In honour of “throwback Thursday”, I want to share with you the story of how I met Scooter.
In my first year of University, like most others, I had to take about eight courses that were mandatory to getting any degree. The courses were not in my wheel house so I really struggled – microeconomics, macroeconomics, psychology and sociology among others. I was having a really hard time with the material and I was also struggling to find my place in the student world of Public Relations. If you’ve taken PR or you know folks who did, you know that it’s a bit of a “dog-eat-dog” world. Needless to say, I really didn’t fit in.
The only person I knew when I started going to University was my best friend for eternity, Ashley. Ashley is the friendliest and funniest person you’ll ever meet, so she had no problem securing the love and friendship of pretty much everyone on her floor in residence. So, being the social pariah that I am, I just followed Ashley around and made friends with all her new acquaintances.
On the 4th floor where I lived in res, I participated in all the ice-breaking activities (even though I thought they were super lame, dude) but I didn’t bother to get to know anyone. A lot of that had to do with my being really shy and awkward, but a bit of it had to do with my not being interested in expanding my horizons, so to speak. What I foolishly missed at the time, was the potential to start an amazing friendship with one of the smartest ladies I would ever know.
Coming back to the mandatory courses – I had to take a bunch of them and so did students in other programs. One of those was Intro to Business Administration.
In my Intro to Business course, we were a mishmash of Arts, PR and Nutrition Majors. The one good thing about the class to start with was that Ash had to take it too, meaning that I had a buddy to roll eyes at for the next four months. We sat near the back, not all the way, to avoid being clumped in with the stoners (figuratively speaking), but far enough away so we weren’t clumped in with the “A Team” (physically speaking).
The “A Team” was a group of PR students who were true socialites – they flirted, they gossiped, they admired each other and our profs… Again, needless to say, I did not fit in with that crowd. (Note that I didn’t come up with their nickname – from what I’ve heard, they actually gave it to themselves…. Yeah LOL)
We were sitting in this Business class when our prof announced our first group assignment. The A Team among a few others were really excited about the prospect of having a debate in front of the rest of our class. I cringed.
As I was trying to figure out how I could explain to our Prof that we could do the four person assignment between the two of us, Ash turns to me and says, we should ask that girl to join our team – the one at the front of the class. I looked over and there was Scooter, the girl I recognized from my 4th floor residence ice-breaking activities.
She didn’t seem to have a group and the prospects at the front of the class were not good. I was absolutely paralized by my shyness and fear of rejection so I just sat there. But not Ashley. Ashley got up, marched to the front of the room and begged (according to her) for this brilliant mind to team up with us.
The rest is history, as they say. We became friends instantly; like we’d known each other much longer than just a few hours. She was kind, thoughtful, hilarious and so extremely insightful. She outperformed everyone in that Intro to Business project even though our prof gave the mark to the A Team (we actually had to debate them over a matter I can no longer recall.) She was absolutely brilliant – taking down all their arguments with well-researched facts and figures, while Ash and I stood behind her, with nothing more to contribute than the sweat on our upper lips.
I realized, maybe too late, that being kind to others opens you up to so many opportunities, joy and love. If it hadn’t been for Ashley – Ashley, who holds no silly prejudices against people she doesn’t know – I might never have had the beautiful friendship that I did with Scooter. If it hadn’t been for that lesson, I would have missed a lot of other opportunities too (including becoming close friends with someone from “the A Team”!)
I am so thankful to Ashley for showing me how to be truly open to people (and a myriad of other things), and for Scooter who is still making such a wonderful impact on my life.
So next time you see someone sitting by themselves, don’t be shy to say hello – you never know what kind of wonderful experiences are just waiting to happen (and you could make someone’s day!) Live by Scooter’s mantra and be open to change – because it really is good.
*******Change is good, Donkey*******