I struggled as I pulled my suitcase over the uneven cobblestones in the giant atrium in front of Columbia University - a green little spot in-between the tall skyscrapers of New York. It was early noon when I had landed in JFK airport after a 10 hour flight. This city had a whole other level of stress, excitement and adventure than my sleepy hometown east from London. When I finally managed to reach the big entrance of the main building, without tripping more than once, I went through my bag to find the information papers which I had received in the mail a couple of weeks earlier. Every page contained information about different rules and ‘ bare in mind’s ‘ but I quickly skimmed through the papers till I came to ‘ Personal Room Information’. I quickly found the room number and made my way down the long corridor, pulling my suitcase behind me.
After what felt like an eternity of walking I finally found a door with a matching number to the one on my papers. I ran my eyes over the sheet in my hand one last time, dobblechecking, before slowly pushing the door open. It was a nice little room with a little bathroom, and empty bookshelf, and a big window in front of a tiny balcony with a view over the atrium. Nothing fancy but it was ok. Two beds were standing against each wall in the room. I guess I would get a roommate? I slowly put down my stuff and kicked off my boots and threw my jacket on one of the beds. Which I now guess I had claimed mine. I started humming as I began to unpack my stuff. This was great. I was in New York City in the coolest university ever, far away from home.
This would be an amazing year. I smile as I unpacked some of my books from home and walked to the yet still empty bookshelf. I tiptoed to put them down on the top shelf as the door opened. A girl with dark brown hair with red stripes entered the room, making me turn my head in the direction of the door. Room mate I guess?.
“ Hi, i’m Theresa “ she introduced herself, letting all her stuff fall to the ground before sticking her hand out.
“ Hi erhm, i’m Beth. I mean, my real name is Bethany so I don’t know why I said Beth. That’s just what people normally call me” I rambled, taking her hand, mentally facepalming myself for my awkwardness.
“ Well you can call me Tess then,“ she chuckled a little before picking up her stuff, just to flop it all back down on her bed again. I sat down on the edge of my bed and looked at her as she kicked off her boots.
“ Uhh, if you don’t mind be asking. Where are you from?” I said fiddling with the bracelet around my wrist.
“ I’m one hundred percent pure New Yorker”,he said smiling, turning in my direction, “ and judging from your accent you are british.” I nodded slowly.
“ Hey, shouldn’t you get ready?” she asked, opening her suitcase.
“ Ready for what?” I looked at her in confusion.
“ The sorority party, but to be honest it’s more like the ‘ we are gonna through a party at the first night to make it seem like it’s fun to be here’ party “ She explained unpacking some of her clothes throwing it into her drawers.
“So when are we going?” I asked, looking at her surprised. Why didn’t I know about this ‘party’?
“Now,” She said and pulled a lipstick out of her purse. It was a dark colour between red and lilac. She applied it gently, and even though she did it without a mirror she was rocking it.
“Now? But I’m no where near ready,” I blurted out, looking through my stuff, trying to find something appropriate for a college party. Wait, what do you even wear to a college party?
“No worries. Just throw on something slutty. Like a very short dress or a deep neck shirt,”
“I don’t own any slutty clothing,”
“Easy, just wear some hooker shoes then,”
“Hooker shoes? I don’t think I’m familar with that term..”
“Oh, right. British people. No problem, it’s just heels that screams party, sex and alcohol,”
“Does those words seem to fit anywhere on my personality? Let alone my clothing style?” I said, and raised an eyebrow.
“Touché.” She said, “Just wear what you’re wearing then. Good as it gets,” She opened the door, and left with me following behind her.
The party was filled with frat boys wearing Ralp Lauren and khaki shorts. The smell of cheap beer and marihuana filled my nostrils the second I stepped into the house. Tess walked in with her arms along her side, her hips swayed lightly and had a big smile on her face, well not as much a smile, more like a smirk. I hear a couple of whistles and many of the boys look at her. The girls on the other hand gives her dirty looks and whispers to their friends. I know they’re probably bashing her for unknowingly making an entrance, but in their minds I bet they envy her just as much as I do.
I walked behind her, literally hiding in her shadow. My arms crossed and I was looking at the ground. I felt so out place, all of the girls were wearing revealing clothing and the so-called ‘hooker shoes’. Tess immediately went out on the dancefloor and started dancing, she tried to get me with her, but I strongly declined.
The night went on with her dancing and her being surrounded by flirty guys, and me standing up against a wall, drinking cheap beer from a traditional plastic red cup.
When we got home it was 2 o’clock, I said it was late and I went straight to bed. She chuckled at my comment and simply said that she normally went to the parties at 2 o’clock not left them. She struggled getting to bed, and when she for the third time tripped while trying to get her skinny jeans off she made a frustrated groan and yelled out very loudly how ‘vodka is the biggest mistake Russia has ever made’.
and after that she slept like a baby…