After Christmas vacation, I settled in even more. Went to work (which still sucked), went to class (discovered I did not like Organic Chemistry), hung out with my slowly growing group of friends. That semester cemented my Biology-only major as well; the intro Education class didn’t fit around most of my lab classes and so I stuck to the sciences. The semester passed fairly quickly though I remember some highlights. Like my first Labor Day. And attacking the roommate of best friend two (let’s call her Katie) with nerf guns when she happened to be very drunk. And going job hunting for the next school year. Not only did I flat out refuse to stay in my freshman year position, my dear amazing office manager wanted me (and the other two students) out of a job I didn’t like.
Summer was a repeat of the year before, working on a fire (this one near Chester, California), saving money for the flight back to school, and hanging out with the friends I was slowly distancing myself from. It wasn’t on purpose or anything, but that’s what happened. We had different interests, different friends, and went to school in different states. By the time August rolled around, I was ready to go back to school. Not so much for the classes, though Botany became a favorite, but for the people. Those amazing people who had become my friends over the last semester.
When I arrived at Berea for the fall term, things were the same and things were new. Same place, same professors, new dorm, new work, new classes, and new people. First, I think, was the new work. Sophomore year was the year I started at the Berea College Learning Center. The two times before that I had been there it seemed like a fairly serious place. Little did I know that’s what they want you to think. I walked into the staff area to hear laughter. It was a bit unnerving and relaxing at the same time. On one hand, the LC, as most called it, was not the quiet, serious place I had believed it to be. But on the other hand, it was relaxed and soon became a favorite place of mine to be. And I got to work with Katie.
Then I met best friends three and four. Or three and three point five. I don’t know. They’re twins (you know who you are) and I had so much fun with them. For ease sake, I’ll call them Holly and Kelly. It’s hard not to smile or laugh when they are around. When I fell into my low points again, all I’d have to do it see them and I’d smile. Especially with calls of “Brandi Monster!” across the quad or even the street. Between them, Katie, and Mana (that’s friend one), I had finally found my place at Berea. I was comfortable and felt like I was in a second home.
As it always does, winter gave way to spring, but that year, it put up one hell of a fight. What is known as the Berea Blackout or the Berea Ice Storm or the many other names, hit with a vengeance. An inch of ice and no power for days. And one amazing Katie parent driving the six hours from North Carolina in three to come rescue us. That was the first time I spent at her house, but certainly not the last. We escaped Short Term finals. And survived to visit my uncle in New Orleans and return to kick butt in Classical Mythology. It shaped up to be a pretty eventful year.