did my best to steer clear of L*. i hid away in my room and began to unpack. it wasn't long before J arrived with her van full of personal effects and R and C returned from their afternoon classes. 

J was to be my roommate. she was extrememly friendly and upbeat, but as our conversations continued to fall flat, i realized we just didn't have much in common. plus, she wore a cape around campus and often jumped off a set of steps...feigning superpowers? she seemed to get along well with C, though, who was nothing like her but most likely just all around more kind and accepting than yours truly. 

it wasn't until the next day that morgan came. she was the one i thought i might, maybe, have the most in common with. but only time would tell . after all, extremely important information about the strange sleeping habits, razor blades and capes were all conveniently left out of introduction emails. 

i was nearly settled in my room, but it quickly became apparent that the best combo would be J+C and me and morgan. the only problem was, morgan and C had a "better" room and they both wanted to stay. i'm not sure how it was eventually decided, but morgan and i won out. {i tell ya, that C really was a kind girl.} so, i packed up my things again and moved them ten feet down the apartment hallway. 

and time did tell. morgan and i got along smashingly. we soon found ourselves gallivanting around campus together, grocery shopping together and even setting up modeling photoshoots in our room together. 

we were super cool. so super cool that when we went "running" at night {a mile down a hill until we got so tired we had my cousin drive us home} we wore matching black leggings with matching boxer shorts on top of them. 
morgan and i were very different, and yet i feel like we were perfect for each other that first year. 

i, the over-studious student, spent most of my mornings, afternoons and nights at the library. if i wasn't at class, i was at work. and if i wasn't either of those places, i was studying at the library. i can't tell you how many times i heard the battle hymn of the republic blaring out of the loudspeakers telling me the library was closing and yes, it was time to go home. my schedule both semesters of that first year was way too jam packed with serious classes. i didn't know it at the time of registration, but i guess that's how it goes. in december, i came home with a 3.6something GPA - my lowest ever - and wanted to cry. my only extra curricular activity was going to the football games, but i was good at it. i even tried my best to teach morg the fight song, which i have committed to memory.

morgan was a little more well-rounded. she secured a spot on the touring international folk dance team and immediately became better connected with people across campus. to fit everything in her schedule, she worked early early mornings cleaning the bean museum. we're talking 4am early. i was so happy every morning when her alarm clock went off and i knew i had a couple more hours of sleep. one of my favorite memories was that of her anatomy final. the year didn't start off as she had hoped and she didn't do well on her first few exams. if i remember correctly, even if she aced the final, she still wouldn't get a passing grade. so, knowing she was going to retake the class the next semester {and the new grade would replace the old}, she just didn't study for the final. she had to take it to complete the class and i still remember her coming home with her testing center printout of 33% and proudly hanging it on our fridge. she taught me to not worry about things not worth worrying about. and i taught her how to study at the library. she took anatomy the next semester and passed with flying colors. 

morg came home with me a few times {and i secretly hoped she would fall in love with my brother}, and that february we took a road trip to sacramento with her sister and her sister's friend to visit her family. we had lots of fun goofing off in the laundry room, singing and playing the piano in the dorm basement, ditching f.h.e., singing christmas songs {n*snync christmas most specifically} non-stop and cutting each others' hair. 
we ended up rooming together off campus the next year as well and had even more fun making cookie dough in our bedroom and dressing up with all our roommates as fairies for halloween. 
there are lots of small, probably insignificant memories together, but they all added up to make a perfectly complete beginning to college. i came in so worried about meeting new people and unsure about myself. and left with a wonderful friend and being much more confident in myself. and i owe that to morgan. 

*the fall of 2000, we all became so worried about L that we eventually got her to seek help. she did. she moved out and we got an awesome new roommate, T. we saw L on campus every once in awhile and she looked like she was doing so much better. i guess all's well that ends well - even with a razor blade scare. 
 {morg, in her closet, demonstrating L's strange sleeping positions.}
{shipp 115 2000-2001: top - j, maren, c, r; bottom - morgan, t}

also in 2001 {although, these photos have been carefully selected as morgan and i also liked to eat graham crackers and frosting a lot, so i gained a freshman 20. i ran it off the next summer.}:
 {first day - august 2000}
 {december 2000 - welcoming dan home from the argentina, rosario mission}
 {april - finals week, just before we were moving out of the dorms...
not sure what we are doing because neither of us play the guitar. 
but...please take note of my J.T. no strings attached puppet on the shelf. nice.}
 {august - this is what you do when you visit the shaws 
in the summertime and the mariners are playing}
 {april - so. many. newspapers. 
that's what i get for being a communications major 
and being required to stay caught up on current events.}
{october - probably one of the only pictures of me smiling and someone else pulling a face}


ed and kelli said...

i remember being so upset with you because i finally liked you and you left for college so i bawled as i left for work and richard took you to school. and you did have odd roommates.. maybe that comes with Shipp 115:)... you and morgan still had your names carved in the shelves {you rebel} when me and kelli and ju lived there! glad you met morgan.. and came to play with me at home.. and you both sang me "i am Rosemary's grand-daughter..."

Erica said...

loving loving loving all these posts!

Rob and Marseille said...

i know 3 other people that have lived there too- crazy!

Morgan said...

ok, first of all, i cannot believe you posted that picture of us posing for our photoshoot... oh my gosh, we were so cool! we seriously look so young in all of these pictures. secondly, i laughed so hard at this post. when you think about it, we seriously had some weird roommates. i feel terrible, but i do not remember T's name. :/ And i completely forgot that j used to run around in that cape. also, that was my closet that i was laying in. pretty sure we emptied it out for our little stunt. :) oh, good times, good times. i'm so glad you managed to turn my slacker, no studying, ways into something positive. ;) seriously though, freshman year in shipp 115 are some of my favorite times ever. nothing like your first year of college away from home.

Morgan said...

oh, and i think the reason we were able to convince C to move into your room was that she would be able to better fit her food storage into that closet. awesome.