Dear Ally,

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Fitting In

Dear Ally,

I was talking with a student today who was very upset because two other girls were treating her badly because she kept to herself. They thought she had something against them.  I told her that in 20 years she probably won’t remember this day and may not even remember these girls. I didn’t really know what else to tell her, except we’ve all been there.

I don’t remember many details from my freshmen year, but I do recall feeling left out and struggling to find a group of friends where I felt like I belonged. I lived in a two-room suite with three other girls and to say I was the most conservative and studious of the four of us was putting it mildly. There was a trunk full of liquor they kept in our room that I was sure was going to get us all busted. They watched TV all the time and I had go to the library to get anything done until I finally moved my desk into the sleeping room. This worked out pretty well except for the times I couldn’t go in there because one of my roommates and her boyfriend were in there.  As if the TV wasn’t enough of a distraction, they hung pictures from Playgirl all over our room, thinking that this was just hilarious. To deal with this, I cut out little boxer shorts and taped them over top of the offending…uh…parts. My roommates weren’t particularly mean to me, but I just didn’t fit in.

Sometime during the fall of my first year, I met my future roommate and we ended up rooming together the remaining three years of college. Compared to her, I was the wild one. She was disappointed one day after art class because they had to draw a nude male model and she was hoping that her future husband would be the first man she saw naked. Speaking of her future husband, the two of them used to sit on the floor rather than the bed to avoid temptation. She’s still one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever met and, even though we haven’t seen each other for a couple years, she’s a lifelong friend.

So if you haven’t found “your people” yet, don’t despair. I hope that you soon find a friend that, in 20 years, you’ll miss as much as I miss my roommate. I also hope that your mom doesn’t freak out reading about my early college experiences.

Keep smiling!

Aunt Sarah

My fun roommates from freshmen year:



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