I remember being so very nervous as we walked into the dormitory with the first of several loads of suitcases and bags. My parents were with me so I felt it important to appear confident. I wasn’t really.
This was it. I was to meet the girl who would be my freshman hall roommate for the first time and, as I had heard from others who were older and wiser, this would determine the success of my entire college career.
We had written letters to each other over the summer, once our names were shared by Wake Forest. This was so very long ago that there was no Internet, that we knew of anyway, and cellphones were still science fiction. And somehow, using only the tools of the time we had arranged for one telephone call to check on room furnishings.
Her voice had a strong Southern accent that was both foreign and comforting to my Ohio-bred ears, and we talked about the important things of dorm life, like who would bring the stereo and whether we would buy a hot pot, even though they were discouraged on campus.
So here we were, ready to meet face-to-face for the first time, and instead my R.A., Molly Lambright greeted us at the top of the Bostwick Dormitory stairs and waylaid my mom and me.
“Well hello,” she said as she reached for a bag with a smile. “Welcome to Bostwick 2B. Let me help you find your room.”
And with that I relaxed as the diminutive blond bundle of energy smiled and guided us forward.
It turned out that my Freshman roommate did not determine my path through college. Others on my hall did.
In the days before I recognized such things, my roommate was a solid introvert who thought lounging in the room playing songs on the guitar was the way to get through school. As a raging extrovert, I engaged in the type of activities that made her want to poke her eyes out. So my mates through college and now life were others from the 2B – and 2A - hall.
Forty years later I know now how important Bostwick 2B and Molly were to supporting our launch into young adulthood. She was the cheerleader to those who needed the boost. She listened with no judgment to those who questioned their actions from the night before. And she gave us an identity as Molly’s Dollies that we still carry into our not-so-young next chapters…
Thanks, Molly, for the support then – and for staying connected to us now.