Happy Friday everyone! Tonight, Graham and I are off to Seattle for one of my best friends from college’s baby shower. She just flew down here last weekend for mine, which was so much fun! Seriously, best shower ever!!
When I made the rather bold decision to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, without knowing a soul, I felt really scared and trepidatious about my decision. My mom pushed me to go on a “scramble” which was an elective week long camping trip for Freshman in small groups of ten, as a way to meet some new people before I was thrown into the college experience. I reluctantly obliged my mom’s begging and signed up to leave the comfort of my home and lifelong friends a week earlier then college orientation, to go canoeing and camping in the Blue Mountains with ten strangers.
Let me say that I am deathly shy when it comes to meeting new people and I get home sick like crazy. Two week summer camp was torture for me. So, as a way of comforting me, mom and I went shopping so I could feel confident in my stranger meet n’ greet/camping experience.
I was the only one flying in as everyone else was from the Seattle area. So the other nine strangers met each other first in their familiar city and then set out to the airport to meet the “Californian.” I stepped off the plane, feeling confident in my brand new Abercrombie and Fitch khaki, white Gap T-shirt and LL Bean boat shoes. This I felt was very “Washington” in attire.
When I met the group at baggage claim, I saw that I got the “Washington” look wrong. People were dressed in head to toe Mountain Hardware, with a little hemp and tie-dye thrown in for good measure and everyone was gripping their nalgene bottle covered in “save the earth” and “whistler” bumper stickers. Woa, was I out of my element.
The first person I met was this bubbly girl named Anna. She was very excited for the trip and she wasn’t shy in the least. She was practically hopping on top of the luggage ramp with enthusiasm. I knew that this was a girl that I wanted to get to be friends with and that her enthusiasm could counter balance my shy ways. However, Anna’s first impression of me was…”How will this prissy California girl last a week camping?”
Little did she know that I grew up camping. I spent my first night away from my parents, in the woods with my brothers, before I was in first grade; I have made awesome forts out of fallen eucalyptus trees; and I can make a mean dinner of Dennisons chile with a stick, the can and fire. The woods didn’t scare me in the least…meeting new people did.
Luckily for me, Anna let my Abercrombie and Fitch get up go and before I knew it we were fast friends. I even forgot I was shy or home sick, all thanks to her. We shared so much of our past, our interests and made many lasting memories on that trip. Not only did she make the trip for me, she made my college experience all the more whole.
After the camping trip, we lived in separate dorm rooms across campus, joined different sororities and had slightly different friend groups. Despite all this, we remained fast friends and vowed to live together as soon as we were out of student housing. Junior and Senior year we shared a house together with four other awesome ladies.
Since graduating, Anna and I have never lived in the same city but that hasn’t hurt our friendship. We chat on the phone, share our ups and downs and make a pact to see each other at least annually, but hopefully more. We’ve even met up in far off lands like Croatia and England.
Now, Anna and I are embarking on our next journey together. We are due three days apart from each other. This time around, we’re both really giddy and a little scared for our new adventure but at least we’ll be in matching outfits at our journey embark (hospital gowns). It’s an exciting new chapter and just like our scramble, we’re going to go for it, love every minute and call each other when things are feeling a little overwhelming.
And after that little story, I’m off for the day and for the weekend with my scramble partner, Anna.
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