Life Lessons From My Roommate

            One of my biggest worries, when I applied to college, was what if my roommate is a. crazy, b. hates me, or c. snores? When I actually moved into college, sort of against my will, I met my roommate Kiara Rivera. In case you don’t know, Kiara is a sassy Latina from Chicago, Illinois who is studying Theater (and everything else in her free time) at Connecticut College. The first thing Kiara taught me was that sharing a room with another person isn’t so bad.

            As I got to know her, she taught me about Posse. The Posse Foundation “identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students. Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.” Luckily for me, Kiara is one of the 10 Posse first years that attend Connecticut College.

            The next thing I learned from Kiara was to stop denying my interest in theater. I was a stage manager in high school and even acted in one production. I always said I wouldn’t continue my theater career in college, but this semester I decided to drop my French class and take Technical Theater… with Kiara. Shout out to our teacher Allison, we love you.

            Kiara is unapologetically herself, always. When we walk from our dorm to the dining hall, I count how many times she says hi to someone. Usually, the number of people is between 3 and 10. Kiara is the only person I know that will wear a men’s button down, covered in golfing foxes, with a pencil skirt and wedge boots. Even though she claims that she doesn’t want one, I am convinced she will buy a scooter and be that theater girl, scooting her way from the plex to Palmer. She has the mentality of if not this Latina, then who? with everything she is involved in and this is why people love her.

            Let me backtrack to a few months ago. In the middle of the road, I hear Kiara’s voice shout to me that I look “slim thick”. To me, that was NOT something I wanted to be. To her, she was giving me a big compliment. This leads to the next thing she taught me, to embrace the way I look every single day. This is the lesson I struggle with the most. Oh, and also to moisturize. NEVER forget to moisturize.

            The last thing Kiara taught me was how special I really am to her. She even wrote an article about me!! (Go check it out) Kiara tells me almost every day that she loves me and how much she appreciates how “woke” I am. Between her dramatic monologues, random outbursts of karaoke, and long rants about her love life, I am so grateful for this girl who has taught me so much.