And so I began college. I didn't know it then, but I was about to enter THE BEST 5 years of my life. College was so much freaking fun. Okay, but let me start at the beginning because I only have 2 years left in this decade. Those first two years of college were FULL of fun and of course (because it was me) some awesome boy drama. Good times.
Let's start with the day I got dropped off at college. I think just my dad took me? I can't remember honestly. All I really remember of that day was standing in line to take my ID picture and meeting my roommate for the first time. She was from southern California and was small, cute and spunky. We had spoken on the phone and were so excited to be there. She had her boyfriend from home move up with her and he was renting a garage apartment closer to downtown Monterey. But, I was thrilled that she still wanted to hang out and form a friendship. The last thing I remember about my very FIRST night of college was that my roommate and I were sitting there talking and unpacking and all of the sudden we heard a pounding on the window (we were on the first floor). We looked but didn't see anything so we went outside. There was BARF all over our window and it was clear that it had come from upstairs. So, we went upstairs to see what was going on and to demand that they clean off our window! The door was propped open and we went right in after announcing ourselves. We found a very drunk, NAKED guy draped over his toilet. Welcome to college, folks. We left immediately and the next day he and his roommate came down to clean our window and apologize. I ended up spending lots of time with the drunk naked boy because I later dated his roommate. But we'll get there a bit later...
Me and my roommate
You see, when we left off, I still had the jerk boyfriend from home. That's right. I kept him around despite moving an hour away for college. He wasn't going to college (or maybe he tried community college for a semester?). Anyway I remember driving home to see him in the first week and also having to use a pay phone to call him while I waited for my phone to be set up in my dorm room. Ahh... the time before cell phones. Anyway, he's still in the picture. I go home regularly to see him and he doesn't come to visit all that often, that's all on him... for now.
My dad got married in September right after I started college and this was with my cousin at the rehearsal.
Classes started and I had a class called Art History (I think?). Anyway, I met a girl in that class who quickly became my amazingly wonderful best friend. We were, like, instantly inseparable. We ate all meals together and got ourselves into some serious credit card debt with shopping trips. We watched TV together at night and studied together when we absolutely had to. It was just carefree, easy and fun. We never had any drama. We had a larger group of friends, but it was the two of us that were definitely closest.
That's me and my bestest!
Somewhere in the mix, I began having serious trouble with mah man. We had always had troubles but I just started to be fed up of them. Plus, the super cute guy (the roommate and best friend of the infamous barfer?) upstairs was showing some definite interest in me and I wanted to pursue him. I was still too nervous to be without someone. It took me a long time to realize that I didn't need a boyfriend. I guess I could go into the physiological reasons I believe this to be the case, but it doesn't matter. I figured it out eventually. But not then. Not at 19. So, in the Spring of my Freshman year of college I got rid of the jerk and started dating the upstairs neighbor. That was fun and really added to my college experience because it kept me around to actually experience it. I stayed on campus more and attended parties and really had the whole college life thing going.
In the Spring my friends and I went to Disneyland. That was the most fun I had ever had in my life! It was just non-stop laughter the entire time. We would also have surprise birthday parties and holiday gift exchanges. One friend and I took a trip to San Luis Obispo to visit a guy I went to high school with and attended a fraternity party (my first and last). It was just overall great times with friends. It was so... free. I literally didn't have a care in the world.
At Disneyland. We ran into Matt from the Real World New Orleans and we were ELATED.
I worked at Starbucks for about 3 weeks. Waking up at 3 am does not suit me.
Classes kept me busy, but weren't overly challenging except my english class where my AMAZING teacher pushed me to actually be better. She and I developed a wonderful relationship and would get together outside of class for coffee or lunch and talk about so many things. She was a mentor of sorts and I so enjoyed our time together. My other classes were honestly ridiculously easy and I even got an A in a class that I never ONCE attended (Wake-Up Workout. Yeah, that SO wasn't going to happen. But, hey - I'll take the A? Still don't know how I managed that one).
I also started teaching dance at a local Junior High's after school program. I loved every minute of it and eventually held little auditions and started up a small team there. They were all super cute, wonderful girls and I always looked forward to being with them. I liked knowing that I might have been having a small impact on their junior high years, which as we remember, we tough for me. Maybe I was able to help one of them get some enjoyment out of middle school.
This is me with my dance team girls.
It was close to summer and the upstairs neighbor boy and I were still having a great time together. We'd attend parties and spend time together on a daily basis. It was very interesting to be dating someone that lived right above you. I inevitably saw him every day because my best friend lived right across the hall, but I don't remember him begin the focus so much. I more remember my time with my friends. However, I DO remember that a few weeks before summer vacation my boyfriend took me to the Otter Cafe (haha - the semi-nicer-than-the-cafeteria eating spot). There was live entertainment that evening and he grabbed the microphone and serenaded me (um... can't even remember what song is was because of what happened next). He even brought over a rose to me in his teeth and everything. And JUST when I was thinking how sweet he was, he sat down and got all serious with me and reminded me that I couldn't possibly expect him to remain faithful to me while we were apart that summer. Ugh. Needless to say, I left without looking back. Well... okay I did look back later - but I made him suffer a bit first.
So, I went home for summer break without a boyfriend (but we did agree to remain friends) and with no home friends from high school. I went to Sacramento a lot because my best friend from college lived there. We had amazing fun that summer going to concerts and doing more shopping and doing a lot of driving around while listening to music. I really couldn't have asked for a better friend and I always felt SO lucky to have her.
Eating SUSHI! One of our favs.
When I wasn't visiting Sacramento, I was working at a pool teaching swim lessons and life guarding. That's where I met two very close friends of mine. Kirstie and Rebecca have been in my life for 10-11 years and through distance and time apart I've remained such great friends with both of them!
I only could find a picture with one of them from those days. This is Kirstie - still one of my best friends!
I'm not sure how to explain the complexity of the whole boy/dating situation in my life that summer. The details are also fuzzy to me but at any given point I was either single, or with my ex boyfriend from high school (the jerk) or the ex boyfriend from college with a brief encounter with a third guy who left to go to the army. I guess I should just say, it was a fun summer full of drama. But I did end up back with my ex boyfriend from high school and started the Fall going back to Monterey but still with him. Although this time I set some boundaries and expectations. One of them was that he was to come visit me more and I would leave campus a lot less. I just had way too much fun with my friends not to be with them.
So, I started my Sophomore year of college living in a dorm with my best friend. Our large group of friends had dwindled down to just 3 of us (mostly due to people transferring to different schools) and we spent a ton of time together. My boyfriend would pop in and out and I remained friendly with the upstairs neighbor guy, too. I wasn't thrilled in my relationship by any means, but still couldn't bear the thought of having no one.
I'm not sure why this happened but in November I had a total freak out. I started to play out my future and saw myself moving from dorm to apartment with my friends and then getting a job after graduation and then marriage and all that jazz and basically I realized that if I kept at this pace I would never live with my mommy ever again. SO LAME, right? But, I freaked about it and decided I needed to move home. I told myself that I wanted to change majors and that Monterey State didn't have my major (which was true) and so I needed to live at home and go to San Jose State. So, in January, I packed up with promises to visit my friends regularly and moved back home.
My mom and me. We are so close still.
I wasn't accepted to SJSU right away because Monterey's system is much different that SJSU's was at the time. I needed one year of community college first to finish off my general ed courses. So, I started at San Jose City College. I took general ed, but also took some drama courses and was in a few performances (including the making of a movie!). It was there that I met yet another young man. He gave me the boost I needed to break up with my boyfriend once and for all. Of course, that relationship didn't last very long. He was fun and nice and all, but a tad on the overly emotional side. Being the emotional soul that I am, I seriously can't be with a drama king. Plus, I hadn't been really single since... um, 14? And now I'm 20. That's a long time to not be single. Who was I? So, I decided to stop this relationship business and get down to getting to know me. I broke it off and was determined to remain single for awhile.
A picture from one of the shows I was in.
There's where we'll leave off. I probably won't get the last decade to you all before I turn 30 (because that's TOMORROW!) but it will be worth it because it's basically my love story with Ritchie - and that is a good one :)