Coming to St. Lawrence, I had an anxiety that many other incoming first-years share: how am I going to make friends? Well, boy did my anxiety get worse when I got to SLU (all the way from California, by the way) when my Orientation Leaders were calling role. Right after they called my name, Abbie Cooper, they called "Abby Eberle." I thought to myself, "Just my luck to be in an FYP with someone with the same name…great." This only got worse as every time role was called during Orientation since my last name was first alphabetically, she always got called second, so she became the 'other Abby." I felt so bad and thought, "Dang, this girl must hate me!" Little did I know that within a year and a half I would go home to Connecticut with her twice (including spending Thanksgiving with her family), she would fly all the way to California to visit me, we would become roommates, and we would become collectively known as "the Abbys."
Despite having the same name, we are so different. Abby is a math major and a statistics and public health double minor from a teeny rural town in Connecticut. She's a varsity athlete, a star on the women's lacrosse team. She's also in the Air Force through the ROTC program at Clarkson… so, yeah, basically the most impressive person I know (I'm also counting on her to protect me in any sort of danger/emergency). I, on the other hand, am a chemistry major and African studies minor on the pre-med track from Pleasanton, California, 45 minutes east of San Francisco. I am involved in dance groups on campus, dance ensemble and Graceful Movements, as well as treasurer of Pre-Health Club. I am also a general biology T.A. and an Admissions Ambassador.
Let's backtrack a little bit. As the first semester of our first year started off, we hardly saw each other despite living two doors down. But as the fall lacrosse season settled down, and general biology (which we were both taking) got harder, we saw each other more and more. We commiserated over FYP projects together, I did her hair for her ROTC event, and we studied for weekly bio quizzes together. One of my favorite things about Ab is that she makes up crazy acronyms for things to help her study. Some of the acronyms she made for gen bio became inside jokes that we still laugh about today.
Fast forward to the second semester, and we start to become the best of buds. I went to as many lacrosse games as I could and she came to all of my dance shows. We also started to get to know each other's families. We both call our families a lot, and one time she was face-timing her sister and had her show me around her house. I was marveling over her huge basement at which point I brought up that almost no houses in California have basements. I even did an Instagram poll to prove it. Abby is still in shock about how we don't have basements to this day. Earthquakes man. It was decided that I would have to go to CT to see the glory of a basement in real life, and she would have to come to CA to see what a house with just a ground floor was like.
At some point, we decided we should be roommates. As roommates in our sophomore year, we're a perfect match! She tolerates my clumsiness in the morning that wakes her up on those days she actually gets to sleep in, and I've accepted the fact that the overhead light should never be turned on. (Ambient lamp lighting only, thank you very much). In all seriousness, since we both have crazy schedules, it's so nice to have a good friend to come home to and catch up with every night. I could talk about our memories, weekend adventures and road-trips, Sex in the City marathons on our projector, and so much more for days, but I don't want this blog post to be too long.
As summer and fall semester quickly approaches and Abby plans to study abroad in New Zealand and I plan to study in Kenya (fingers crossed!), we're both preparing for a new type of friendship anxiety: separation anxiety. But, in our hearts, we both know "the Abbys" will be back together and better than ever in Spring 2021, and we can’t wait to hear about each other's adventures abroad! The moral of the story is you will find your peeps at SLU whether it takes a month, two, or a whole semester. I am so thankful for St. Lawrence for introducing me to people I know will be my friends for life, especially my name-sharing BFF Laurentians (and friends) for life!