Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

It has been one of those weeks. You know what I mean, right…when all of your homework just conveniently happens to be due in the same three-day span and you have two midterms to take, and a speech to give on top of that? Well, that’s how this past week has been for me. To sum it up in one word: stressful. I have found however, that here at college, if you surround yourself with good people who bring a positive influence along with them, then even the most demanding weeks don’t seem so bad.
So without further ado, I will describe to you all my three best friends here at West Chester. First, I’ll tell you about my amazing roommate, Ellen Farmer. She hails from Lancaster County, and no, she is not actually a farmer. Ellen has the longest hair out of any of my friends that I have ever had, and can usually been seen (and heard) walking around campus belting out one of her many favorite songs (soft-rock is her preferred genre, calling all Daughtry fans).
My other two best friends are roommates who live across the hall from Ellen and I. Katie Brown and Tamar Jackson are two of the nicest, most interesting people I have had the pleasure of meeting here at West Chester. Tamar is a city girl from Philadelphia, and knows the Septa system like the back of her hand. She is quite honest with her opinions, which is something I truly respect her for, and she always knows how to bring a comical touch to any conversation. Katie Brown hails from Bucks County, more specifically Bensamlen. She drinks coffee on a more-than-normally-acceptable basis, and has the best cursive handwriting out of anyone I know. She is simple and down-to-earth, and I feel like I can tell her just about anything.
The academic hassles this week have thankfully been balanced out by the many exciting events I went to, namely the Homecoming football game on the 12th, the West Chester Chili Cook-Off on the 13th, and the documentary showing this past Thursday.
I went to the football game on Saturday accompanied by Ellen, Katie, and my Public Speaking classmate, Kevin Hamlet. The four of us, decked out in purple and gold spirit necklaces, made our way over to the concession stand, at my persistent request, to buy soft pretzels and sodas. It was Katie and Kevin’s first game of the season, and as we all walked through the hoards of passionate fans, I remember enthusiastically explaining to them that getting a pretzel before each game was my “new tradition.” The Golden Rams won, of course, and the whole day was a great success. We even saw the West Chester Jester!
The following day was the 11th annual West Chester Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Rotary Club. It was yet another great event hosted by the city of West Chester. I embarked on the short walk to Gay St. all the while pleasantly surprised at the remarkably warm October weather. I paid $10 for my event wristband and started roaming the streets, trying options from every vendor I could find. The live music permeated the crowded downtown streets, as did the scrumptious chili aromas. I sampled probably a year’s worth delicious of chili, which is just enough for me until next year’s cook-off.
Finally, on Thursday, I attended the documentary showing at Sykes Theater with Katie. The film, Girl Rising, told multiple tales of girls from all around the world that have each overcome hardship and adversity in order to get an education. At the theater, I met students, Paula Slota and Sarah Memon. After the film ended, I caught up with the two to ask them what they thought. As the four of us walked out of the theater, Slota remarked, “It reminds us everyday how lucky we are.”
Paula’s statement got me thinking. On the way back to my room, I began to realize how fortunate I am, how fortunate all of us here at West Chester are. In countries all over the world, children are struggling for the right to an education. I realized that yes, as college students we are going to have big workloads from time to time, but the fact that we are enjoying a higher education that many kids only dream of is something to be grateful for each day. It took something as simple as a movie to make me realize that “those weeks” many college students have, are not as big a deal as we make them. We just need to take it one day at a time. So it goes.
Rachel Alfiero is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu. 

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