Week 7 here at Cal Poly is over and it’s really odd to think about the fact that I almost didn’t end up at this school. Things would have been so different, from the 80 degree weather without humidity to the 4 weeks we still have left in the quarter. In all honesty, I got pretty lucky with some of the people I have met that I never would have known otherwise— I only have a handful of close friends here but that’s more than I could have asked for. There is one thing that somehow balanced out, one place I’m really glad worked out the way it did…
My roommates. Keep in mind, I did a random roommate assignment.
On my first night here, only one of my roommates (Celeste) was sleeping in the dorms since the other (Rachel), was with her parents. We both went to bed at the same time, with the whole awkward changing and “oh, do you want me to turn off the light or do you want to do that” routine. Looking back, our adjustment is almost comical. I think that night is one of my favorites though, because after we both climbed up into our beds, neither of us slept for the next two and a half, maybe 3 hours. Why? We were talking about Harry Potter. Ironically enough, both of us brought all 8 movies with us and she has read the books more times than I have. Before we knew it, two people who were randomly thrown into a room for three quarters together who barely knew each other just started talking and went from there. It was fantastic.
Guess what happened two nights ago…
All three of us went to bed around 12— we didn’t sleep until 3:30.
It’s nights like those when the conversation goes from the best tv shows of our childhoods and favorite books, to the idea of love and the flaws of humanity, I have come to really appreciate some of the people I have met here. The people I would have never met if I had gone to Howard. It all ties back into that idea of “what if.” Like what if Nick never got in off the waitlist, or what if I decided to not go to college at all? Everything could have been completely different, yet everything could have been the same just with different people and different circumstances involved.
That’s the thing, we never really know.
Talking with my roommates on Tuesday, sometime within that 3 hour block of the night, we came up on the subject of vulnerability and how it can really change who we are. When it comes down to it, vulnerability almost seems to be the key to change. Think about it: when you apply for a job, or a college, or even an account on social media, you are allowing yourself to be rejected or even setting yourself up to be subjected to things that may not always make you feel good. Here at college, everything you do, from making friends (hey do you want to hang out sometime) to trying to master a subject area, it all comes back to allowing ourselves to be let down. In doing so, we also give ourselves a chance to hear the word yes, or realize that what we do does pay off.
We never know how it will work out until we try it. But I’ve got to say, it’s kind of nice when it pays off.
I’ve only been here for 8 months, but in that time I can say that I have met some people who I hope stay in my life for long enough to at least meet my kids. Of course, there’s Nick, but now I’ve got people like first and longest friend here, Brianne, or my two wonderful roommates to add to the list. Like I said, I got lucky. I don’t really know if it was Celeste or me who started the conversation about Harry Potter, and I can’t quite say how Bri ended up in my summer orientation group, first week of school orientation group, Chem/Biochem major struggle, and the second floor of my dorm, but somehow it all just happened. Maybe I
opened myself up by saying the first hello, and sometime over summer maybe Celeste and I mentioned that we both love Harry Potter… I just know that I would probably have never met these people if I didn’t come here and for that reason, I appreciate the concept of vulnerability.
By appealing to this school, I gave them a second chance to say no. By choosing to accept their yes, I gave myself a chance to feel out of place. And by making it through (4 more weeks) my first year of college, I have given life a chance to prove me wrong every time I think I’ve done something right.
That’s the point.
Sometimes things will work out exactly the way we wanted and other times we will end up on another path that leads us to something better. The only way we get there is to keep going, to keep trying, and of course, to keep making new friends along the way.
You never know, maybe you’ll get lucky.