Monday, June 28

Ode to Rachel

Every now and then, I like to write about specific people in my life. I have featured my Pappa and my Caleb.
As a side note, I just read through a bunch of different entries trying to find those... I love rereading old blog posts. I read the one describing my experience with the flu and laughed out loud... I was so miserable...Anyway, back to Rachel. Just as a fyi, this is long.

Let's go back four years and 1.5 months ago. I am sitting at my friend Josh's house, checking my email, and FINALLY get the one I have been waiting for: my housing assignment. I see that my roommate now has a name, so naturally I look her up on facebook to put a face with the name. We talk on facebook and aim, figure out rooming necessities and discuss life. Honestly, we didn't have much in common at the time. She loved band and ballet, I loved softball and gymnastics. She loved classical music, I didn't just listen to classical music often. She had a boyfriend, I didn't. She was spending her summer taking classes and in marching band, I was going to be at Pine Cove. However, we did both love Grey's Anatomy. And we had the same Baylor orientation week in June.

I still remember standing in the lobby by the door into Waco Hall, looking at the girl I was about share a room with for 9 months. We hugged (ha!) and talked and everything seemed great. Our parents became instant bffs. While we were in special student sessions and taking entrance exams, they were talking about our accomplishments. I got to hear all about Rachel's study skills from my dad. I was glad that my roommate would at least like to study so I could study too.

Then, our parents had us take a picture. After visiting our dorm room, they made us stand outside the door and take a picture. It was uber awkward. I really love this picture now because it is so funny. The other day, Rachel's mom mentioned it to me after Rach's wedding. She said, "I still remember you guys standing for that picture with unsure faces thinking, 'Is this going to work out?'"
August came around and we both moved in. My 18th birthday was the 2nd day of welcome week. I cried. But Rachel gave me an awesome Grey's Anatomy poster. I had a few very close high school friends who were also at Baylor, so I spent most of those first few weeks with them. I was trying to find a balance between living life as a college student, staying friends with my high school bffs, and keeping in touch with my baby ruth sisters. Rachel and I did not spend a lot of time outside the dorm together at first, but it was a good speed, for me, at least. We walked to classes together, and talked about homework and boys (hah let's be honest, HER boy) and home. I still remember her face and the pang of regret in my heart when I told her I dropped chemistry (8:00 class of terror) and she replied with, "NOO! YOU CAN'T ABANDON ME!"

By the time November came around, I was starting to feel more comfortable in the dorm. This may seem like a long time for others, but for me, it was right on time. And then, our home flooded. That was some definite bonding. This picture is disgusting but just imagine both of us getting little sleep and having to clean out our rooms due to standing water everywhere. Also, notice Rachel's nerd shirt.

In December, we took our first classic picture. I don't even remember what we were driving back from, but oh my gosh this picture is so funny. For years we have tried to replicate it, but nothing can beat the original.

Second semester solidified the friendship, with NY Times collecting and decorating, Grey's Anatomy watching, late night laughing, music sharing, midnight ice cream eating, and Cove toilet paper stealing. And of course taking care of our pets. There was Jack the Bean, from my salad, Rasputin the Roach, from Rachel's drawer, and Puff the Dragon from the pipes above us. Rachel sat there beside me as I murdered my computer, Bobby, and stared in horror as I freaked out about it. I was there when her computer stopped working, and I stared in horror at her as she completely melted down. Here are just a few other pics from freshman year:Taken in February, an effort to replicate our original

Our collection of New York TimesCleaning our bathroom during finals week

Sophomore year came along and she lived in the same dorm and I moved to an apartment. But I still spent many many nights sitting on her bed or laying on her floor doing homework and laughing when delirium hit. We both had different struggles and pain, but the bond remained. We sat together during Dr. Null's Social World first semester or groaned together during large group Social World second semester. And my camera broke so there weren't very many pictures...

Sophomore year efforts to replicate our 2 originals

Late night studying at 7th and James

Junior year came and weird housing situations put us back in the same room once again, but this time, off campus. I really believe that God used my failed efforts of other things to put us back in the same place.

This year involved a lot of StuFu for me and APO for her. It was full of hard classes and bed bugs and crying and Friends and doctors appointments and the flu. We played dress up and made some awesome music videos.

We retook our door picture on Rachel's 21st birthday
We were both up super early to be in the largest collegiate parade in the nation for homecoming!

And then my roomie got engaged. And I screamed. And we had a party.
And replicated our original picture, of course.

And then senior year came along, even though we never thought it would. We lived together again in the same room. I think having an actual roommate creates an unique type of vulnerability. Over the 3 years we shared a room, I had spent more time with her than anyone else. I had trouble sleeping when I came home because I wasn't used to being in a room by myself. I always had someone to talk to and laugh with and share stories with. If something happened with Nick, she knew, even if I didn't tell her. If something happened with anyone else, she knew. I trusted her more than anyone else at Baylor, because she had proven her trustworthiness time and time again for years.

Senior year was full of bearobics and Glee and sociology and children's literature and Harry Potter. She planned a wedding, and I got engaged. We enjoyed new things but also reminisced about old times. We played in the snow and watched Baylor win basketball games.

First day of classes for senior year, second semester
Last day of college

And then we graduated. And moved out. And our time as roommates came to an end after four years.
So we went back to our door and took a picture.

And then, my roommate got married. It was beautiful and perfect. And now she has a new roomie.

I have been so blessed by Rachel and her willingness to put up with me for 4 years! :) I love you SO much, roomie! I can't wait to go back to that door and take a picture by it at homecomings in future years. You are a rockstar, and my life would suck without you.


gkressin said...

Haley - this was beautiful! It made me cry! Thanks so much for being a part of Rachel's life. ~Rachel's mom

gkressin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
czam said...

Rachel keeps telling me that while I may be her husband, you will ALWAYS be her roomie :)

Rachel said...


This was amazing... Thanks for making me laugh and cry at the same time...

like Corey says... you will ALWAYS be my roomie...

forever and always :)

love you!!!!!