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It was the first day of freshman orientation, and I walked onto campus equal parts nervous and excited. I said a quick goodbye to my parents trying not to be make a big scene because my mom was starting to tear up and I knew I would be in the same boat if I stuck around. I strode across the lawn to the sea of orange that was my orientation group called roarin’ orange.
I was greeted by the friendly face of my orientation leader, Nate and took a seat in the circle while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. As an introvert and not someone who excels at small talk, I sat there quietly and nervously. It’s intimidating landing in a new spot where you don’t know anyone, especially after attending high school with the same group of people for years.
What if I didn’t make any friends? It seemed like many of the students already knew each other but I had no idea how since everyone had literally just arrived on campus.
We went around the group and introduced ourselves and I found out that our orientation leader Nate was from the neighboring town of Rosemount (I was from Lakeville) and we gave each other a hard time about our football teams who were rivals. This helped put me at ease slightly.
When they asked us to partner up though, I got all sorts of nervous again that nobody would want to be my partner. It’s like the fear of getting picked last in gym class (totally me, I am not athletic at all!). I was relieved though when Elizabeth, a girl I perceived to be one of the cool kids by the stylish hat she was wearing, offered to be my partner.
Nate was clearly interested in Elizabeth right away and the two of them started hanging out. Elizabeth lived right across the hall from me and I started hanging out with them as well. They started dating, and the three of us stayed besties throughout college getting into all sorts of shenanigans.
After college, Nate and Elizabeth had the most amazing, intimate, destination wedding on a Lake Michigan in Traverse City, Michigan. It was my favorite wedding I’ve ever been a part of, and it’s what sparked my interest in specializing in intimate, destination weddings.
That brings us to today, almost 11 years since roarin’ orange brought us all together. They had Fitz a couple years ago (see his newborn photos here) and now they happily welcomed baby Everson into their family as well.
I’m grateful that what they say about making lifelong friends in college is true. Friends I can laugh around a bonfire with. Wise friends who are always one step ahead with life’s big milestones, like marriage and kids who I can go to for advice (I’m not pregnant now, but someday might be).
Welcome to the world, baby Everson! We’re so glad you’re here!
This is the least embarrassing photo of us that I could find from back in the day.
And here we are as adults or something like it 😉
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