Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Going off to College

From the 1st page of my college scrapbook -- the snowmen picture is our dorm room door which won the Christmas door decorating contest
When I was a 18 years old, I was not homesick in any way, shape or form. I'm sad to say that when I left home in the backseat of my parent's minivan, my heart did not twinge for those who would miss me, because I was TOO DARN excited about my adventure. Really, nothing daunted this excitement. I was not afraid of the rules (I chose to go to Maranatha Baptist Bible College, which seemed pretty strict to me compared to how I grew up), or the dress code or the classes or making new friends. I was just excited to do those things.

My P.C. (Prayer captain -- sort of a room leader) was one of the first people I met there and was a SUPER fun and bubbly senior named Kathy. She was a cheeleader and turned down scholarships for cheering to big schools to come to MBBC. She was tiny and spunky and could do 3 back flips in a row in our small dorm room (after we rearranged our furniture to our liking). She was known as "Flipper" because she could do a series of back flips the whole length of the basketball court.  I picked the bunk underneath Kathy, and waited to meet my other roomies -- there could be up to 6 girls in a room. Only 2 more ended up joining us, so we had much more room than many other rooms.

Kathy studying on her "magic carpet" bed.
Like I mentioned, I was fearless. I was so green, never having been to school before this. Kathy was the perfect girl for me to room with because she was godly and cheerful and not emotional or boy-crazy. I probably didn't realize at the time that she set a really good tone for me of what life could be like in that sort of school. Kathy studied and worked hard, but had a great attitude and treated everyone kindly. She helped me to like Math (I'd always hated it, but ended up getting a perfect grade on my final -- including all the bonus points!), and running (always thought I'd hate it, but Kathy showed me the joy of a runner's high right before you have to settle in to study).

I also had a friend, Stephanie, who lived on my hall from my home church who had been at MBBC a few years before me, and was kind enough to let me follow her around as I became acquainted with everything. Steph was also a good friend for me to have. She stood by me when things suddenly got rocky during my first semester and helped me understand when I had trouble with girls. I don't remember anything specifically, but apparently I had my feelings hurt over something, and I said to Stephanie "I don't understand why people don't like me! I'm nice to them! They think I'm being fake!" Steph sighed and said "Gretchen, you didn't go to school. Welcome to 'Girls 101'. This is your first exposure to it." HAHA! Looking back, I probably came on too strong and wanted to be liked by EVERYBODY. It took a while for me to just find my niche and study and work hard and not worry about being the most popular girl ever.

Steph and I doing our nails and some sort of yogurt hair treatment -- I did love getting to know the girls in the dorm!
One thing I appreciated about both of these older girls was their ability to be young with me. Steph lived in another room, but she'd hang out with me and Kathy from time to time, and we called Kathy's top bunk "The Magic Carpet", like from Aladdin. Kathy could jump up onto her bunk in one leap, from the floor, even though she was so short. Stephanie and I were so tickled, for some reason, to hang out and laugh together on Kathy's "Magic Carpet"!  Sadly, the picture of that has been ripped out of my scrapbook!  I think I took it out for something in Stephanie's wedding (just a guess).

I could write a million things about people I met my freshman year, but I'll save some of those for the next chapter.


Jason and Andrea said...

Wow! Does that ever bring back the memories! And I can't think of anyone that didn't like you. :o) I'm thankful for all I learned in those years, but even more thankful that they are behind us... being a wife and a mom is so much more fun!! Thanks for sharing it is fun to take a trip down memory lane!

Emma said...

Man, makes me wish I could have stayed on the dorm scene a little longer. I had fun while I was there though! Looks like Abby takes after you, while Anna and I can't stay away from Home for too long. :)

MommaHarms said...

it's very interesting to read this. I always looked to you as one of those cool, confident upperclassmen who had her friends, knew who she was, and where she wanted to go. It's interesting to see your perspective as a freshman who had never even been to school!!!

Ginny Marie said...

I have some pictures that have disappeared from my photo albums, and who know why I took them out! What a great idea to show us your scrapbook. I had a great time living in the dorms, too, and I plan on writing more about that next week.

I don't know if you'd be interested, but Christine at http://www.mbcscrapbooking.blogspot.com/ is trying to start a scrapbooking link-up every Monday. It lasts all week, if you'd like to share your scrapbooking with other bloggers.

I can't wait to read more about your life after high school!

Gretchen said...

Andrea -- YEEEEES I am. :) You are too sweet and that is why I always loved you so much! I am so so so very thankful to have this chapter of my life with you as well. Check back soon -- I'm sure I'll have some pictures of you/Ben/Jill from the scrapbook at some point! And I'll have to bring it over sometime to look at together!

Em -- dorm life was one of the best parts of college (IMO). But after enough of it, you DO miss home! I remember wanting a COUCH so bad to lay on a read.

Nicole -- haha! Well, I think I was a junior by the time I met you, so I'd mellowed quite a bit!

Thanks, Ginny Marie! I did link up to that, but my college scrapbook is a TRUE scrapbook -- lots of scraps glued in a book!

gianna said...

OH, those college friends from the first year! AWESOME! What great memories.
I have to tell you that I saw your name on the list and thought, "I've gotta make sure to read Gretchen's post!"
I miss you! Ineed to make the effort to get over to your blog more often. Hey, you know what I'm going to do? Follow you! I'm so brilliant!

Mom2three said...

What a blessing that you had great roommates to help you adjust! Life at Bible college is definitely different than a secular college, but it has it's own challenges. We didn't have to wear dresses all the time, but slacks were as casual as we could wear to classes. Thanks for sharing your story.