A student’s story: Letting life unfold

Over the past weekend, I got a taste of what the next few years at college are going to be like for me. I was excited to spend the weekend in Pittsburgh for the PMEA Festival and meet new people, but I was not ready for all it would entail.

On a Thursday afternoon, my choir director walked me to the sign-in table at the hotel. “See you on Sunday,” he said. My expression must have revealed everything I was feeling, because he smirked and said, “Are you going to be okay?”

“Yea, yea, I’ll be fine,” I said quickly. “I know a few people from other schools that will be here.”

But I really wasn’t fine. I was left alone in the lobby of a hotel in an unfamiliar city with hundreds of strangers for the first time in my life. I felt like the only one out of place while everyone else seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

To make matters worse, I realized at that exact moment that this is what college will be like. In just a few short months, I will step foot on campus without my friends, teachers or family there with me, and I will have to initiate conversations with strangers and try to make new friends.

Thankfully, I saw a familiar face across the room. I made my way over to sit with him and other people from our district. They showed me where to put my stuff until we checked in to our room. Afterwards, we walked to our first rehearsal. At rehearsal, we had assigned seats, so it wasn’t as nerve-wracking.

The next question was who would my roommate be? At these festivals, all the students stay in hotel rooms with at least one other student. Most of the time, at least one of my friends from school is also at the festival, but this time, I had no idea who my roommate would be. After rehearsal, we were to find our chaperones; they handed us an envelope labeled with our roommates’ names and our room keys inside.

I’m sure assignments were random, but it was uncanny how similar my roommate and I were both in appearance and personality. It was almost like we filled out a questionnaire, and they matched us based on compatibility.

Of course we both liked to sing, but our height, hair and eye color, nail color and even perfume were identical. One day at lunch, another girl asked if we were sisters. We laughed, as we had just finished talking about how people would probably believe that we were.

My roommate and I spent the entire festival together. We ate our meals together, walked to concerts together and talked about our plans after high school. We often said we wished we were going to the same college so we could request to be roommates again.

After our concert Sunday morning, we said our goodbyes and reassured each other we would stay in touch and keep our Snapchat “streak” going. I know this sounds a little cliche, but I think this is one of those things that happen for a reason.

Establishing new friends was an aspect of college life that had me feeling a bit uneasy lately, but this weekend went well — a lot better than I thought it would actually. Chances are I’ll have a really great roommate this fall, too. Regardless, I know I need to worry less about what may go wrong, and instead take life as it comes, let it unfold, and trust things will work out for the best.

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