My first month of college has been full of searching. As a typical freshman, I’ve searched for my classes, for my dorm key (after already losing it twice), for new friends, and for RSOs to join. However, my most important search so far has been where to get lemonade on campus.
I love lemonade. There’s something about the tart yet sweet flavor that makes it my go-to order at every restaurant and my go-to fill at every dining hall. As I slowly explored the University of Delaware, I discovered three top-tier locations to get my lemonade fix: Caesar Rodney, Perkins, and Trabant. Each of these places has a dispenser for pink lemonade and they simply do not disappoint.
My roommate, Eli, and I met on Instagram last spring. We direct-messaged for about a week and had the typical “potential roommate” conversations about hobbies and hometowns. We texted back and forth until we decided we would be a perfect pair for the upcoming school year.
Before we both knew it, we found ourselves staring at each other (slightly teary-eyed after the parent goodbye), in our dorm room on the first night of college debating what to say. As welcome week went on and we had no other choice but to do everything together, Eli and I became fast friends. However, once classes began, Eli and I were on two very different schedules. She’s in lab when I’m in Econ 101. I’m in a study group when she’s at club track. During the week, the only time that we consistently see each other is in the late evenings. Due to our schedules, we often eat dinner in two different spots. Eli’s at Trabant at 7pm, while I’m at CR at 5pm, and vice versa.
About one week into classes, I walked into my room to find a large glass of pink lemonade laying on the desk with a note reading “For You!” When I saw that glass, I shook my head and smiled. I could not believe it. I had mentioned to Eli–probably in one of the slightly awkward first minutes of searching for something to talk about when we first met–that I had a love for lemonade. Despite her busy schedule and the stress of being a freshman during the first week, Eli had gone out of her way to do something nice for me. Something as small as filling her Trabant soda cup with my favorite drink had completely made my week. For the past month, every time Eli has the opportunity, she gets me a large glass of pink lemonade and lays it on my desk.
Just like my first month, I know my entire college experience will be about searching. Searching for a partner, an internship, my actual passion, or whatever life throws at me. I’m starting to realize that what makes this four-year expedition so incredible is the people you search with. The people who go out their way to help you. The professor that encourages you before the test. The RA who introduces you to a new club that reminds them of you. The roommate that listens to you rant about your chemistry test. The friends that cheer on every success of yours. The people, like Eli, who put in the effort to make your search a little easier and your experience a little better.
Maybe the search was never about discovering the perfect life. Maybe it’s all just about discovering the people. The people that go out of their way for you. The people that make this life sweeter than a perfect large glass of pink lemonade.