The process of coming of age is never an easy one. The journey from high school to the independence of college inherently holds a certain amount of apprehension for the unknown. For us, college had an extra unknown. What would it be like to see each other every day? Would we drive each other crazy? Would he run away as soon as he saw how crabby and impatient I can be? Although the distance had been difficult, what if we ended up not really liking the day-to-day reality of each other?
Our parents continued to express their full approval of our relationship, as well as how much they were convinced we were meant to be together. Ked’s Dad had told him that he couldn’t have hand picked a better girl for his son. My mom told me what a good job Ked did at keeping her “stubborn, independent little girl in line” and that I’d better keep him around for a long time. But the closer September came, our excitement was tampered with our apprehensions and insecurities.
I’m glad you voiced your fears about next year. I have the same exact fears. You haven’t seen me in my everyday situations either. You don’t know me in that aspect! Sometimes I’m not too pleasant of a person. I get grumpy and impatient. I have my many faults too. We all do! But I’m looking forward to you keeping me in line. Seriously. It’s all a part of growing and being best friends – calling each other out when one does wrong, helping and encouraging during trials, stresses and weaknesses. Yes I fear you’ll be discouraged when you see all my faults. It’ll be different and a real test for us. But I’m confident we’ll pass the test as long as we leave our relationship in the Lord’s hands. Ked, even when I see your faults, I won’t love you any less. I’ll still stand by you and encourage you and love you more every day. I look forward to the day when we can help each other through daily stresses.
Besides the fear of inevitably exposing our full spectrum of flaws, there was the issue of schoolwork.
Oh, Ked! Quit worrying about the academics next year! I am NOT going to be disappointed in you. I love you for you, not what kind of student you are or whether or not you’re good at science. At least you like it – good grades or not, it’s my least favorite. If anyone has to worry, it’s me. College is a whole different story from high school. You’ll quickly see a side of me you’ve never seen – Amy, the frustrated, discouraged student. It would be easier if I were smart, but I’ve always worked very hard in school By now, some of it comes easily, but we’ll be starting all over again. You’ll quickly see how much pressure I put on myself. My worst critic is myself. You be sure to keep me in check! I’m serious too. My parents have always done so before, but they won’t be around next year!
And then there was the reality that we’d both be leaving our small communities and heading to a “bigger pond.”
Ha, Ked, you’d better realize right now that I have the best and I’m not looking any further. And let me set you straight again – you say I’ll have my choice of “bigger and better fish.” I’m NOT looking for a choice. You say there’ll be guys who’ll put you to shame in their walk with Christ. The same goes for me. There will be girls there you will put me to shame. None of us are ever exempt from this. We can always grow. But one of the wonderful things about this relationship is how we help each other grow. You challenge me so much. Again, you say I’ll be able to choose from anyone I want. Ha! no, I won’t nor do I want to. Besides, when they see “us” they’ll realize they wouldn’t have a chance.
This whole subject is one I’ve thought about much in my aspect with you. I see in you what every girl wants. I’ve had a zillion girls tell me how much they envy me. You’re the one that could have any girl you want. Not only do you have the character qualities, the personality, the sense of humor, the sensitivity, the concern, and the leadership every girl desires, but you’re also very handsome. So I often wonder “why me?” I feel so small and inadequate. I know how girls think and work and that worries me! It’s something that I really had to deal with and anytime I feel those worries and potential jealousies creep up I immediately give them to the Lord. It’s a continual process, it always will be! But I trust the Lord, AND I trust you. I can honestly say I don’t worry. Some people may think that because I don’t worry about it that means I don’t care. Certainly not! It means I care more. I care enough about you and the relationship not to destroy it with worry or jealousies. It would be much easier to worry, but it’s more rewarding to trust. So, Ked, remember – I love you! We both want God to be in the center of this. He’ll lead us and guide us. And He’ll still be with us next year!
But we still had to survive the rest of our senior year, and there were quite a few things I wasn’t handling well. I’d later be glad that I had revealed this part of myself to Ked before we were in college, because in time, it would rear its head in a much uglier form.
Oh, Ked! I confess! I’m stressed, depressed, discouraged, whatever. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the next two months. I’m trying! A big part of my frustration is I have so much to do and my mind is so full and every time I try to spend time with God my mind keeps going. I can’t stop it or quiet it and be silent. I’ve tried so hard to avoid this, but I think my problem is I’m trying to do it on my own. I just wish I could drop everything and go away for a month, but that’s impossible. I can’t do it. I can’t do anything. Physically, I can tell I’m run down. The past 3 nights at the same time each night, I’ve had a headache. I hardly ever get headaches. Plus, I’ve had a hard time eating, just not hungry. I feel like I’ve run a 5 mile race every morning.
Somewhere along the line that spring, I began to make the transition from Amy to the name on my birth certificate – Amelia. My grandfather had always lamented, “They gave you such a beautiful name and from day one they called you Amy!” I was looking forward to all the new beginnings – new state, new city, new school, new friends, and a day-to-day relationship with Ked. A new name just seemed to fit. I always felt like Amy was so commonplace. But Amelia, it made me feel special and beautiful and unique. It’s just a name, but I loved it, and it was mine. I was ready to assume the new identity. The issue first came up when Ked’s sister Karon, who was one year older than us, brought up the possibility of being roommates the next year.
I can’t believe Karon would want me for a roommate! It’s fine with me as long as you wouldn’t mind 🙂 I’m sure we’d get along just fine. If she goes to make the request, you might want to tell her I’m under the name Amelia up there. They might say “Amy? We don’t have an Amy!”
By the end of the school year, arrangements were set for Karon and I to be roommates. I remember discussing the plans with my admissions counselor and she said, “Well that will be good, but it might be a little strange. It’s not like you can go back to your room and tell her how hot your boyfriend looked in his jeans today! That might be weird!” I remember staring at her completely at a loss for words, and that doesn’t happen very often. How do you reply to that? I wasn’t sure to laugh out loud or not, so I think I gave her a cursory nod and agreed, “Um…yeah…that would be weird.”
I had warned Ked and Karon and Ryan that once we hit the campus, I was switching to Amelia. “I will no longer answer to Amy. If you call me Amy, I will ignore you. I am now Amelia. So practice up!” I tried to convince my family the same, but old habits die hard and when your Mom is calling you for dinner…well you answer.