Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My BYU Roommates....Inspired by Jenny (Tucker) Denton

I just read a blog post by my old (former) roommate, Jenny (Tucker) Denton... (That's her hugging me with a stocking on my face) Here is her blog if you want to read it... It might be because that TIME of month is rapidly approaching, but her blog today made me cry. I think partly because of hurt feelings of the past, partly because of nostalgia, but a large part was from gratitude.

In Jenny's post she talks about her Jr. High and High School years. How mean the adolescent kids were back then and how unaccepted she felt all while growing up. Her story could just as well have been mine...and I venture a lot of other people's. I was bullied mercilessly as a teenager. I look back now and can see why to some degree. I wasn't one to be...let's say...politically correct...even before that was a common phrase. I usually spoke my mind whether anyone wanted to hear it or not. I was smart, logical...and I felt they were not...and often challenged them on it.

As painful as those years were, I have found one point of light that could be considered a blessing. Although I was never asked to one dance and had extremely few dates. I can now feel gratitude for the fact that nobody every liked me enough to want to get drunk with me, share their drugs with me, or "sleep" with me. Funny thought...but with my low self-esteem back then... I don't know that I would have resisted.

Then I went away to BYU. There I was a young girl with low self esteem and very little confidence....but always the feeling that if people would only get to know me, they would like me. I decided then that the people I would be meeting on my new adventure would not know the shy, insecure Robin. I was only shy because that was the box I had been put in through all the years growing up with the same people. If nobody expected me to be shy...then I didn't have to be.

I started out with one roommate, Darcy, that I didn't get along with very well. We were very different people. So I transferred to Maeser Hall in Heritage Halls and that made all the difference. I was thrust into a dorm with 5 other girls that I had never met. We had 3 bedrooms, each with 2 girls, one kitchen area and a bathroom. We had to get along...at least for the rest of the year.

As I recall we did have some trying moments, but what I remember more is suddenly having friends who actually liked me. (I know that because they are still my friends today.) We had so much fun together. We went on road trips, climbed every mountain, went fishing... sang into cooking utensils for microphones... went on more road trips, ate lots and lots of food, overcame trials together and learned to love each other in spite of our differences.

Those were good years. When I was in high school they kept telling me that "these are the best years of your life". It's surprising I didn't kill myself then... It's a good thing I didn't believe that. My college years...those were some of the best years of my life. My first roommates...those are some of the best friends of my life...along with the friends we met and mingled along the way. I am grateful to those FIRST roommates (Jenny, Paige, Lisa, Ann, Melinda...and Michelle and Sharmyn who were kind of roommate add ons) for being such good people...and such good friends. You made all the difference!
Ok...now I have to get back to studying. Unfortunately...I had so much fun back then at BYU...I forgot to study. So I will finally graduate from BYU this year...25 years later...but better late than never.