Cousins and Friends: College Years

I am guest hosting “My Young Adult Years,” a project to record my youth, over at Mommy’s Piggy Tales today. This is the post I wrote about Friends and Fellowship. Please visit Mommy’s Piggy Tales to link up your own story of Your Young Adult Years!

A flashback of college life

Last Saturday, I attended an early childhood education conference at a local community college. After a continental breakfast, we needed to attend a variety of workshops. As I wandered through the maze of hallways, looking at my yellow sheet with room numbers listed on it, I felt like it was the first day of classes again. I have a reoccurring dream where I’m late for a class but I can’t find the room. I felt like my dream was coming to life! (You’d think a conference involving teachers would have included a map of the building in our materials!) I finally found the room I was supposed to be in. I followed my habit from years of taking classes…I found a desk in the back. It was a small desk, with a teeny tiny desk top that flipped up and down. I thought about this project – My Young Adult Years. All week, I was working on this post about college, and here I was, back on a college campus again!

Friends were everything

Freshman year, my roommate and I started out as strangers. She was so homesick that she would quietly cry every night. I didn’t think I was homesick, but the first time I called home I bawled my eyes out. Even though Peggy and I started as strangers, we soon became fast friends. We soon met other girls in our dorm, and we formed friendships that would last all four years of college. Together we vowed we would remain GDIs (Gosh Darned Independents, to put it nicely). We scorned rush week, sororities, and all that being Greek entailed. Sophomore year, some of our friends changed their minds and joined a sorority, but they still remained very active in our group. We felt so grown up as we threw birthday parties for each other, studied through the night together, and of course, went to church together on Sunday mornings. I’m a pastor’s kid, and as a result, I wasn’t always accepted by my classmates in junior high and high school. At Valparaiso University, I met many other pastor’s kids. It was a perfect fit.

This small, Midwestern university was also where various aunts, cousins, and even my mom had gone. At one time, five of us cousins were attending the university at the same time. So even as I was fighting homesickness, I still had family members close by.

My major was what, again?

Remember what my major was? I was an elementary education major, but from the activities I was involved in, you might have guessed I was a music major. As I mentioned last week, I sang in Concert Choir. I also joined a group named “Perfect Harmony.” We were a support group for the music fraternity on campus. We would attend concerts and musicals that the fraternity members were involved in. We would attend parties at their frat house. Okay, so the parties weren’t really for support, but more for fun!

YIKES! I never liked this picture of me, but it shows off our Perfect Harmony sweatshirts.
That’s my cousin on the right. She was taking a medication where wearing contacts wasn’t possible. She suffered through the year having to wear glasses.

Senior year I was unable to be part of Concert Choir due to my student teaching, and I joined a small choir named “Dayspring.” We sang contemporary music at the small, Wednesday night church services. Once, my student teaching carpool partner and I sang a duet together – Amy Grant’s “El Shaddai.” El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age You`re still the same, By the power of the name. El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkahmka na Adonai, We will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai.

Graduation came, and we all scattered to various locations around the country due to employment, to marriage, or to the pursuit of a higher degree. I rarely travel back to that wonderful place, and I have lost touch with many of my old friends. Remembering those college friends and the great times we had always brings a smile to my face.

Three cousins graduated from VU in 1991.
Here is our family celebration!

I’ve recently reconnected with some college friends on Facebook, and I’ve enjoyed seeing what my old friends are up to! There are still some friends I would love to reconnect with some day.

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8 Replies to “Cousins and Friends: College Years”

  1. Those glasses take me back. I used to own a pair quite similar: covering half my face and in retrospect looking absolutely awful! You could do a whole series about what NOT to wear ever again! I have some awful photos as well and might even join in.

  2. I had glasses about that size too 🙂 It's funny how time flies and we lose touch with so many people from our past.

  3. Wow! Thanks for taking me for a walk down memory lane! I'm really glad we've been able to reconnect so we can see what we're all up to. Even though I went Greek, I still had some of the best times with our original group!

  4. Well, thank goodness we had the foresight (get it, fore-"sight" 😉 to wear fashionable glasses that never go out of style! bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha Let's not even mention the fact that we had such fashion sense as to wear our PH pins along with our huge sweatshirts (that you tucked in to make a bold fashion statement)…and those exciting earrings & feathered back hair… We were so cool!

  5. Wow, you were really active in college, it looks like a blast! I was anti-greek life too but I didn't join anything since I was working full time to pay my tuition and rent. I did love it though, just going on campus early and relaxing in the sun… now everything is so fast paced my head spins.

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