Freshman Year Was Super Squirrelly: Part One – The Beginning
As I’ve recounted many times before, my parents slowed down our rental van enough so that I could safely tuck and roll myself right into my freshman dorm. They started to peal out as soon as I got my footing and then casually threw a family pack of condoms in my direction. They didn’t want to know what their little girl was about to do several states away, on her own for the first time, but they sure as hell wanted to make sure she was safe doing whatever or whoever she was going to be doing. My parents were OG realists, and that is all I’m going to say about that.
So there I was taking in the August Carolina heat, and my raging hormones and newly found freedom were destined to responsibly enjoy freshman year. I somehow thought my life was going to be a Nicholas Sparks novel from the moment I got settled in. I wanted to find a man with a southern drawl, who was going to take me on a date in an old pickup truck, and show me all kinds of southern chivalry and hospitality. You know, all the bullshit you read about in novels and see in Hallmark movies. Oy, I was such an idiot and sorely mistaken.
I believe that all the boys had a meeting before my arrival and were all in agreement that they would never be attracted to me or pursue me. I was a somewhat muscular-thick, very tan, northerner with wild and wavy hair that neared my butt. I wasn’t shy, I was Cuban and Northern loud, I had a “Yankee” accent, and no one could ever tell where I was from by looking at me. “What are you?” “What nationality are you?” “Are you Mexican?” The casual racism finessing its way into every conversation I ever had was disappointing and shocking. I stuck out in a crowd, but I assume not in a good way.
The very first friend that I made was an adorable, English woman who played for our tennis team and who happened to be a lesbian. By association, and my somewhat disheveled appearance as a freshman I assume – I had to confirm my sexuality on a daily basis. Which to be honest I wasn’t really 100% sure of what I was to begin with. I was either assumed to be gay, too intimidating because of my “Yankee” accent or completely not on the radar of any boy who fit the description of all those characters in those Nicholas Sparks books. Damn that man, damn his books and damn my step-father for providing me with every new novel and the false hope that came with every page.
Life in the South was not what I was expecting, but it turned out I fell in love with the place anyway. I found my people and those people are still my friends to this day. To be quite honest, I’m shocked they are still around. I was a lot to take back then.
I was boy crazy, girl crazy, confused, argumentative, stubborn, loud, unfocused and obsessed with finding someone who was going to love me for all my shenanigans. I was no longer Leo’s little sister to everyone, I was no longer so and so’s longtime girlfriend, and I was no longer under the watchful eye of strict parents. I was ready to find out who the hell I was and I was in a hurry to find her. Some days I’m still searching to find her ass, but here I am and there I was…
There were countless crushes, hookups, unrequited feelings and a whole ton of new friendships and experiences that I will never forget. Long nights of deep and silly conversations, the nights we found ourselves dancing on a stage at a club or the night we met a pair of Nuns in drag, who let us into the BOA building in the middle of the night. The laughter, so much laughter… the lack of responsibility, the newness of every experience and feeling. I may have forgotten their names or possibly how we met, but I’ve never forgotten how the people or the moments of my freshman year made me feel. Whether it was good, bad or indifferent. Freshman year was eye opening and will live in my soul forever. Next week a sexy, somewhat scandalous but yummy story about one of my freshman year encounters will be posted. Stay tuned. 🙂