Incoming freshman, young, spry and ready for the crazy ride of college, I traveled from my comfortable hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida to start my new life. I had never been more ready to start my first semester of classes that summer. The week before school began, we had a mini orientation. Getting to know the campus, our roommates and suitemates as well as finding our new and improved selves as we became the little fish in a very large pond. Breaking into small groups, my orientation family had now been made of a select and more manageable amount. Waiting for our orientation leader to arrive, I took the initiative to introduce myself. I repeated over and over, “Hi, my name is Asianna, what’s yours?” in a somewhat broken record uppity voice.
I could tell everyone remained nervous and or uninterested. Whelp, there went my image.
Eager as can be, we sat patiently until finally, they had arrived. From head to toe, they wore garnet and gold. From the striped socks, khaki shorts and tucked in button-up polos to match they were the golden children of Florida State University. My smile grew as it came time to meet our very own who would lead for the week. I had so many questions about college life. Do all-nighters really happen? Do people go out all the time? How often should I call my mom? My head started racing when suddenly everything came to an abrupt stop. I turned around and saw my orientation leader. A beam of light from the gods of love came raining down on my face as I stared at this gorgeous sight.
From top to bottom he stood at about 6’1, chocolate brown skin, wide white smile, athletic physique and approximately size 12 shoe. Woah. My mind went blank. He introduced himself to everyone in my group one by one and my heart started racing. Palms sweaty, my turn came and I stuttered “my-my-my name, uhhhh.” After an awkward three seconds, I finally spit it out “ASIANNA.” Stephen chuckled and shook my hand. Instantly I felt lightning crawl up my arm and I saw fireworks.
Maybe being a little dramatic, but I felt a connection for sure.
As the days continued, we slowly got closer. First, he asked me to hold his group name sign. I blushed and walked with it like a runway model. The privilege became all mine. Then, he created small talk between activities and laughed at my corny jokes as I tried to hide my awkwardness from an older boy. He a ripe 21 years old and I three years younger, he somehow made me feel like a little kid again. Days passed and things seemed promising until, near the final day, I saw another girl holding our group’s sign. My heart broke into a million pieces. Crushed. My first college heart break and I had no clue how to handle it. I instantly ran to my dorm room, hopped on my five-foot-high bed, wept and ate the leftovers of my now stale chocolate chip pazooki.
The orientation ended and we had parted our ways into the rest of summer where thousands of students flooded the campus to continue school. I had found my new group of friends and started to remake myself: becoming the new cool college version of Asianna. Fall came sooner than later and I considered myself a college veteran. I had met my fair share of college boys by his time: the football jock, the aspiring engineer and frat brother. None of which really stuck around for very long and kept my interest.
It seemed another normal market Wednesday in the union.
Everyone gathered and socialized for the sound hour and I had made my way there too. I tried to slip past with my bloated backpack without bumping anyone in my line of fire. “Excuse me, sorry.” I repeated when suddenly someone stopped me and yelled, “Hey, you bumped me!” As I turned to apologize, I saw a familiar face—my orientation leader. The flood of emotions came right back as if they had never left. Head down in embarrassment, we started to talk about how our lives had been. As the conversation came to an end and we parted ways, he invited me on a date. My head almost exploded with joy, but with calm and mature demeanor I told him I would check my schedule. I strutted off full of confidence, leaving him in awe of my growth and spunk.
Of course, I came to my senses and went on the date.
We met that weekend for froyo. He showed up right on time and things just clicked. We stayed there for over two hours talking about life. We cracked jokes and shared stories. The shop began to close when we finally realized how much time had passed. As he walked me to my car, I felt my heart beating out of my chest, I knew what came next. I stopped in front of my car and thanked him for the date, he then pulled the classic nice guy and it happened. He pulled my chin in close and slowly brought me in for a kiss. The moment I had been waiting for finally about to happen when suddenly, he burped. No, I thought, this couldn’t be happening. His PB & J froyo hit my face like a ton of bricks. He pulled away and laughed but I remained in shock. He tried again and kissed me, but nothing. No fireworks or sparks flew, just a kiss. I had dreamed of this kiss all semester long and felt absolutely nothing. My hunky orientation leader had now just become another over-spirited, quirky and slightly annoying Florida State cheerleader. After this traumatic experience I figured FSU love wasn’t in the cards for me. Disappointed to say the least, I kept it moving.