If I could’ve, I probably would have flown straight back to Texas after my first night of college.

I was living in a run-down dorm on the bottom-right corner of the Boston Common with five other girls, who were my first and only friends at the time. On the first night we left our doors open. All 800 new freshmen were thrashing blindly in every direction, trying to snatch as many friends as possible before classes started. There was an air of desperation and a desire to one-up, impress and reign supreme in the high school-like environment of an exclusive private college. We would soon come to realize that the pursuit of campus celebrity was kind of pathetic. But that night, we left our doors open.

I’m not really sure how, but in all the frenzy my five new suitemates and I ended up in Suite 1019, which was occupied by the strange species I later came to know as Emerson bros. Emerson bros are different from regular bros. They are regular bros who have been taken out of their element due to some small creative inkling that brought them to a college where an embarrassing number of students consider themselves “working artists”. Or maybe they just weren’t good enough to play Division 1 or 2 sports – and D3’s arms are always open, I guess.

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Regardless, the six of us, plus the bros of 1019, soon found ourselves crammed into standard-issue dorm furniture and awkward small talk. As one of the bros passed around a twisted water bottle full of boxed wine I could practically see my hopes and expectations dying a painful death. I would learn to like boxed wine soon enough, but this was only after I realized that college wouldn’t exactly measure up to what I thought it would be. In other words, my optimism turned to alcoholism.

I went to bed early that night. I think everyone else stayed with the bros. One of the bros got drunk (on boxed wine?) and slumped on Maya, the quietest of my suitemates, who graciously looked out for him until he tumbled into bed. After a week or so, he didn’t remember her. I tried to forget that night, too.

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