17 Jul

Don’t worry, readers. This blog is going to get a lot more personal over the next few weeks. Want to hear about Julia’s eating disorder? Or Rachel’s rocky breakup? What about Marissa’s sexscapades? You don’t have much longer to wait.

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Rachel

6 Jul

It’s a few weeks longer before Julia and Marissa enter the picture, so bear with us until then. For now, we’d like to focus on Rachel, Alana, and Scarlett’s first weeks at The University, from the very moment their parents dropped them off and drove away, leaving them by their lonesome, to the moment when they all came together. The original threesome, they were best friends before Julia and Marissa made them The Five.

Rachel first began to regret her college decision when it was too late to change her mind, and by too late, I mean she was flipping through a copy of Sky Mall on a Southwest flight when reality finally hit. As we mentioned earlier, Rachel is extremely close to her family, sometimes even too close, divulging details of her personal life to her parents whereas other teens may choose to keep their moms and dads out of the loop. For dignity reasons.

Upon realizing that she’d be separated from her family from August until the end of November, Rachel burst into tears. And remained at this emotional state of disarray for the next several days.

Rachel had planned of going through sorority recruitment, and stuck with that plan initially. She was asked back to most of the top chapters, and even the lower tiered ones that she had no interest in joining; if Rachel was going to be in a sorority, she wanted to be in the best sorority. But after undergoing a week of skits, videos, and coordinated outfits, Rachel was unable to picture herself in any of the houses remaining on her list. At that moment, she decided to drop out of recruitment. But don’t worry, friends. She’ll revisit Sororityland later in our story.

No longer preoccupied with greek life, Rachel threw herself into her studies, hoping to distract herself. She grew close with her roommates, although ordinarily they wouldn’t have been her first choice in friends if they were under any other circumstances. One was a bisexual who seemed to take an immediate interest in Rachel, and the other two were best friends from high school. We won’t worry about the sexuality confused, instead highlighting the relationship Rachel formed with the two best friends. Their names were Ashley and Leslie.

In the first few weeks of the semester, Rachel, Ashley, and Leslie became inseparable. They celebrated Rachel’s birthday together in September, attended a concert hosted by the school, and did homework together at the library.

And then everything changed.

Leslie began spending a lot of time in Rachel’s closet, obsessing over Rachel’s extensive wardrobe and gasping over the prices on the tags still attached to many of the garments.

“You spent 385 dollars on this dress?” Leslie exclaimed, eyeing a white strapless number with black embellishments.

“Yeah…it’s cute right? I got it for recruitment and never wore it.” Rachel replied, joining Leslie in the closet and looking over her collection of silk blouses, patterned skirts, and structured blazers.

“How do you afford this stuff? I would kill to own this top”

“Well fell free to borrow anything whenever you’d like!” Rachel offered politely, even though she preferred that her friends steer clear of her wardrobe. There was, of course, the ever present possibility that her friends would rip or tear her designer garments, or spill alcoholic beverages down the front of a dry-clean-only tunic. Unfortunately, Leslie took the offer to heart, and began pulling tops and shorts from hangers and holding them up to herself. Moments later, she asked, for the first time of many, to borrow something out of Rachel’s closet. Rachel reluctantly obliged. Sorry Rachel, but you brought this upon yourself.

Leslie’s visits to Rachel’s closet became more and more frequent, until soon Leslie was borrowing full outfits every day of the week to wear to class or out to bars and parties. Rachel, we’ve come to realize, is a bit of a pushover, and often has a hard time standing up for herself to her friends. So, instead of facing Leslie head-on, she decided to shift the blame to her parents. They wouldn’t mind.

Rachel sent a text message to Leslie, explaining that her father had seen pictures on Facebook of her friends wearing clothes he had purchased, and wanted to put an end to it. Unfortunately, Rachel is a terrible liar, and Leslie saw her bluff. Friendship. Over. Well…not yet. Not exactly. Things would be different from here on out, but the friendship didn’t officially end for a few more months.

We’re going to take a break from the Leslie/Rachel drama for a few moments so we can introduce the Rachel/Alana/Scarlett friendship. A friendship that would prove to be much more worthy than any Rachel had ever shared with Leslie. To do this, we’re going to rewind a little, back to the beginning of the semester.

Rachel had just returned from a long day of classes during her  first week of school, and, exhausted, opted to take the elevator instead of the stairs. She saw that she was by herself, and pushed the button for the doors to close, but just as they had nearly shut together, a hand emerged between the narrow crack, forcing the doors to reopen. When the doors parted, Rachel was, for the first time, face-to-face with Alana. Alana smiled and joined Rachel on the elevator.

As we explained earlier, Alana is incredibly outgoing, which Rachel realized right away as Alana thrust her hand out to shake Rachel’s and introduced herself. Rachel quickly learned that Alana was in a sorority on campus and lived right next door to Rachel and her roommates. By the time the two reached their floor, they had exchanged phone numbers and made plans to meet up that upcoming weekend.

Rachel of course headed right to facebook to “research” her new friend. Let us explain something. Rachel is not a facebook “stalker,” per se, but she certainly knows her way around the internet. If you need the name of that blonde surfer-dude who sits in front of you in math class, Rachel can find out. Wanna see his house? She can find that out too. And even though she only knew Alana’s first name, it was just a matter of seconds before Rachel found her facebook page. Rachel also sees no boundaries in terms of creepiness, so she decided to send out a friend request as well. When it was immediately accepted, she knew she had found her match.

Scarlett

3 Jul

Scarlett was the second youngest of five kids, and had heard enough roommate horror stories from her older siblings to know that selecting the “random roommate” option on her housing request application simply wasn’t an option. Scarlett wasn’t close friends with anyone who’d be attending The University as an incoming freshman in the fall, and most of the upperclassmen she knew planned on living off campus or had already made previous living arrangements.

Though Scarlett is usually one to confront her problem head-on, she chose to push her roommate dilemma out of her thoughts and focused instead on enjoying her last few months of her senior year. Scarlett began dating a boy named Alex- a football player- and amidst date nights and tailgates her worries almost seemed to disappear. Scarlett avoided the issue for as long as she possibly could, but as the days went by and the deadline for housing grew closer, she knew she had to come up with a solution- and fast. Eventually Scarlett ultimately came to the same conclusion that Alana had reached, and realized that Facebook would be an effective way to reach out to potential roommates. Scarlett hoped to spark not only a friendship, but also a living arrangement.

Within a few hours of posting on The University’s facebook page that she was looking to meet new people, Scarlett received a friend request from another TU rising freshman named Alana. Alana looked to be normal enough at first glance, and when the two began chatting they realized that they actually had a lot in common, including the fact that both of them had yet to find a roommate. The two exchanged phone numbers, thereby officiating their friendship, and texted sporadically throughout the next couple of days. They discussed everything- from their upbringing, to previous boyfriends, to current boyfriends, to life goals. Scarlett looked to Alana for support when Alex proved to be unfaithful and Alana asked Scarlett for advice about feeling more confident in her appearances. Eventually it was decided that the two got along so well, they were destined to be roommates, and the pair set about deciding who would be bringing what to furnish their apartment.

Alana

1 Jul

Alana also traveled quite a distance to attend The University, but unlike Rachel, she still had family close by. Alana’s grandparents live down the street from TU, so not only was Alana familiar with the school, she was also able to navigate its surrounding neighborhoods with her eyes closed. Or with a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit.

Alana had always been a popular young woman; in highschool she was voted “Best Personality” and Prom Queen. But unfortunately, our highschool reputations don’t usually follow us to college, which, depending on how you look at it, can go one of two ways. To many, this fresh start is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves anew. To Alana, it was a major setback in regards to her social standing. Alana had attended school with the same group of kids from kindergarten through her senior year of highschool, and couldn’t remember the last time she had been required to make a new friend. Unfortunately, none of her high school peers would be attending TU, which meant that, aside from her grandparents, Alana was destined to be completely alone and friendless for the first time in her life.

Naturally, Alana saw only one solution- Facebook. We all know and love Facebook, despite our best efforts to convince ourselves otherwise through our constant complaints of layout updates and FarmVille requests. We are all guilty of this, yet we also know that Facebook can be extremely resourceful at times. For Alana, this was one of those times. Alana needed to establish at least one friendship before she set foot on foreign soil.

Enter Scarlett.

Rachel

30 Jun

Rachel is often asked why she chose to go to a university so far from home.

Most people are afraid to step outside of their comfort zones, afraid to put distance between the friends they’ve known forever or the families they’ve depended on from adolescence. We are raised in these environments; we know these surroundings and we become comfortable in them. We have our favorite local pizza joints, we know which gas stations offer the best prices, and we recognize at least five people every time we walk into Panera Bread. We don’t want to navigate new roads because we’re afraid of being lost. We don’t want to face the unfamiliar. Rachel too saw in-state schools as a safety zone, but unlike many of her peers, Rachel doesn’t like to be safe.

Rachel is an extremely family oriented person. In fact, she often chooses spending time with her parents and younger brother over hanging out with friends. In an ideal world, she would live close to her family forever. However, college is a stepping stone to your future- it is a time to grow up. Rachel knew that by attending a local school, she would not be given the opportunity to mature and to become her own person- to find her way in life without the guidance of her parents.

In all honesty, Rachel was first drawn to her school of choice because of the weather and its local environment, but when she visited the campus and learned about the school’s academic programs, on campus housing, and opportunities to get involved on campus, she knew that, despite her initial superficial reasoning, she had found a home. Shortly thereafter, Rachel sent in her application and hoped for the best.

Rachel was working when she received a phone call from her mom, and although cell phone use is strictly prohibited in the workplace, something within her told Rachel to answer the call. As she hid in the bathroom of the country club where she was a part-time waitress, Rachel’s mom informed her that an envelope had arrived from her dream school. Rachel had only one question for her- “Small or large.”

“Large,” her mother answered, “and I can see the word congratulations through the envelope.”

As you can imagine, this is exactly what Rachel had hoped for. After work Rachel sped all the way to her mom’s house, stopping intermittently at red-lights, where she took advantage of the opportunity to mass-text her friends with the exciting news. When Rachel finally arrived at her mom’s, she ripped open the package and sorted through its contents- an acceptance letter, a housing brochure, information about the Honors College. Suddenly, Rachel’s future seemed a lot clearer.

After receiving her letter of acceptance Rachel became impatient for her senior year of high school to be over. Previously doubting the existence of “senioritis,” Rachel began to experience the symptoms of this non-curable “disease” that she had only heard about from those who preceded her. Rachel’s friends and coworkers mocked the fact that she talked about her future school nearly 24/7, and frequently asked Rachel to remind them of which school she’d be attending, as if they had somehow forgotten amidst all of her talk. Rachel made plans for the upcoming school year, and dreamed of earning a 4.0, making new friends, and being independent. She bought bedding and matching trash cans, and printed out pictures of her friends and family to decorate her walls. She made lists- there were many lists- of what to pack and what to leave at home, of what classes to take and which to take later on. She visited the school’s Panhellenic website and made the decision to join a sorority. She shopped for clothes to wear during recruitment and researched each sorority thoroughly, until she knew the colors, mascot, and philanthropy of every organization on campus. And eventually, she packed her bags, boarded a plane, and moved hundreds of miles away.

Blah Blah Blah, happy ending right? Well, you’re partly correct…we suppose. But what we know about Rachel’s first few weeks at her new school suggests that, for the most part, Rachel deeply regretted her decision to move so far away.

The Five

28 Jun

Dear readers,

Whether you came across this blog by choice or by accident, we thank you for reading. Before we get started, I’d like you all to know this: Our aim isn’t too be funny, nor to be serious, but, nonetheless, there will be a fine mixture of both humor and sincerity within the lines of each of our posts. We don’t consider ourselves to be expert writers, nor do we consider ourselves experts at life. Please keep this in mind if you choose to read further.

You may be wondering what our blog will focus on, but don’t worry about that now- we’ll get to that later. All you need to know, for this moment at least, is that the events portrayed within these pages are entirely nonfiction. We won’t exaggerate nor will we embellish to enhance the lives of those involved. We think you will find that reality makes for the most interesting of stories.

Through narratives, posts, and photos, you will get to know a group of girls from a large American University. Don’t try to guess which school, though, because we will reveal nothing about the whereabouts or identities of this group. Throughout our posts we will refer to the school simply as The University (or TU for short). There are five main characters that will make an appearance on our page, and together they join to form a bond much deeper than friendship. Together, they form a sisterhood. Though they’ve only become close within the past year, these girls have shared memories and experiences that unite them together for life.

In the following posts you will get a glimpse into the lives of these privileged individuals, privileged because they had the fortune to find one another. You will hear nearly every detail of their college experiences, from hook-ups to blackouts, drama and, yes, even schoolwork. We will also have posts pertaining to the interests of these girls, interests that they more than likely share with each of you. Fashion, sports, and traveling are just a few examples. For those who have yet to pursue a college education, this blog may serve as your official guide as to what to expect out of “The Best Four Years of Your Life.”

In order to protect the identities of these five girls, we will change all names and use ambiguous locations. Yet, despite our anonymity, we think you will be satisfied with what we have to say.

Now it’s time to meet our girls:

What they have in common: They are all beautiful. They are all popular on campus. They all know what they want, and they all know how to get it. But this is where the similarities end.

Rachel- Rachel is a science major from the west coast, whose passions range greatly from reading to wakeboarding to shopping to traveling. She is a redhead, and damn proud of it, yet beneath her confident exterior there exists deep insecurities. Rachel is not your typical collegiate, as she abstains from drinking or drugs of any kind, but regardless, you will see her out at bars nearly every weekend with the rest of this group.

Alana- Alana is gorgeous but doesn’t know it, though she could easily get any guy she sets her sights on. That is, when she’s behaving herself. Alana is often ridiculed for her party-girl ways, but despite her frequent state of intoxication she manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA each semester.

Julia- Julia is from the east coast, but speaks with a southern drawl that even her own parents can’t place. Julia is petite, outgoing, and rambunctious, and though there is no leader to this group, Julia often makes the decisions regarding when and where their adventures will take place.

Scarlett- Scarlett is also a science major, though unlike Rachel, she hails from the Southeast. Scarlett is somewhat of a mother figure to the group, offering advice and guidance when needed and even chauffeuring the girls around town. Scarlett’s sense of humor and lively personality leaves people hanging on her every word. It’s safe to say that, of the five girls, Scarlett is the most likable.

Marissa- Marissa’s best trait is that she stands up for what she believes in. If someone gets in her way she will confront them without hesitation. The same holds true if anyone were to start drama with Scarlett, Alana, Julia, or Rachel. Out of all the girls, Marissa has the most experience with the opposite sex. She has also been known to forget that there is an academic aspect to college, choosing partying over homework and studying most nights.

To simplify and eliminate confusion, when referencing the group as a whole we will refer to the girls as “The Five.” Though lacking in creativity, the label is easy to remember and easy to follow.

Oh, and we seem to have forgotten one little detail. The Five are all members of an established national sorority. While we will not reveal which Greek organization the girls belong to, we will tell you this: their experiences in greek life are far more scandalous than you can ever imagine.

Now readers, it’s time to finish up with the introductions and get on with our posting. But we’d like to leave you with one final thought- a promise of sorts.

Through these girls, you will experience college like you have never experienced it before.

*all names have been changed in order to protect the subjects’ identities