My Real Life

August 26, 2012

College Days

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I’m friends with a few former students on Facebook.

Very, very few.

However, of those I am currently friends with, the majority are heading off to college, either for the first time or to return after their summer break.

There are pictures being posted of dorm rooms, house rules, reunions with roommates, and just general excitement about being at college.

With every post, I think back to my first college days.

I went to The College of Wooster in Ohio, and my school was between a 7 and 9 hour drive, depending on who was driving.

When looking for schools, I remember that I wouldn’t even consider Wooster, because my Dad had gone there.  I felt the same about Trenton State (now the College of New Jersey) because it was my mother’s alma mater.

I had my heart set on Salisbury State in Maryland, until I went there and realized it just did nothing for me.

I decided to give Wooster a try, and my Dad drove me out.

I fell instantly in love.

It’s a small, liberal arts school that was plunked down in a town that felt like it was in the middle of cornfields for miles.

The buildings were all old and made of stone, and my Dad was able to tell me stories about each and every one.

I applied, I got in, I was thrilled.

As August neared, I received the letter that had my roommates name and contact information.

I daydreamed about who she was and what she might be like, and then I got up the courage to call her.

Unlike me, going so far from home, DeeDee lived 30 minutes away from campus.

She was dating her high school sweetheart and had a job at home and planned on going home each weekend.

I was disappointed because I had images of she and I becoming the best of friends and spending all of our time together, but this was how it was and I would deal with it.

I remember going college shopping with Kim.

There was this big drug store place that we went to get all of our toiletries and random items, like shower caddies, comforters, etc.

It was SO exciting and I loved looking at all of my new things, imagining what my life would be at Wooster.

One by one, we all left for school.

I made Kim, Erin and Michaela cassette tapes with music and me talking and being a goofball to remind them of home, and then we all started to leave.

Kim was the first to go to school.  The night before she left for Penn State, we all got together and cried and laughed and hung out.

Michaela left for Syracuse soon after, and a few days after that, Erin left for Grove City.

And then it was my turn.

My parents and I packed everything into the car and drove to my grandparents house, a few hours away from campus.  We spent the night, ate Kentucky Fried Chicken, and they slept while I stayed up all night, so nervous and excited.

The next day, they took me to Wooster and helped me move in.  Soon after they left, DeeDee showed up and moved in and then it was just the two of us.

We had our first floor meeting and I was pleasantly surprised to find a girl who had been in Kim, Erin, and my Brownie troop when we were in 2nd grade, but had moved to Connecticut after that.  It was so random, but really cool.  We liked the girls on our floor, and we liked each other.

There were growing pains, for DeeDee and I, along the way and we both learned a lot from each other.

I went home with her a few weekends and had a really good time.

She decided to stay on campus a few weekends and had a really good time.

My friend, Sandy, who lived in a neighboring town at home and had gone to church with me since I was in 2nd grade, also was at Wooster, living in a dorm across campus, and so she and her roommate, Cari, would come and hang with us sometimes as well.

I loved it.

I laughed more during my Freshman year than I think I did during any other year at college.

We had community showers in our dorm.  No stalls, just a big room with showerheads sticking out of the wall.

One night, I decided to take a shower after coming home from water aerobics (DeeDee and I were the only people under the age of 60 in the pool).

The night before, DeeDee and I had watched the movie “It” on television, so if you’ve ever seen it, you can imagine that I was a little edgy in a dimly lit community shower at night.

Suddenly, the lights went out.

“Hello?” I called.




Then, things started to rain down on me…washcloths, loofas, shower puffs.

Scared the living daylights out of me.

Then, DeeDee’s hysterical laughter.

Then mine.

It was a time of finding myself, being independent.

Learning things like night-0wls shouldn’t schedule 8 am classes on Monday mornings.

DeeDee and I were at a Wooster basketball game when we went to war with Iraq and I remember the announcement being made and everyone taking a collective gasp in the stands.  They took a break from the game to make the announcement that the siege had begun and then they played the national anthem.  I’ve never heard it sung more strongly in a crowd, until the days directly following the September 11 attacks.

Then we all went back to our rooms and huddled together watching the footage of “Shock and Awe” and the beginnings of Operation Desert Storm.

Freshman year was a great, great year for me (despite Real Man and I dating for a bit then breaking up again).

DeeDee and I decided to be roommates for the rest of college.

By the spring of freshman year, she eventually broke up with the guy from home and met and started dating a guy from school, who she later married.

Sophomore year, I played intramural rugby with Sandy and had a blast, despite my utter lack of athletic ability.

Unfortunately, I wound up in an unhealthy relationship that lasted a little over two years and marred much of the rest of my college experience, but there were still lessons to be learned and there was fun to be had with my friends.

And that’s what I see when I see these former students of mine posting their college stories.

The potential and the amazing future for these kids, as well as my own poignant memories of how great it was.


  1. Small world. Not certain how I even got here, but The College of Wooster immediately caught my attention. We lived there 17 years, could have even passed each other. I loved the bookstore and worked for the interior decorator whose shop was just up the street on Beall.

    My daughter was a soccer player and Wooster wanted her, but she ended up at Ohio Wesleyan.
    She’s 41 so you most likely would have crossed paths at some point.

    Hope you find this interesting. I sure did.

    Tricia, now living in Cincy.

    Comment by Tricia Graham — August 29, 2012 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

    • Wow! Such a small, small world! I loved the town of Wooster. My friend, Sandy, who I mentioned became the Director of Alumni and got married and lives in Wooster and DeeDee and her husband settled in Wooster, as well. DeeDee teaches at one of the elementary schools and her husband is the Wooster High School baseball coach. Beautiful town! So glad you found me here!

      Comment by abozza — August 30, 2012 @ 7:33 am | Reply

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