Wednesday, May 28, 2014

College Life: Episode 2: "You've Got To!"

For the summer, once a week I'll be sharing a story from my college days at CSU, 1984-1988. I will leave links at the end of each post for previous episodes.


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"You're here!  You've got to come meet everyone!  Hi!  I'm Mary-Jo and I just know we're going to become best friends!"

She was a talker, a non-stop whirlwind of energy and gestures and I was overwhelmed.  I still needed to find some territory to call my own, unpack, and try not to freak out about leaving my boyfriend (The Engineer, by the way) behind for three months.

"Hi, I'm Tina."
"I know!  You're from Denver and that's perfect because you'll know a LOT of people here and that will help me get introduced to everyone!  We've got to do that!"

I didn't bother to tell her, at that time, that I was really not a popular person, was in fact a total nerd from a very small school, and she was out of luck if she was looking to find people through me.

"Would it be alright if we talk about some roommate stuff first?  I've got a few questions."

Family discreetly headed off to explore so that we could hammer out some co-existence policies more to my comfort.

Though her sorority girl enthusiam (no offense meant to anyone who enjoyed their sorority life, but it just wasn't something I was even remotely interested in) was overwhelming, she was actually a fairly reasonable person, and did finally understand that though I was willing to share my clothes (she had very few) and my electronics (including one awesome boom box which lasted until just five or so years ago) and my typewriter (pica font, size 14, a treasured item from Grandma Vivian), I did need some space of my own. We divied up closets and drawers.  She moved stuff.  I unpacked stuff.  I felt better.

She immediately spied one of my favorite shirts and asked to borrow it for, "Our very first dinner together in the dorms! Aren't you excited?"  Well, not really.  I was already having food issues, and hadn't really planned to spend my days in her company (read shadow) but agreed that sure, let's do that.

Family then came back, said goodbye, and I was left alone with my whirlwind.  She practically dragged me along as she introduced me to almost every person we passed, whom she'd already met during her first, "Rounds of meet and greet.  Everyone meets everyone as soon as possible.  You've got to!"

Apparently I also had to "get ready for dinner" by fixing my hair and make-up.  "It's what everyone does, you've got to!"  I complied.  I found that a lot of the time when calculating the cost of a decision involving Mary-Jo, it really was just easier to "Just do it."

Dinner was an experience, but I'll spare you. I really am going to tell actual stories, but you had to meet the players first, and this is how it happened. Next time: the cheerleader, and the boyfriends, and getting locked out...

Any stories to share?  Crazy roommates?  Bossy roommates? Good food in your dorm?

~Tina, remembering Cap'n Crunch, which became a staple of my diet, and that there was diet coke available at all times.  Even at breakfast.

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23 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. sounds a somewhat daunting person - one I'd run away from! Then borrowing your shirt on day one .. uh?! Oh well crazy stories to tell later on ..

Looks like you were right "you've got to" .. go with the flow ... I'm sure we have similar to Capn Crunch .. but as I don't eat cereal, nor diet coke .. not sure what it is here!

Well I'll be learning about College Life I can see that .. fun - but??! Cheers Hils

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm worn out just reading about her.
Make it Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and you have a deal.

Mason Canyon said...

How in the world did you keep up with her? She was a whirlwind.

Brian Miller said...

ha. i would not have survived long in her company...i like a little more relaxed pace to my life...zip zip zip....maybe she got on medication or something...hahah

loverofwords said...

Tina, great post. Reminds me of my college days, but not quite. I returned to college in my 40's, so no dorm life but your post reminded me of one of my professors who cross-dressed! Now you have given me some writing ideas.

Jo said...

In boarding school we used to have midnight feasts. I don't remember a lot of what we ate but I do remember Heinz Baked Beans, cold, which I developed a taste for. I don't like them warm, not that I like baked beans that much any more at all. Home made beans for barbecue parties, different thing.

I too am exhausted reading about your room mate.

JoJo said...

She sounds exhausting. lol The first time I ever ate Cap'n Crunch was in college...my family wasn't fond of sugary cereals. Boy that stuff tore up the roof of my mouth!

D.G. Hudson said...

In my dorm room, it was the art student paired with the political scientist. I was the art student and she was the super-smart friend who was going to be a diplomat. She read romances, I read Sartre and Camus. We got along great, she wanted to get into a sorority, I didn't. I had no interest in such groups, nor did most of the art students.

Melissa said...

Ha! Fun story.
And, cool! You and I are roughly the same age. Didn't know that.

Whirlwind and all, I envy you. My one real regret in life was not going away to a dorm-style college. (Though I wouldn't have touched a sorority with a ten-foot pole. :P)

Al Diaz said...

I think I remember someone like your roommate. I never lived with her but she drove me nuts with all the stuff she wanted to do and I really just wanted some peace and silence.

Andrew Leon said...

I don't think roommate agreements really mean anything to guys. Either people will be respectful or they won't. If they will, you don't need an agreement; if they won't, the agreement won't matter anyway.

Rachel said...

No dorms, but I am going to end up coming up with a "house rules" sort of thing and charge anyone $20 if they break one. This coming from the girl who just spent two hours scubbing the kitchen floor from gray to white. How did that happen? Stupid roommate getting grease everywhere and tracking dirt all over the apartment and getting it trapped in the grease. I may be a tad loopy from inhaling so much pinesol actually.

bemuzin.com said...

Oh lord. I hope, for your sake, she pledged ASAP and spent all her time at the sorority house!

DAVID WALSTON said...

Great story. Memories...
I think I was the crazy roommate.

Annalisa Crawford said...

The clothes thing would be a deal-breaker for me. My clothes (especially at that age) reflected my personality - no way would I have wanted anyone else 'being me'!

Stephanie Faris said...

I remember being terrified my first night in the dorms. I was given a roommate who was very unfriendly. She checked in and immediately took a four-hour nap. I had to go to the dining hall alone...scary experience for someone who was already uncomfortable eating alone! I asked to be transferred after a week in her lovely company and got an AWESOME roommate who was so friendly. She had a boyfriend, though, so we didn't spend too much time together. I luckily found a high school friend, so I spent little time in the dorms that first semester!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You're launching a very fun series. Ugh, I've had all types of roommates. The cheerleader-sorority girl is exhausting. But the stories are great, aren't they? I must return!

Silvia Villalobos said...

I know a few people like your roommate there, some from my school days ( I swear I met your whirlwind's twin sister in high school), some from today -- one of them a neighbor two houses down. I don't really have to talk in her (my neighbor) presence. She not only speaks for me but for everyone within a one mile radius. But she's well intended, very helpful, and the street police, so we all love her in our own 'enough already' ways. :)

Claudia said...

smiles... diet coke for breakfast makes me cringe a bit...smiles.. my daughters always borrow my clothes - i can live with that - dunno what i would do if my roomate would've done it

Briane Pagel said...

I've been eating a LOT of Cap'n Crunch lately, because Mr Bunches likes the crunch berries but not the cap'ns or whatever. NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING.

That roommate would exhaust me. My own was more taciturn. We got along okay together but I've never looked him up after that.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Tina,

I know that you were pupular, sorry, popular during your zany college daze, um days. I don't think I'd be to happy living with a whirlwind roommate. Heck, I have enough tolerating my ridiculous human, even if he's just pawtend, sorry, pretend.

Froot Loops and Crispy Critters, your way,

Penny :)

shelly said...

I can see where your story is going. Poor TinA a

Hugs and chocolate!

CA Heaven said...

We don't have that dorm-accomodation in our universities. The students welfare association has some rooms for rent, but most students rent a room in regular private houses, or (their parents) buy an apartment.

I don't have too many stories to share from university days (I was just a serious physics student), but I have some good stories from my time in the Navy (I don't like guns, and was probably the worst soldier ever)

Cold As Heaven