Helena - Yuba City, California
Entered on May 7, 2009

It is a common cliché that one should love their neighbor as themselves. I never fully understood this saying until I came to Cal Poly. In the beginning of fall quarter, I was so excited to start college. I was so ready to meet new people and have a fresh start. I did not believe that much could go wrong…and then I met my roommate.

To say Diana drives me crazy is a complete understatement. She stays up all night loudly typing away on the computer knowing that I have to get up early in the morning; she sleeps all day forcing our other roommate and me to be extra quiet at four o’clock in the afternoon; and the thing that kills me the most is that she NEVER cleans the room although she knowingly sheds worse than a cat in a heat wave. Thus, HER black hair is scattered throughout the room creeping up in my drawers and sometimes in my school bags. Not only does she have some irritating and disgusting habits but she is weird as well. Anime posters cover her billboard and her obsession with “dollfies” and the lead singer of Tokio Hotel borders on abnormal.

Instead of being a mature person and asking her to compromise her ways, I was immature, obnoxious, and passive aggressive—I ignored her, never cared to talk to her, and treated her like she didn’t exist. We were strangers sharing the same room.

And so it was nice to finally leave again for a longer period of time. But on the drive back to school after spring break, I was lonely and depressed. Being home made me realize how much I really did miss my family and friends. I didn’t want to leave them and come back to Diana. Then some things occurred to me: Maybe I drive my roommates crazy with some of the habits I have. Maybe I am not as friendly as I would like to think I am. Maybe Diana does not understand some things about us or maybe she thinks we are weird just as much as we think she is weird. I am fairly positive that she finds it odd that I am a Catholic or that our other roommate is bisexual. But none of these oddities matter to her. Never has Diana been rude to me or acted as if she was better than anybody. I am truly grateful for this for she has every reason to be rude to me or think that she is better than me after the way I so wrongly treated her, but she doesn’t and that has made me realize that I should learn to accept her for who she is and to be kind and loving towards her like I would be towards a good friend.

I feel like I have learned a lot these past two quarters at Cal Poly but some of the most valuable pieces of information that I have learned is to love your neighbor, even if that neighbor is the strangest person you have ever met. I believe that when you learn to love and accept people different than you, you eventually learn to accept almost everyone else. And when you have accepted everyone for the way they are, then you are at peace.