Lessons from a Sophomore Buddy
February 6, 2013 § 1 Comment
As a freshman, or freshperson, or freshwoman — however you want to term it these days — I came to Wilson not knowing anyone. I missed Premiere Weekend, didn’t see the campus until Orientation, and my decision to attend your college was based solely on the reputation of one of your most popular majors. I didn’t know a daisy chain from a dink, and ‘Even’ from an ‘Odd’, or even who ‘Mac’ and ‘Dav’ were. But the moment I set foot on campus, I looked around and knew I was probably going to stay.
I was a shy sort of person when I first came to your school, and didn’t really make many friends right off. Most people were nice to me, but I spent more time looking at the ground than at my fellow Wilson students. But at some point during that first week, I found out something about having a Sophomore Buddy. Sounds fun, right? A buddy. A pal. Someone to show me the ropes and answer the questions I probably whispered to her.
My Buddy was pretty nice; we shared the same major, and I liked her. But shortly after helping me out, she started making me do things for her, like carry her tray in the dining hall while wearing some awful sign she’d made about how awesome SHE was. Shy I might’ve been, but I went to a rough high school, and had half a mind to tell her to stick her sign where the sun don’t shine — but being that the other members of my class were in the same boat, I rode it out. It gave me something to commiserate over with them, which helped me start making friends. I found a group to sit with in the dining hall, and even though I didn’t offer much to the conversation, the group welcomed me to the table and attempted to engage me in conversation.
A few days into this Sophomore Buddy thing, something really, really, REALLY bad happened. My “Buddy” asked me, no REQUIRED me, to get up in the front of the dining hall and sing a song for everyone. Okay, being shy was bad enough, Sarah, but I probably have the worst voice you have ever heard! And the song requested wasn’t even one I knew all the words to and it was also a ballad. I honestly had no idea what to do. I had to do it. My “Buddy” and the other sophomores stood there, urging me on — and there was no clear path for me to run out of the dining hall. And trust me, I would’ve been out of there in a heartbeat if I could’ve done it.
So I rose out of my chair. I might’ve grown faint — even now it makes me wince, how I felt at that moment — but then noticed everyone else at my table rising with me. The seven of them stood and started walking toward the front of the dining hall. I trailed them, and one of my classmates leaned back and said, “Come on, we’ll do it with you.”
And they did.
The eight of us sang together, and a few more from our class joined in. I hid somewhere in the middle, but sang the lines I knew, and somehow ended up with my arms around the two girls on either side of me.
Right there — that moment — I knew I was going to stay. It had nothing to do with my major, nothing to do with the beauty of the campus, nothing to do with the scholarships I’d received — it had to do with those girls. And I’ll call us girls, because we weren’t quite Wilson Women yet.
But we would be.
We still are.
Virginia Sciarpelletti ’95