June 11, 2016

March 3, 2017

June 11th, 2013 is one day that I will never forget. Not only is that my best friend’s birthday, but it is also the one day that changed my life completely.

The whole car ride to Upward Bound I could taste the excitement pouring out of me; to me it was mostly excitement, for my mom it was bittersweet. She says that as a mother it is hard having to let go of your baby and watch them grow. Once I was finally settled into my dorm, I got to meet my roommate and the many other strangers that would soon be more like family.

My first thought while meeting my roommate was that I needed to hide my valuables. I could not help but think these thoughts due to the fact of where I grew up, the people that I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve witnessed. I am not a judging person, but I got the vibe that I needed to be extra cautious. My mom also told me to hide my valuables just to be safe. I did the exact opposite, I left a ten dollar bill out on my bed just to test if she would take it. Later that day, I noticed it was gone and I was curious where it went. As the door opened I jolted a bit wondering who it was. My roommate walked in and proceeded to say “Oh hey, I noticed you left your money out and I slid it under your pillow, because I didn't want anyone to take it.” I thanked her, then smiled inside knowing that my roommate was truly a genuine person. As I was smiling on the inside, I couldn't help feeling guilty for judging her subconsciously. I was glad that I decided to test her to put my mom’s worries, that had slightly rubbed off on me, to rest.

Judging someone by something they cannot help is something that I promised myself I would never do. Sometimes I subconsciously judge someone even though I try not to.

As that day of firsts wound down into night, I would soon learn that the day was not over. That night my roommate, Becca, and I laid there in our dorm and just chatted our first night together away. June 11th is the night that I learned about the real struggles people go though. Laying in bed I remember how strange it was to be sharing a room with a complete stranger, but little did I know that after about 15 minutes that stranger would become my new best friend, also with a birthday on June 11th. Now, I found it very ironic that my childhood bestfriend and my roommate at Upward Bound possessed the same birthday, but maybe it was just destined to be.

Laying in bed that night my uneasy feeling I when I had smelled the stench of second-hand smoke on Becca’s belonging, began to thaw away as our friendship formed. As soon as she told me about the two worst memories of her childhood, I immediately could feel that we had already connected on a deeper level.

“You know what the worst thing about life is?” Becca asks.

“I mean there are a lot of crappy things about life, some lives worse than others” I respond anxious to hear for what she is about to say.

“We can go through life living it the way we are taught and yet still what we do can and will be viewed wrong in the eyes of others.”

There was a long pause before I responded “That is very true, the one thing that bothers me is how judging we are of one another, like if we would take a walk in one another's shoes we could just realize that each person's take on the world is extremely different than the next person’s take.”

The thirty seconds before she responded seemed more like an awkward, uneasy hour. Finally she said “You may honestly be the most opened minded and well rounded person our age I’ve ever met.”

That phrase struck with me. Am I really open minded? Or do I just know when to say the right things at the right time? Hearing Becca give me such a huge compliment though we just met gave me a sense of pride. To this day, Becca and I are good friends and I know she will always be there for me. Next time I am quick to judge someone I will think of this situation. Everyone's’ walk of life is different and UB has helped open my eyes tremendously. 

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