During my interview for the Alum Service Corps, I was asked questions about living situations, one of them being: “What are your thoughts on living in community with people that you did not choose on your own?” My first thought on the question was, “Well, I didn’t choose to live with my family and that turned out pretty well I would say.”
I was nervous about the endeavor of living with complete strangers at Rockhurst High School, though. I was scared that my future roommates wouldn’t like me, I wouldn’t like them, I wouldn’t fit in or feel comfortable, and many other worries that pop up when one is stepping out of one’s comfort zone. It isn’t like being born into your family. I mean family has to care about you and love you. They don’t have a choice; whereas, these new roommates of mine had a choice.
It’s the first day of boot camp, and we are getting ready to head to Green Hills from De Smet Jesuit High School. This ride would be the first time I would be one-on-one with one of my roommate Mark. We were going through all the small-talk, get-to-know-you questions along the way. About 5-10 minutes in, after we had established that he was Maverick and I was his navigator Goose, we both said to each other, “Thank goodness none of us are any weird-os!” Some people say the word weird is one of those subjective adjectives, but I think we were pretty spot on. From that point on, I knew I had nothing to worry about.
You create quite the relationship living and working with the same guys day in and day out. You really get to learn who a person is at his or her core. You know their strengths, weaknesses, buttons to push, struggles, likes and dislikes. We have had our fair share of disagreements, but the bumps in the road are outweighed by our good times. I figured I would come out of this year being close with the guys in my community, but I in no way thought I would come out of this year with 2 life-long best friends. In a year filled with new and often stressful experiences, I am so thankful to have 2 people I can lean on. I can depend on them for anything and know they will put me in my place when I need it.
My community is not like my family, because they have the choice not to care, my community is my family because everyday they make the choice to care.