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College life

My College Life- The First Day (Part 2)

college life
The way in which I was able to survive this remains a mystery.

Walking through the unfamiliar college campus earlier in the day I had seen one of the many other freshman who had actually attended my high school. He had been a part of the sports clique in school; a lacrosse player. But here, on this new campus, we were the same. “Hey!” he said, as if we were old friends (I don’t think we had ever spoken prior to this moment). “What’s up?”

“Hi.” I stopped walking and subtly looked behind me to be sure he wasn’t talking to someone else. “Just trying to get all my shit together.” I figured I’d throw in a curse word in order to sound cooler (for the record, it didn’t work).

“I hear that for sure. Listen, a bunch of us are getting together in Dana’s room later to hang out, maybe watch a movie or something. Do you know her? Dana Coolidge?”

“Sure- we graduated with her, right? Where is she?”

“She’s in Davis, the low-rise behind me. Room 230. Around 9?”

“That’s great. I’m just going to dinner with my mom, so I’ll come by after.”

“Okay, I’ll see you then!” My new best friend walked away. I was so thankful for the invite, even though I really didn’t know anybody that had come here from my former school. Hopefully, we could all commiserate, though.

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My College Life- The First Day (Part 1)

The four years that I’ve been told I spent in upstate New York as an undergraduate in college are a blur of bad choices, worse boyfriends, and public intoxication. Though I appreciate the “life experiences” such time gave to me, it would be a lot more helpful if I could remember it.

The day it all began was uncomfortably humid. It was August, a few days before our actual college classes were to start, and I entered the tiny dorm room where I would be sleeping with a complete stranger. I was oddly optimistic, considering. Sure, both beds couldn’t fit on the floor of the microscopic chamber: we’ll just bunk them! Okay, the dressers took up too much space on the peeled linoleum floor: we’ll just put them in our closets! It’s not like we needed that many clothing options anyway, since our uniforms from mid-September until mid-April would be turtlenecks, wool sweaters, jeans, boots, and the-bigger-the-better winter coats.

After all, it was the snow-belt. More importantly fashion-wise, however, it was the 90s.

She entered the room a bit hesitantly at first, but then spoke more cheerfully then I had expected. “Hi! I’m Kim. You must be Kristen.” I observed my new roommate, trying to get a clue about her personality based solely on her looks (a gauge that I’ve discovered is not the most accurate). Kim wasn’t particularly pretty, but also wasn’t repulsive. She fit comfortably in that middle zone.

When I was finished with my ornery review of the poor teenager who stood before me, I switched back into friendly, optimistic mode. “Hi, Kim! It’s so nice to finally meet you! It’s actually Kirsten, not Kristen. Keeeeersten. It’s a common mistake. I always tell my mom that she should have spelled it phonetically. Or named me Kristen.” I was rambling; a habit I’ve always had when nervous. Reel it back, reel it back I told myself. I knew she was probably judging me now too; maybe even taking my personality into account. We stood there for a moment, each evaluating the other.

“Oh, okay. Glad you told me, since I guess we’ll be spending a lot of time together.”

“In close quarters!” I agreed way too brightly. “Are your parents still here?”

“Nah, they left, but I only live a half-hour from here, so they can come back quickly if you think we need them…”

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