Our previous post described a brief timeline of our years as classmates. This week’s post is our college years at a glance. We warn you, these were some dark days + contained a mixture of emotions. Here’s our behind the scenes look at our college experience. Warning: It’s a long story.
Freshman Year. [Liz] We attended freshman year together, lived in the same room, and even had just about the same class schedule (give or take a few separate classes). Just like growing up, we were also teammates. Becca + I received basketball scholarships to Concordia to play on the women’s team. We prepared ourselves for the upcoming season the summer before, but we definitely had our work cut out of us. Becca + I put our full focus into our studies + basketball. Our first year of college, Becca + I studied together almost every single day and had a blast going on adventures. We went to school plays, sporting events on campus, + community events happening in cities around us. We had each other + it was great!
A couple of days before finals week is when it got pretty hard. On top of our studies, more emotional distress came our way. Our coach came to the decision to remove Becca from the team. As shocked as we were, we still to this day do not understand her decision. But ultimately, it was a blessing in disguise.
[Becca] Liz + I went home that summer unsure of the possibilities + decisions we had to make. Liz wanted to stay in California because her dream was to play college ball there, but she also didn’t want to leave me. Four days after being home, we went to a Mesa Community College open gym. MCC started recruiting us a while before we committed to Concordia + as soon as they found out I got cut from CUI, they offered us both a position on their team. Liz still hadn’t decided where she wanted to go next year, so she just considered it an option. I, however, did not want to waste any time. I committed myself completely to every workout, every sprint, every open gym that summer.
Late that summer, I signed my Letter of Intent with Mesa Community College, + Liz signed hers with Concordia University. As soon as those pens left the pages, our lives were forever changed. (I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but they were).
Sophomore/Junior Year. [Becca] Moving back home meant that Derek + I weren’t in a long distance relationship anymore, but now, Liz + I were. We talked every day through text and sometimes over skype. Our phone conversations lasted, on average, about 3 hours. But it was hard.
Being a twin, I never had to make friends by myself, I never had to go to the first day of school by myself, I never had to go to practice by myself. I felt like a kindergartner again. Luckily I spent most of the year going to 5 classes a day, practice for 6 hours every day, + then going home to eat dinner, do homework + sleep, then do it all over again for two years. I was so dedicated to this sport, no one will ever know. Junior year started to pick up a bit. I had more friends + played well in basketball. But not gonna lie, I struggled my sophomore + junior year because I just didn’t know what to do without Liz.
[Liz] Becca pretty much said it. It was the hardest thing we ever had to go through + continue to go through. I spent my sophomore + junior year trying to figure it out. I made new friends + began to branch out a little bit by going on my own adventures. It was a tough two years but we grew so much as individuals so quickly. I don’t regret our time apart because it created new lives for us that turned out to be wonderful. Even though I miss Becca so much, I began to live an entirely new life for myself. As independent as I became, I never felt more alone.
Senior Year. [Liz] My senior year was the wildest experience to this day. Not only was I entering my last year of college but I was also starting a new serious relationship with Robbie. We began talking at the end of junior year + became official during the summer. However, we were long distance for the first three months of our relationship. Being back at school, we were only 25 minutes away from each other. This was new for me because I never had to balance school, basketball + now a boyfriend. As patient + supportive as he was, we made it through!
With the most difficult + frustrating basketball season coming to an end, I was so anxious to graduate.The week of graduation, it was a relief to finish and pass all of my finals. It’s the most rewarding feeling walking out of that class and not having to look back. To think back to the last four years + not even believe how you managed to get through it all. On graduation day, it really hit me not when I walked on the stage, but when I initially walked to my seat. The first time entering the arena + seeing all the families/friends cheering + waving to the graduates. I looked up + saw my entire family standing up + cheering their heads off as I walked to my seat. I had to look away from them because I didn’t want to cry. But this was all for them. They were the biggest supporters + my biggest fans. They made all my hard work worth it.
Super Senior Year. [Becca] Three colleges + four years later, I have just nine more classes + I get to walk across that stage + get that little piece of paper. When I was younger, I always thought that after I graduated, my life would be so “grown-up” + new + exciting. But honestly, now that I’m older, I don’t expect a lot in my life to change after graduation. I am just looking forward to not doing homework after/during work anymore. That’ll be nice.
There you have it! Our personal college experiences weren’t all about going out + drinking until we pass out, although sometimes those nights occurred… It was more of our individual exploration + independence, + learning about ourselves, while maintaining our relationship with each other.