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Caleb Gray (21 years), Jill Popper (21 years), Willa Grimsley (20 years), Dean Goss (19 years), Evie Jitmakusol (20 years), Scarlett Siew (19 years), Michael Popper (19 years), Bea Woodfolk (18 years), Clara Sumner (18 years)
Fall semester begins, and mostly Bea is thrilled to be there. She’s placed in the same dorm as her best friend, Willa, and is studying theater which is her ultimate passion. She’s not entirely impressed with her non-theater classes that are forced upon her nor the fact that her bedroom doesn’t have a window.
Willa storms into Bea’s room on a Wednesday night and insists that Bea dress up for Hump Day Karaoke. Willa doesn’t have class until 11, so why not? She’s studying Fashion Design, and lately, she’s been on a kick to do makeovers.
Mostly Bea is content to dress herself, but she obliges for the Karoke night, because it seems to mean more to Willa than herself.
When it comes to clothes, Willa has never steered her wrong, and Bea is very happy with the quick makeover.
Willa invites the other freshman, Clara to join in their fun. Naturally, Willa doesn’t want Clara to sing with them, which Clara doesn’t object to the exclusion. Ultimately Willa wants to give Clara a makeover.
“Think of all those retro movies with humdrum girls that are sexy with the right dress. I can do that for Clara.” Willa whispers to Bea when Clara isn’t within earshot.
Bea isn’t sure that Clara is looking for that, but she has sick cheering skills, and Bea enjoys her company.
The night mostly goes smoothly, Simon Millett boos them, but they’re too gone to even care. Aside from that, Bea is confident that he isn’t booing her. After all, her Dad is a famous musician, and she grew up playing music since she was two.
When they head back inside for refreshments, they come upon Flint Picasso. They’d heard the rumors that he was staying with Jett, but Bea had hoped it was all a lie.
It takes zero seconds for Willa to immediately go to him. She’d recently confessed that she missed him and maybe even regretted breaking up with him.
Bea was positive that if she’d waited five more seconds, he would have broken up with her. She tried to not be negative, but she actually hated the Picasso brothers. Flint only because he was related to Jett, and Jett was supposed to be the good brother.
When Bea tried to explain the backstory to Clara, she got nowhere. Clara was beyond tipsy, she couldn’t follow directions to the bathroom behind her, let alone a complicated story of heartbreak and betrayal.
All the while, Bea’s enjoyment of the evening vanished while Willa and Flint picked back up where they started.
She had considered being more relaxed with men after Jett cheated on her. She had never slept with him, and maybe that’s how it all boiled down. However, she’d only been able to sleep with Sam, and that was only immediately following the news of Jett’s baby and her Grandfather dying.
After one song, Flint whispered in Willa’s ear and with an afterthought of a wave, Willa was out the door behind him. More than likely they were headed back to Willa’s dorm room.
The entire thing made Bea feel melancholy. She finished her drink and escorted Clara safely back to the dorm. She didn’t think that she had to dump Willa as a friend, but she decided to broaden her circle.
She started with dormmate, Scarlett the next morning. Everyone knew that she hawked coffee at the Quad inbetween classes, and that’s where Bea found her.
She ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and apologized for never standing up for her against Willa in high school. While Bea had never joined in on the teasing, she hadn’t done anything ether. She also gave her condolences on Scarlett’s parents divorce and father’s illness. News around the dorm spread quickly, and it seemed like it must have been a horrible summer for Scarlett.
Scarlett said it was all unnecessary. She hadn’t been mad at Bea since Riley wound up pregnant, or maybe a few months after that fiasco. Scarlett knew herself well enough to know that she’d mostly been jealous of Bea, and she accepted the apology. Scarlett wasn’t sure they’d be best friends anytime soon, but it was nice to have one less enemy in the dorm.
Willa text Bea later that afternoon to find her whereabouts, and joined her with Clara in tow. Bea had specifically said she was studying at the Quad, but Willa came to chatter.
Willa was working to persuade Clara to allow her the privilege to give her a makeover. Clara was actually interested, as such, she was an easy sell.
Bea just wished they’d go discuss it somewhere away from her.
Her favorite classes were in Mary Martin Hall. In particular she adored her Theater Performance class which was hardly a class at all. She’d already starred in two plays through the community theater, and they mostly did improvisation as they grew comfortable with their classmates.
She tended to be late though as it was far across campus from her previous class. It annoyed her professor who even claimed to be a free spirit, but she didn’t seem to take it out on Bea.
It was also the only class she shared with Sam. Sam Eighmey. They’d started dating while he was in college, and she was in high school. He’d seemed so much older to her than, and now they were in the same school, walking the same campus, and they barely saw one another.
Most of the class was spent talking about getting into a character’s head. Some of the other students had ridiculous ideas that Bea wondered if they should just change their major now.
Bea never felt nervous stepping into the circle and putting on an impromptu performance. Their professor would read a prompt, and they’d have to work off their partner to make a performance.
It was invigorating, and Bea wished her entire life could be made up of that inner circle.
She loved working off of James Moline the most. He put himself into the performance, and they were able to read one another. They’d usually discuss their performance after class, and Bea quietly wondered if she was making another new friend.
Sam waited for her after class. They were technically still dating, but their classes were nearly total opposite and their dorms on opposite ends. It seemed that living on the same campus felt like a greater distance than when he came into South Port to perform.
They still got along famously though when they had the time together.
They hadn’t been intimate or even on a date though in a month. She was trying to figure out where Sam fit into her life, and what she really wanted to gain out of college.
While Bea worked on that, Scarlett struggled with her major. She’d picked business because it had seemed logical; she could have a good career with it; it could be used for many different career paths.
But she hated it. Her shining light was that Simon was in some of her classes, though he was about to veer off more toward his actual teaching classes.
She invited him to meet her at the Student Union for a bite and some advice. With her best friend, Lulu being a not-so-great friend, Simon had really been a savior to her.
She wanted honest advice about her major. She loved music, but she couldn’t in good judgement, choose to become a country musician. That seemed too far fetched, but was there something in between a dream and a dreary life in a business office?
Simon never rushed his answers, always taking time to put real thought behind every word. He adamantly insisted that if business wasn’t her thing, that there was absolutely something else out there.
He started listing off other careers that held no interest for Scarlett. She began to feel that it was all hopeless, when he got a familiar glint to his eye.
He started naming things that dealt with her love for music. She could open her own music store, buy the record store in Millwood and run that. Or she could join him in the teaching field, and instead of teaching about atoms, she could teach about music.
She was too excited to remain in her seat! She knew the high school had a music teach with Rosabella Steinman, but as far as she knew, there was not one at Longfellow Elementary!
It was the first time that she felt truly inspired by her future.
When his girlfriend, Cassia joined them later, she filled her in on Simon’s idea, and got more approval. Cassia firmly believed that one should not settle for humdrum when they were young, and Scarlett could finally nod her head in agreement.
The month closed with Freshman Parents Day. Bea’s parents arrived in time for breakfast and were excited to make a day of it. They both beamed at Bea with pride, they missed her at home, especially Hazel. She admitted that having only sons in the household made everything much more louder than she had expected.
Bea loved hearing stories of her brothers and Grandma, and then filled them in on her classes and professors.
There were lectures being held at the library for families. Bea and Clara both attended with their families.
Tons of professors from different majors showed up with booths and pamphlets. One booth announced that most freshman didn’t have a major picked, and the majority that did, would change them. Bea just scoffed that nonsense off, she was doing Theater and nothing would change her mind on that!
One of the professors recognized her Dad, and went all fangirl on him; this made Bea smile. She hoped one day that she’d be recognized for her stage presence.
Mostly it was full of “inspirational” talk, meant to make parents feel good about their departure of their hard earned money.
Almost everyone in the room was already excited that their children were attending EU, and didn’t need the pep talk.
After her parents headed back to South Port, Bea hit up the local coffee shop. Caleb happened to be there, and she decided to join him. She was partially avoiding him, seeing his sister was Riley. But she didn’t feel like sitting alone, and after all, he wasn’t Riley.
Scarlett was performing a folksy-type song that fit the setting. Bea was surprised to find that she had a good voice and played the guitar well.
All in all, her first month at university went well and the future looked promising.
Notes: I gave Bea a Parents Day, because our local college has one, and our town gets crazy full. I only had two new freshman, so it wasn’t so busy for Bea and Clara. Bea is popularity, and she had the want to make plenty of friends this time around!
I’m having Scarlett switch career goals to something that fits her more. I’m taking her father’s illness as the fuel behind this decision. I imagine that she doesn’t want to waste away in an awful career, seeing that life can be unexpectedly cut short. I’m glad she’s making friends with Bea, Simon, and his girlfriend, Cassia. She isn’t as lonely this year.
Flint did show up at the bar, and Willa totally hooked up with him. She had some wants for him going into this update, so it worked out in her favor that I didn’t zap him off the lot, seeing that I’d already had him in town to visit Quinn.
Dean and Evie did not get any limelight! Thankfully they are juniors, so they’ll get more focus next fall or maybe in some other upcoming updates.
Caleb Gray – 2.6
Jill Popper – 3.5
Willa Grimsley – 3.5
Dean Goss – 3.3
Evie Jitmakusol – 3.2
Scarlett Siew – 3.5
Michael Popper – 3.5
Bea Woodfolk – 3.0
Clara Sumner – 4.0
Thanks for reading!