My College Memoir: Sophomore Year (500th Blog Post)

The summer before my sophomore year I worked in the garden store I worked at the summer before. It still is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and I loved working there. However, that year there was a really terrible accident when one of the guys was driving a lift up a hill and the entire machine flipped backwards and ended up crushing his leg. He survived, but it was still one of those moments that created a turning point for the summer. A lot of what happened at work after the accident involved supporting him and his family. I really liked the people I worked with but I also knew it had to be my last summer working there.

That summer I also adopted my beautiful Gertrude. I went to the shelter every day for a week looking for the right dog. I had wanted this airedale terrier, but he had a huge aggression problem and he didn’t get along with our family dog Poopy. I was so upset about not getting that dog, but then the shelter volunteer brought out Gertie and she was a little ray of sunshine. She basically ignored Poopy and ran around during the whole meeting. I will admit now that I wasn’t completely sold on her when I adopted her. I thought she was a great dog, but I wanted a dog that looked different and I thought labs were too generic for me. But then I took her home and she immediately took a nap on the pillow I made her and I took this photo:

She met everyone in my fam and was met with approval. Pretty soon all my doubts about having a generic dog were gone.

In July, I started this blog. Back then, I didn’t have too much to say, so I mostly stuck to writing about cheese-flavored snacks, reality tv, and my fears of dying alone (In case you didn’t know, this blog was originally titled “On the Path to Spinsterhood”)

A week before I was supposed to move into  my house with Monica, Monica told me that she would be unable to move back to Colorado that year so that she could stay home and be near her family. At the time, the landlords told me they were okay with me living alone and only paying my share of the rent instead of charging me for both. I was hella down for that- I really wanted to live alone.

I didn’t have a car for the whole first semester so I walked literally everywhere and that sucked.

I moved into the house and Nina came to visit the same week and she helped me settle in.

Settling in with Nina and Colleen. Both of these woman are mothers now.

A week after I was moved in, it was sorority work week and I had to walk a mile to the chapter house everyday so that I could sit in an overheated house and be criticized for hours about my handshake. While I’m sure not all chapter work weeks are this terrible, I’m fairly certain that it was hell for everyone on my campus. If anything, my chapter’s work week dragged our morale even lower, so that instead of preparing us for recruitment week, we were all dreading it. At the end of the previous semester, I was elected to be the chapter’s Social Chairman, which meant that I was in charge of planning and executing socials with the fraternities on campus. It could have been a really fun job except for the fact that I was still the virginiest virgin in the world and I couldn’t talk to men, and the fact that we were pretty much the least popular house on campus and hardly anyone wanted to socialize with us.

My classes sophomore year were a combination of Comm, geography, and German. I liked my comm classes a lot. At the time I was in them with this girl from ASA who I was becoming really good friends with and she was a lot of fun to be around. My geography classes were unremarkable, but this was the first semester I started to take German. I was in a class of around 15 people, and the interesting thing about taking German courses is meeting the other people who opted to learn German instead of a slightly more practical language. Basically, people who learn to choose German are weird. I knew a few people from around campus, but this was also the time when I became good friends with this kid named Ryan, who turned out to be a piece of shit person.

I also started working in the Earth Sciences department as an office assistant and it was the best. My boss Vicki, was and still is a wonderful person. She was so kind and generous to me, even though I was (am) and idiot and basically shit at everything I do. I liked all the professors in the office and I got really into making copies. Really into it. I loved making copies.

During recuitment week, about 3 weeks into the semester, I met some of the best and most important people in my life: my little Aly, and Brittany. Otherwise that year was pretty unremarkable in terms of recruitment. This was the only year that I had to recruit as an active because my junior and senior years I was a Pi Rho Chi.

I spent a lot of time that semester worrying about finding a formal date, but I thought my fears were over when I was asked out on my first real date from a guy in one of my comm classes. I was definitely more excited to be asked out by a guy than I was interested in the guy and I think he found that out pretty quickly which was why he stopped responding to my texts. But I was also oblivious and asked him to formal anyway. He accepted but it was a really horrible time all around. The formal I planned was a total bust for a lot of reasons and I shudder when I think about all the bad. Anyway, that guy was also my first kiss and I still regret that it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but at least I wasn’t the virginiest virgin anymore.

The first semester I also turned 20 and one of my sisters Christina planned a surprise party for me and (surprise) hardly anyone came. I should have realized then that my birthdays are cursed.

So by the end of that semester I had a little who I loved and some new friends, dreams, and aspirations. I was elected for another year as social chair, and I was still totally dedicated to trying to make my chapter better. Also at one point I spent 2 hours talking to one of the baristas at Coffee Corner and that’s how I made friends with Brandon.

That was the December of 2012 and everyone was having Apocalypse parties and I thought I should throw a party and it was the most stressful experience of my life. I was worried about Gertie running away, about the cops showing up, about taking care of the drunk people. I also did not recognize most of the people there and I was running beer pong out of my shed. By the end of the night I had koolaid stains all over the hardwood floor and I didn’t know how to kick people out so I just turned on Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers until everyone left. IT WAS THE WORST.

I went home that winter and nothing really happened. I had a good Christmas but I wanted to be back in Greeley where I could be alone. Living alone was the biggest personal development for me. I didn’t have any internet and I was still using a flip phone, so when I was at home I was fairly isolated and it was awesome. I learned to trust myself and I loved having a dog to be responsible for.

Second semester my landlord got on my ass about getting a roommate and started charging me more for rent, which I understood because they were getting a raw deal but it still bit ass.

Second semester I volunteered to be a part of my chapter’s standards board, which was probably the worst move I ever made. I was pretty much instantly unpopular. I was also part of the board that was super into kicking people out (which I still stand by) and somehow everyone managed to blame me for getting them or their friends terminated. Should mention, every member who was terminated had at least 3 warnings to get their shit together and when you’re already part of the worst chapter on campus, cleaning up the house is key for a turn around.

My classes second semester were generally unremarkable except for my GIS class which was SO FUCKING HARD BUT I STILL PASSED.

One of my more interesting stories about sophomore year is how I got my car. One morning I woke up and there was a pair of worn men’s jeans on my front porch with a note in arabic. I took the note to some of the Libyan students in the EAS department and it basically read something like “I’m giving you my pants so I can get into yours.” Naturally, I was really freaked out. I called the cops and they told me that they couldn’t do anything and if I was scared that I should buy a gun (thanks GPD). My mom called and yelled at the chief of police for hours and he promised to add extra patrols on my street to watch for suspicious behavior. My mom and her boyfriend came up and installed motion-detector lights all around my house and we almost got a landline just in case I had to call the police and I’d be unable to give my location over the phone. The same day, my mom bought me a car so that I wouldn’t have to walk alone at night anymore. One of the officers came by to remove the pants since I was scared to touch them,and in retrospect they might have thought I was making a bigger deal than it was, but I was really scared. It seemed like a rape threat and I felt like I was being watched. Someone told me later that week that it was two women who had been terminated from my sorority, although she told me she could not tell me how she knew. I asked the police to check it out again when they called and I got a nasty text from one of them saying she didn’t do it. I’m still not sure to this day, but I hope those bitches got chewed out anyway.

Mid-way through the semester, I applied to be a Pi Rho Chi for Fall recruitment and I was accepted. I was really excited for this opportunity because I wanted to meet women from other chapters and maybe get some ideas on how to make my chapter less shitty. Around this time, I also met Sammy, who would later become my best friend. I also remember this snow day where Sammy, Maria, this other chick, and I all hung out and daydged.

That spring I planned the best formal ever at the Lionscrest Manor in Lions, CO. It’s this gorgeous mansion in the mountains that is perfect for weddings. They worked with me on my budget and catering and they helped me get everything I needed and it was the most perfect formal ever. My date was this weird guy who I had met twice and I was like “he seems nice” and he was so weird the whole time. But whatever because everyone else was happy.

At the end of the semester I made plans to move into one of the sorority annex houses with 5 other chicks and it seemed like a good plan at the time. My landlords kicked me out 3 months early so I had to move home for the summer and I was hired at IKEA.

I think the main thing about my sophomore year was living alone and how much I loved living alone. It was also the year when I started my real “college friendships” and I made friends with people who are still in my life who made a real impact on me. Getting a little,especially a perfect little like Aly,  was probably the main highlight of my year. Poot Poot and Sammy would both be my best friends in the coming year from that point also (and they are both Pisces.) Around the end of my sophomore year I started hanging out with Maria a lot more often and it was really great to have a friend who lived near me in Centennial also.

I also started hanging out with Janay this year. She was having some rough times so I started to see her pretty frequently during standards meetings, and then after she quit we started spending more and more time together. Janay was really one of those people who I thought was way too cool to be my friend,so everytime she suggested that we hang out I was so surprised and flattered. This was the start to our real friendship, which was bad timing since she was transferring to metro.

So sophomore year; independence, friendships, and German.

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