I got my letter with my assigned roommate’s information in the summer of ’93 before attending my freshman year in college. I decided to go to school a few states away and couldn’t wait for the adventure.
Instead of asking to room with another girlfriend who was attending that school and playing it safe, I wanted to make new friends.
I skimmed over the letter and reached for the phone dialing her number– I wasn’t even nervous; she was from New York and I had family from New York, we already had a bond and looking back, I realize maybe I was so anxious to reach out to her because deep down I knew this was more than just a call to my future roommate.
I was so ready to leave my old life behind and start fresh somewhere I didn’t have time to stop and think about the fact I’d be living with a complete stranger and how we’d be sharing a refrigerator and a bedroom.
Or the fact we’d have to change in front of each other and put up with strange habits and weird quirks whether we wanted to or not– we all know there’s nowhere to hide in a dorm room.
I talked non-stop not noticing she was more reserved and thought I was a bit “extra.” She told me later she was nervous we wouldn’t hit it off after I told her I liked to get up early, exercise and dress up for class. I sounded so perky and annoying to her but she went with it, and I’m so glad she did.
I’m still not sure if it was my optimism or the fact we were destined to be in each other’s lives but as soon as we saw each other it was just… easy. And after 24 hours of togetherness we both felt like we’d known each other forever.
The day I met her it changed the way I viewed friendship. Never before had I known someone who understood me so completely but wasn’t afraid to hurt my feelings by calling me out on my bullshit because she knew the worth of honesty.
And here we are, 25 years later, with an irreplaceable friendship that has been through marriages, kids, my divorce, our careers and lots of clothing fads.
My college roommate has had a strong presence in my life that I know will always be there– If that’s not a soulmate I don’t know what is.
I find a lot of joy in telling people for the last half century that I met my best friend in college and she was my assigned roommate. What are the chances? I always believed in destiny but this cemented it for me.
In times of trouble or distress or happiness, it’s her that I want to share it with because she gets me in a way no one else has, or ever will.
I always had an inkling I’d find my soulmate in college and marry him, but I was wrong about a few things.
I found my soulmate waiting for me in my dorm room during the fall of ’93. She was a stranger and I had no idea the friendship we’d share even existed.
Maybe it was because we got lucky.
Maybe it’s because we did a lot of growing up and changing together.
Or maybe your late teens and early 20s are when you start seeking out friendships that are real and true and nurturing.
But I owe a lot of it to fate, I think. If we didn’t meet in the third floor of an old brick building on one of the most picturesque colleges in Vermont, I believe with all my soul we would have met somewhere else.
Everyone has a soulmate– some people marry theirs, and some people find them in the form of a best friend who has seen you at your best, and at your worst, and not only loves you anyway, but isn’t afraid to remind you of who you are when you don’t believe in yourself.
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