The past week has been a week full of lots of reminiscing. Sixteen years ago (boy am I getting old fast!) I went Ricks College (now called BYU Idaho) in the U.S. It is a college (university) owned and run by our church.
It's incredible to think that it was that long ago that I was there. I spent a year there and had so many awesome experiences that I will never forget. I still feel as old as I was back then. Just living in another country was a great experience. Of course I got teased about my accent and when I would walk from our apartment to campus, I would often hear 'that's not a knife, this is a knife!', as I would walk through an boys apartment complex. Back then all they seemed to know about Australia was Tasmanian Devils (from the Warner Bros. cartoon) and Crocodile Dundee.
It was awesome having classes with everyone who you knew had the same values as you, although it took me a while to get used to having an opening prayer before class or before we would play a game of basketball! Every Tuesday we would have Devotional where we often had general authorities from Salt Lake come to speak to us. One day I even got to hold the door open for L. Tom Perry and he touched me on the shoulder and said 'you are a very nice girl'! It was normal to have firesides and concerts with John Bytheway or Kenneth Cope. I was so amazed by it all and often thought how much it was taken for granted by others.
Every weekend there were at least two dances on campus. The 'cowboys' would go to the country dance (and there were a lot as we were in Idaho!), and everyone else would go to the regular dance.
I loved experiencing all the 'American' things - like the Homecoming Dance and parade, football matches and cheerleaders.
It did take me a while to get used to the fact that guys actually asked girls out on dates (something that just didn't happen in Tasmania!) and at dances they actually asked you to dance! For the bigger dances like MORP (Prom spelt backwards), Preference (girl ask guy), and Homecoming it was customary to take a date. Instead of just asking someone to go with you, everyone would get a date by asking in a creative way. In return you had to answer in a creative way. It seemed like the more original you could be, the better.
There were rooms filled with balloons, or puzzles that had a clue about who was asking you. My roomate Allison and I were 'lucky' enough to have three bales of hay spread everywhere in our bedroom (including in our beds!) with a sign that said 'we'll have a hay-day if you come to the dance with me' (and we were still finding hay in our bedroom months later!).
I was so lucky to be placed in an apartment with 5 other girls who got along so well together. We were the girls in Carousel Court #202.
First semester in our apartment there was Allison, Dani, Karalee, Anna and Meredith. We were all really different, but still got along great.
After fall semester Meredith transferred down to BYU in Provo, and was replaced with our awesome roomate - Paige. She went out with Doug who was a guy in our ward at church, and I still think it is amazing that they are now married with six kids! They still seem like that young couple to me. We always wanted our friend Denise to move it with us as well. It's a pity we could only fit 6 girls in the apartment.
One thing I never got used to was the weather. The first time it snowed I was so excited, but after about three days I think the novelty wore off and I realised that the snow was going to be around for a very long time! Without fail I would slip over on my way to campus every single day. I guess Australian's aren't built to live in the snow like the Americans are ;) The worst thing was when you had to walk to campus in a blizzard. Campus was probably only about 2oo metres from our apartment block, but by the time I got into class my hair would be frozen on my head and if I touched it, it would literally snap off!
There were times when the snow was enjoyable. Sometimes in the middle of the night we would decide to just go out and play in it. Sometimes it really wasn't even that cold and we could go out - shorts and all! I spent Christmas with Allison (to the right of me in this pic) in Canada and remembered one day when our van got stuck in the snow. We had to push it out and my hands were freezing, and I started crying and said 'I hate snow! I want to go home - it's too cold!!'.
I can't really remember which classes I took but the experience of living in another country and going to a church school was worth 'wasting' a year, as I had to start Uni all over again when I got home as nothing counted towards Uni here.
I will never forget the friends I made or all the fun we had. The week before I left to come home my roomates threw a surprise going away party for me and also made me a home video to bring back with me. I still have the video today (now on DVD, thanks Aaron!) and love watching it from time to time and remembering the great friends and times we had.
This past week has been very successful week for me on facebook. As my roomate Allison said - I've been a very busy 'facebooker' - we weren't even sure if that is such a word! For a long time I have been trying to find old friends from Ricks and the States, without much luck. I was still in contact with a few of my closer friends, but in the last month and epecially in the last week I have found twelve of my old friends from the States and am now back in contact with ten people in this photo.
It has been so awesome to catch up with them and to hear what they are up to now and seeing pics of them with their families. It is so strange seeing everyone with kids, and I'm sure they think the same thing about me! They have all made comments like 'wow, four boys!'
Thanks facebook for bringing back lots of old friend and great memories!!