Disney magic is alive and well in college. No, little cartoon bluebirds don’t swoop down and carry our bags for us as we stroll to class. No, your 2:15 Sociology Class isn’t going to spontaneously burst into perfectly harmonized lyrics whilst skipping through the halls. No, a fairy godmother won’t wipe that C from your transcript with a flick of her charitable wand. Keep dreaming!
But, one of the most memorable experiences of my freshman year did happen to involve a sprinkling of Disney splendor. I can picture it perfectly, sitting on my dorm room floor with a friend I’d met only a handful of days ago, coloring the sign that would soon bedazzle the exterior of Johnson 337. A Disney medley was our chosen soundtrack.
This marked the first of many days I would spend with my new roommate, Jessi White. I say “new” roommate because there had indeed been an “old” roommate. And geeze had things gotten “old” fast. Two puzzle pieces that were destined not to match, my first roommate and I butted heads over everything from the boyfriend policy to partying. I tried. Truly. But, in the end, there was no way I was swapping my triplet sister (my roommate for 18 years of life!) for Roommate #1.
Time for a swap. On to Roommate #2.
Roommate #2? Proved that happy coexistence is simply in the luck of the draw. For every ounce of distaste I harbored toward my first train wreck of a rooming situation, I found the complete opposite with Jessi. Our musical tastes were equally whacked and always in tune – if one of us decided Sinatra was the perfect soundtrack for Psych homework, the other agreed. Country, soft rock, jazz, Disney. We were always on the same musical wavelength.
And other wavelengths as well! Both of us were breakfast people. She accepted my weird desire to have ice cream for the morning meal at least once a week. She grabbed the bacon and I the sausage during our Sunday morning run to the dining hall. Rain, shine, or hail. We both were members of the school’s brand new Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. She rode horses, I road my trusty steed of a bike. This, my friends, is what happens when roommate destinies align.
I was challenged to think of three “events” that defined my freshman year of college. Jessi, while not technically an event, fit the prompt because she single handedly shaped my year. My year was chock full of incredible persons! But Jessi? She was the stroke of good luck I never expected, the person who restored my faith in unlikely miracles. Perhaps she doesn’t know it, but just when I felt the most isolated, she reeled me right back into the full potential of college life.
She also, uncannily, reminded me that change is a part of the experience. Invited to attend the illustrious Cornell University next year (break out the magic markers for a full size card of Congratulations and Kudos!), Jessi will not be my roommate next year. No, I haven’t come to terms with this yet. A small HUGE part of me wants to drag her back by her ear and stick my tongue out at Cornell in an act of small but mighty defiance. So there!
But, alas, Cornell will call her away. That “change” thing is here to stay. But the lesson that Jessi taught me by becoming my roommate stands even as she relinquishes that title. Change can be a really truly wonderful challenge, if you choose to accept it.
Cheers to you, Jessi, and cheers to our days of Ultimate, breakfast, and Disney.