Three years ago, almost to the day, I was a freshman huddled up in the Zeta basement with 68 other girls excited and nervously waiting my turn to pick my room in the house for the following year. Little did I know, this day would completely alter the rest of college. I would end up choosing a room on “Waterfall Hall,” with nine other girls, and it would totally change each of us. As the room pick day wore on I started hearing that 'This girl', or 'that girl' was on my hall. My thoughts ranged from Oh she’s really sweet! to Oh wow she kind of intimidates me. I left for the summer nervous since I didn’t know my roommate or most of the girls on Waterfall Hall very well. I left having no idea that as soon as I returned I would solidify the best friends I would make in college.
For those of you who don’t know, all the different halls (and even most of the rooms) in ZTA have different names. No one can ever give you a straight answer as to how they originated, but everyone loves making up stories behind all the different names, and the rest of us go with it.
Us Waterfallers took the “name different rooms in ZTA” to heart. Megan and I lived in Ying & Yang (since we ended up being polar opposites, but proved that “opposites attract” is real), Nicole and Divina lived in Holy Grail (they both lead Bible studies through CRU), Andrea and Lizzie lived in Play Pen (they always wanted chit chat, go somewhere, do something), Amber and Hannah lived in Island of Misfit Toys (they had a drawer that would never close so their room always looked a little messy-no worries the drawer has since been fixed!), and Taylor Ann and Peyton lived in Love Shack (seriously the two closest and cutest BFF’s you’ll ever meet).
It is truly hard to describe in words this special group of girls, which we, and even others in our chapter, just call “Waterfall.” This is probably because the ten of us are nothing alike on paper. We have ten very different personalities, ten completely different majors, and ten very different backgrounds. Yet, this odd conglomeration proved to work in a way that none of us can explain.
Our sophomore year was probably hands down all of our favorite year. We threw ourselves parties, like our first annual Waterfall Christmas Party where we played Secret Santa (We got so loud that Mom Lynda had to tell us to settle down…after she took a group picture first!), we decorated the hall for everyone’s birthday, we even gave each other superlatives (Andrea won “Most likely to sleep through her wedding,” Nicole won “Most likely to give a head nod instead of saying ‘I do’ at the altar”). We also had prank wars (Megan and I bagged all of Andrea and Lizzie’s belongings in trash bags, Megan draped me in her hair extensions while I was sleeping, I hid under everyone’s beds to scare them in the middle of the night), movie nights (imagine 10 girls in two twin beds in Peyton and Taylor Ann’s rooms), lots of life chats sitting on each other’s floors, and dance parties. We went from being complete and total strangers in the beginning, and by the end of the year it got to the point where we could recognize each other by the footsteps walking down the hall.
Since sophomore year we have done nothing but grow closer in our friendship. We have been there for each other through every major life event: birthdays, getting our first real jobs, getting into graduate schools of our choosing, break ups, new boyfriends, and now graduating college. We have made a tradition of watching the sunrise at Artist Point every Dead Day, we have continued our Christmas party celebration (3 years and counting-we’re doing Secret Santa by mail this Christmas!!), and annual superlatives. We have road tripped to games, concerts, and to meet everyone’s families (forget about bringing boyfriends home, bring your girl friends home!!).
I’ll never forget hearing Nicole and Divina harmonizing to “Sanctuary” through the air vents for an hour, Megan trying out for Preference Night for Recruitment by singing and dancing to “No Interruption,” all the hours Hannah and I spent studying in the living room, and Amber wearing her Kansas sweatshirt and blue Nike shorts for 10 days straight (yes, we had a tally board). I’m forever indebted to Andrea for dressing me for every important event in my life, Lizzie has taught me so much about the world and for that I’m forever grateful, Taylor Ann is the strongest and most inspiring person I have ever met, and Peyton is the girl who will instantly brighten my day with her wise words or one of the best hugs.
I met my absolute best friends in college, and soon I am about to part ways as we all are forced into growing up and “adulting.” I can’t imagine not eating lunch with them everyday, being no farther than a 5-minute drive away, and I’ll miss our spur of the moment get-togethers. My wish, and our wish, is that every single girl comes to college and finds friends who love her unconditionally, supports her through everything, and challenges her to grow and be the best young lady she can possibly be, just like what we all found.
XOXO-Kelsey on behalf of Waterfall Hall 2013-2014