I started college as an excited and anxious teenager. The night before I moved out (all the way from Orem to Provo- the next town over), I tucked my youngest brother in bed (he was six), and he wrapped his arms around my neck and told me I didn't have to move out. Oy, that rent my heart.
Coming out of high school, I felt like it was time for a fresh start. My four years of high school were plagued with five semi-major surgeries, requiring lots of out-of-school recuperation time, along with acute tendonitis in both wrists, and topped off by a case of chronic fatigue syndrome that took me out of a lot of school my last semester of my senior year. But I was feeling much better and hoping for good things by the time September rolled around.
I lived off-campus with my high school friend Rachel and four other girls who I didn't know prior to moving out. I got introduced to BYU's dating culture firsthand pretty fast by my roommate Esther, who was engaged a month into the semester and married over Christmas break. This was great for me because my other high school friend, Pica, moved it.
I learned a lot about dealing with difficult in-apartment situations from one roommate, who cooked a lot but never cleaned the kitchen, invited several guys over and spent time with them on what my other roommates came to refer to as our make-out couch, and generally had problems obeying the honor code. I learned a lot about setting a good example when it seems like all your efforts are going unheeded. I learned a lot about patience when I had an unfortunate relapse of chronic fatigue during my second semester and I was required to drop some of my classes so I could once again spend more time sleeping.
I learned a lot from my classes, and switched my major from Landscape and Urban Horticulture to Plant Biology. This meant a big change from more artistic classes to a lot more science classes. I'm so glad I did. I had a lot of fun with Rachel. We lived in the downstairs basement bedroom of our apartment and laughed ourselves silly many nights. I taught flute lessons to three girls in Orem, one of them being my little sister Laura. I got to welcome my big brother Matt home from his mission. I got to revel in the fact that the winter Olympics were in Salt Lake, just down the freeway. I had fun and learned a lot. But I was glad to move home for the summer.