I come from a very small town, so going to a very large university was a huge deal to me. I moved into a dorm at WVU's downtown campus with a group of strangers. I met my roommate at orientation because my dad recognized her from the pictures she sent to me. She happened to be right in front of us in line for lunch. Sadly, she and I didn't hit it off so well.
Luckily, however, I was in a suite with another pair of girls. At first, things were a bit rocky, but once we got to know one another, we really hit it off great. I hadn't learned to come out of my shell and was still quite shy, but Karen, one of my suitemates...whoa! She was a firecracker! And I loved that about her!
Things were a bit strange in the beginning because I was meeting all new people and none of my high school friends lived downtown, except for one of my guy friends Philip. However, life as a co-ed is so much better than life as a high-school student, so I bonded quickly with the gals on my floor. We kept our doors open during the day and would pop in on one another if a song we liked was playing on someone's stereo, or if there was a funny story to share, we could find someone with which to share it. And the day the space shuttle exploded? I was walking down the hall to my room and I heard screams coming from down the hallway. I ran to the lounge and we sat and cried together.
At the end of freshman year, a few of us decided to rent a house together for our sophomore year. I think it was Karen who knew the girls who were currently renting the house, so we went over (it was 2 doors down from our current dorm) to look at the house. It was a horribly old, run-down house, but we saw it through different eyes. We saw it as our key to freedom. It had four bedrooms and one bathroom and was quite expensive, so we decided that 6 of us would move it. Yes, six females in a house with one bathroom. It got interesting to say the least. Lani and I shared the biggest bedroom upstairs. Theresa and Amy each had their own bedroom upstairs, and Karen and Cheryl shared the bedroom downstairs. We had a small kitchen and a very large living room with a window seat on the large front window. We made a bathroom schedule based on our school schedule and things usually ran like clockwork (except for the time I came out of the bathroom a bit late and Karen was waiting on the top step...not too happy....oops.)
People usually congregated in our house. Girls who lived on the floor in the dorm with us came over quite frequently and we had such a great time in that house. Nevermind the fact that there were times we chased mice around attempting to squash them with a broom in the kitchen. Did I mention that house was old and run-down?
These friends and I stuck together through thick and thin. They came to our wedding. Karen even came to visit me in Virginia Beach while Scott was deployed. Sadly, I lost contact with all of them except for 3. Karen and I speak frequently on facebook. Trudy and Cinda (two of my dorm friends who frequented our house our sophomore year) are facebook friends of mine. However, it's Karen I'm closest to still. She'll always be that girl with the big hair (hey, didn't we all have big hair in the 80s?) who encouraged me to have big fun. She made me laugh and she still does. I'm a better person to have her in my life.