You know, I never thought that this time in my life would REALLY, truly get here. College graduation, wow. I guess I have permanent Peter Pan syndrome. Except, fortunately for Peter, he didn’t age and I am. When I graduated from high school, I assumed that I was an adult, that I’d be on my own and things. News flash, Kate, living the college life is quite the opposite of the real world, let’s be real.
Let’s rewind, shall we?
Freshman year 2008-2009: I cried the day my parents dropped me off to good old Atkin Hall. They were a mere 40 minute drive away, yet I couldn’t part with everything I had always known. So many people were ready to get out of Washington. Me? Hey, I’ll live at home FOREVER. Normal was BIG. People weren’t as friendly. There was crime and diversity! What was all of this? So, I made friends and went home a lot, probably every other weekend. Despite that though, I joined the ISU Run Club and worked out with them at the ungodly hour of 6 am 2 or 3 times a week because I’m a weirdo (in a good way, of course). It was during this semester that I fell in love with the Spanish language even more than before. I had a phenomenal teacher and I landed a job at the grade school on campus working as an after school tutor for the kids taking Spanish. Perfect. Helloooo life calling.
I also happened to score the BEST, most compatible roommate ever. We’ve all heard horror stories about bad roommates (don’t worry, that will come later…), but my freshman year roomie was da bomb dot com. She put up my bad jokes, never ending stories, and quirky running habits. (thanks for warming up my hands that one time when I thought I had hypothermia, Maria. ) We decorated our room according to the seasons (see below, Feliz Navidad, everyone. Can’t you just hear jingle bells right now?) and watched lots of OTH (because apparently we never had homework).
- My 2 most favorite Maria and Katie moments are the following: (I promise I’ll keep the stories short. Also, why is this now typing in Bold? The thing isn’t bolded on my control panel…. le sigh) 1. snow & blow dryer incident and 2. the mace in toilet incident.
- 1. The thermostat in the dorms was nonadjustable. Unfortunately, that meant that our room would reach a boiling 85 degrees during the winter time. Don’t get me wrong, I love warm weather, just not inside my dorm room. Maria and I found that if we slept with our window cracked at night, the room was actually semi decent to sleep in. One snowy night we went to bed and cracked our window as normal and awoke the next day to about 4 inches of snow on Marias desk that had drifted in through the window. Ruh roh. Solution? We plugged in our blowdryers and melted the snow and were left with a puddle. Hey, that’s better than snow in the room… right?
- 2. Maria and I fed off of each others’ procrastination. Or maybe, I just caused Maria to procrastinate… Anyways, we were talking about mace and how neither of us had really ever seen what it looked like. (Mace is red, in case anyone was wondering). Deciding to take a break from “doing our homework,” we marched ourselves to the bathroom with my mace and locked ourselves in the first bathroom stall.That was mistake number 1. We opened up the cap and sprayed it into the toilet. Mistake number 2. The mace shot retracted off the toilet and shot right back in our faces causing us to cough and sputter. Our noses and eyes were running. We ran out of the bathroom, hysterically laughing at our idiocy. Then we realized we had left our cloud of mace (literally) in the bathroom and had to find a quick fix as to not choke any of our floor mates. **note – air fresheners do not mask the smell of mace. I’m still very sorry, Atkin 6, for doing that to our bathroom. At least I never smeared poop on the wall, because that was absolutely disgusting. (isn’t living in a dorm the best?)
It was during this semester that Rachel, Danica, Maria, and I adopted Brock Mo Tee, our baby cactus into our family. He’s still with us today! Quite the “dry” fellow if you get what I mean. Sorry, I can’t help but being weird sometimes..
Oh hey look, unbolded font again. How bout that? Moving forward.
Second semester – Spring 2009. Despite the fact that I was still a homebody, school was starting to grow on me. I was slowly starting to find my place at ISU. I was taking geology… zzzzz (rocks are hard, no pun intended!) and 2 Spanish classes to play catch up because I decided to study abroad the coming semester in Granada, Spain. I spent a lot of time in the library because of Montse’s class (thanks, Nico), but I truly got a better grip on Spanish grammar. Plus she was really Spanish and by far one of my favorite professors at ISU, so I think I’ll let the difficulty of that class (that still haunts me) slide.
I got Zac Efron for my birthday. My obsession with High School Musical started when HSM 3 hit theaters in the fall. I liked it High School Musical, but then one day, BOOM! It just turned into love. I’m pretty sure I watched the movie every day. My friends bought me Zac Efron for my 19th birthday. How embarrassing. NOT. I still get lost in those dreamy cardboard eyes… I am totally kidding, by the way.
I kept running with the Run Club and started (reluctantly, if you’ll believe that) going to Tri Club. I think Tri Club and Run Club were still actually one group, I’m not really sure. I signed up for my first marathon in June, so I needed some other crazy people who didn’t mind my smelly running shorts and my chatty mannerisms to dedicate their Saturday afternoons running 15+ miles with me, and indeed they did!
I went on a service trip with Alternative Spring Break over our Spring Break – Bloxi, Mississippi. We did hurricane relief work. It was an incredibly humbling experience. We slept in bunkers, got eaten alive by gnats (which apparently resist the smell of smoke, vanilla, and dryer sheets), and had very few showers. Despite the fact that I felt really dirty and gross, I enjoyed my trip and met some really great people. And of course, because it’s me, something ALWAYS has to backfire. Our project in Mississippi was to clear out an overgrown park that had not been taken care of after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. We built small fires as around the park as a way to a. keep the gnats away and b. burn the extra tree limbs/ grass/ etc. Now, we ate lunch on our bus everyday at noon. Our faithful driver pulled up and man, was he a sight for sore eyes! We worked our tails off everyday from 7:30-noon and 1-3:30 clearing that park. We had a rule that you had to put out the fires while they were unattended, for obvious reasons. I’d also like to point out that Mississippi was in a drought at the time, so fires were technically prohibited. My friend Natalie and I were raking up grass and tending to the fire, thought we put it out, and sprinted toward the bus as soon as we saw. About halfway through lunch, I look up out the window and notice smoke coming from our fire. Before I could get Natalie’s attention, I watched the fire ignite, jump and catch some dry grass and travel to a grove of trees. Within 10 seconds, 15 trees were on fire. Good job, me. Boys bolted from the bus, grabbing shovels, buckets, and t-shirts. They started smothering the fire with dirt and hitting it with their tees. Some kids carried slimy creek water (or what there was ) to throw on it. If the fire had jumped15 more feet across the road, it would have hit a completely dead forest. THANK THE LORD IT DIDN’T.
Believe it or not, I cried at the end of the year. I cried when I went to college, I cried when I left. Good thing I still had 3 years left, right? I finished out the semester without doing anything TOO stupid, completed my first half marathon, attended my 4th prom, managed to get stuck in an elevator on the way to lunch, and made a lot of friends.
Stay tuned for my Sophomore Year post… coming soon.