Day 15, College Life
Day 15 – What was your college experience like? Were you involved in any clubs, groups, etc?
Oh my goodness, I could go on all day about my college experience! I had an awesome 4 years. I guess I should start off by saying that I didn’t get accepted to my first choice school, so I applied to this college that is only 10 minutes from where I grew up, and coincidentally where I work now. I came into the experience thinking I would transfer after a year to my first choice school, but that didn’t happen.
After high school, where I was shy and the cliques were numerous and hard to break in to, I decided I would be a whole different person. I lived on campus for the first month and a half before I decided that living home was better for me. I started working in the office I work in now, and got tons of work experience. I also worked in the Fine Arts Center Box office and one of the computer labs.
In that first few weeks, I made a ton of friends. I decided that everyone was going through the same experience I was, so I would introduce myself to just about everyone I saw. There were some guys who started crushing on me, and I dated one of them for about a week. By this time I was sure I was at least bisexual, but hadn’t come out as anything yet (except to my best friend from high school).
I saw that there was a club for GLBT students and I desperately wanted to join it, but didn’t have the courage until my sophomore year. Freshman year I met a girl who I became super-super close with, and for the entire 4 years, we were inseparable. She was the first person I fully came out to as gay and she totally accepted me. This is a whole story for another blog because after college she ended up telling me we couldn’t be friends anymore with no explanation whatsoever. But during those 4 years we had an amazing time!
I met this other girl sophomore year who was totally out. I developed a crush on her and tried in every way to get her to notice me. She really changed my life because of how open she was, so I wrote her this letter during the summer to let her know and sent it to her. When she didn’t respond, I was crushed. I don’t know how I did it, but when school started up again, I got the courage to go to her suite and knock on the door. I was shaking and so nervous. We sat down and talked and I told her about the letter and she said she never received it, and that if she had, she would have definitely written back. She was flattered that she had helped me so much and we talked about the GLBT club. She told me not to be scared, and brought me to my first meeting. At that time it was a very small club of about 6 students. This girl ended up dating one of the other students in the club, so she was officially off the market. I think she knew I had a crush on her, but she was kind of a wild child, and we most likely wouldn’t have made it very far. Anyway, I stayed in that club for the rest of my time at college. It grew a bit while I was in it, and we started to include allies. I am now the advisor of that same club and the membership number varies. Some years it is very active doing all sorts of events including the Gay For A Day In May event. Other years it is sort of underground. A few years ago it was the largest club on campus!
I was also a member of the Women’s Issues Group (WIG) which did amazing events like the Take Back the Night March. The first TBTN march I attended also changed my life. People got up and talked about their childhood sexual abuse, rapes, and other violations of their bodies. It was so powerful and it is something I will never forget. I even got up to speak that year.
I was very active in the theater department. I did 4 plays while I was here, and also stage managed one. I was a Communication major, and did lots of movies and videos outside of class with my friends. We had so much fun and I miss that a lot! I also wrote a play that got produced on the main-stage during my senior year. That was so amazing – to see your work on stage, it’s indescribable! For my Directing class I also directed a classmate’s play for the main-stage during the same festival. The rule was you couldn’t direct your own work, which was okay at the time, but there are a few things I would have done differently.
I had so many positive experiences while at college. I changed, I grew, I learned how to accept myself. I came out at the end of my Sophomore year to my family and the world, and I felt so free! The one thing I wish I could have had during that time that I didn’t was a girlfriend. This was the mid to late ’90’s and there weren’t that many people out at that time, and those who were, were with each other. I am really shy when it comes to approaching girls, so it just didn’t happen. I came close to dating one girl, but all my friends said she was crazy, so it was probably for the best.
Something that totally shocked me recently is that that girl, the one who was so open and helped me come out? Yeah, she’s now married to a man and expecting her first child. Weird.