University of New Hampshire, Freshman Year

My first year of college was not the wild and crazy semester-long party you might imagine a quiet, socially awkward, chaste young parochial school girl would have. I lived on the eighth floor of a three-winged tower called Stoke Hall. It was an all girls floor. My room was what was called a forced triple, because it was designed for two students but actually had three of us living in it due to high enrollment. Therefore I had two roommates.

Brenda was a partying girl who was very disappointed with me as a roommate. Her friends didn’t like me, either. Unfortunately, the entire floor consisted of Brendas, so I wasn’t well-liked in general. For the first two months I ate at the Burger King downtown for dinner to avoid being seen at the dining hall by myself and actually lost the freshman 15 due to skipping breakfast and lunch everyday. Already having been reed thin at the time, it wasn’t a good look for me.

Stephanie, my other roommate, drank socially, but she was really the only girl on my floor who didn’t judge me for not. So although Brenda and I didn’t get along, Stephanie and I became quite close. She introduced me to Brian and Jess, high school friends who also went to UNH, and Justin, her boyfriend. Brenda eventually moved out.

Sometime around the third month I stopped being homesick and decided I wanted to try new things, including staying at school for the weekend, smoking cloves at midnight and hanging around with the 5th floor boys’ RA, the last of which did not end well for me. I drank beer for the first time Super Bowl Sunday. I saw Rusted Root, Live and my first UNH hockey game at the Whittemore Center. I changed my major from speech pathology to English. Steph, Justin and I spent the weekend at Short Sands in York in the spring. I discovered Tori Amos.

It ended up, all things considered, being a pretty good year.

Stoke Hall is top left.

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