Monday, October 18, 2010

Young Adult Tales 2--College Friends

Continuing with my Young Adult Tales (check out my other tales by clicking on the "MPT" tab in my sidebar), this week I'm writing about College Friendships. In my "old age," I'm realizing I've never been great at making friends. I had a few close friends in high school, but I didn't have much of a social circle back then. In fact, my two closest friends, Amy and Karen, didn't get along with each other. One day, I'd hang out with Karen and possibly some others of her friends; the next day, I'd go to a movie with Amy. And so forth. Those two have remained my closest friends to this day, they both were maids of honor at my wedding.

Okay, so off I went to college. I had been assigned a roommate, Sarah, and we'd exchanged letters and talked on the phone once before school started. When I arrived at our room, there were two girls sitting in there. I introduced myself and I didn't know which was Sarah. Finally, one girl spoke up that she was Alison from across the hall. I don't know how it all unfolded but Alison became a friend and while Sarah and I got along at first, it deteriorated over time (that's a story for another day) and we were never close. Alison was actually a junior, a transfer student, rather than a freshman. She had a single room across the hall from my double.

Meanwhile, classes started. I was in an awful class, Ecology of the Americas, it was in the American Studies department and a substitute for English 2 (I had AP'd out of English 1). There I met Joanna. I think we made plans to meet at the dining hall for lunch or dinner. I am so grateful that she was outgoing, because apart from Alison, she was the only friend I made. Joanna had made several other friends already and so she introduced me and that's how I met my other friends.

We all know how you go off to college and go to frat parties and get drunk. Yeah, well I was very ambitious and also a bit concerned about my family history of alcoholism (not my immediate family but past generations), plus I hated the taste of alcohol, plus it was illegal and I was a goody-too-shoes... so I didn't drink. While some in our group drank (like Alison who was over 21), Joanna was a non-drinker as well, and she was great at coming up with fun alternatives to the frat party scene. {My college was not big into the Greek scene. It only had 2 frats and 2 sororities at the time, I believe, but that was still the main entertainment scene on the weekends.}

Other friends in my group: Shirley (still a close friend), Mika, Brian, Anna, Christian, Cindy (joined our group, through Shirley, our senior year).

Some of our off-the-beaten-path activities: apple picking, the A to Z birthday party (an activity for every letter of the alphabet), "How to Host a Murder" parties, going to Improv Boston and "Tony and Tina's Wedding" and the ballet. Otherwise, there were lots of pizza and movie nights.

I was also in choir. I had fun with the people in Chorale and Chamber Singers, but rarely did those friendships extend beyond class time. Angie and Kathy are the exceptions there. They were both younger than me, but we had lots of fun.

While I'm talking about fun and friends, I think I'll take a minute to reminisce about Chamber Singers' trip to Martha's Vineyard my sophomore year. Chamber Singers was a small group, maybe 14 of us. We took two vans from Boston to Martha's Vineyard. On the way there, I was in the van with Angie and she was a very gregarious (loud) person. I guess we started singing to the radio, or maybe just singing for the heck of it, anyway I distinctly remember singing "I Saw the Sign" (Ace of Base, this was 1994). Even though I never ever sing by myself and let people hear my voice, I did on this occasion.

Anyway, the first day we had a rehearsal, then we stayed with host families--I stayed with a nice family with a high school daughter--and had a concert the next day. Walking on the beach, dinner with the choir, I remember having a great time that weekend!

Another friendship highlight was Spring Break of my senior year. Joanna, Shirley, Cindy and I stayed on campus and did a ton of fun things. That's when we went to the ballet. We also drove down to Rhode Island for a day trip, very fun! We each cooked one night, so I made a pizza of course (using Pillsbury crust, I'm not a chef by any means). That was an awesome week!

Great, I think I'll leave it there. I remain close with Shirley, who has twins almost the same age as my son, though we live 2000 miles apart. And thanks to facebook, I am back in touch with Alison, Joanna, Anna, Cindy, and Kathy (I'm still searching for Angie, I'm sure she'll turn up there sooner or later!).

For more walks down memory lane, head to Mommy's Piggy Tales. Join me next week for another installment. Thanks!


Ginny Marie said...

Traveling to Martha's Vineyard for choir must have been so much fun! I think I still have that Ace of Base CD somewhere...I borrowed it from my boyfriend, but somehow I never returned it after we broke up. Fun memories!

gianna said...

Great job staying away from the party scene! Where is Martha's Vineyard? Is it in New York!

MommaHarms said...

I also struggled making friends as well. I enjoyed your post.

Mom2three said...

What a wonderful experience you had! It must have been tough to have two good friends who didn't get along. It sounds like you surrounded yourself with a good group friends - I can just imagine the fun you had.