I would like to take up a little bit of time to talk about the importance of being genuine. Allowing yourself to be completely raw and real with someone really opens the relationship up to honesty and productive growth. Sometimes, this growth has to come out of a not-so-pretty period of time, but sharing something honest and uninhibited with another person creates a closer bond and leads to faster edification.

Allow me to provide an example of how one shared, honest experience can bring two individuals closer in a very short period of time.

If you have been around with me long enough, you will recall quite clearly my fear of – no, despise for– insects. I’m not entirely sure what brought this fear about or why it is so deep-rooted, but I know for a fact that when I see a bug larger than a few centimeters, I transform into a useless bundle of terror. So buckle up, readers, here comes the second written segment of my ongoing battle with the insects.

My roommate Molly and I were having a leisurely Saturday morning. We slept in, made coffee and tea, and bummed around in the living room until the early afternoon with the screen door open to enjoy the mild weather. Oh, the joys of college life in Southern California. At the point when we finally decided to start being productive, Molly left the living room briefly to grab one of her textbooks while I scrolled through a syllabus on my laptop. Unbeknownst to me, something terrible was about to go down.

When Molly reentered the room, I heard the sudden halt in her footsteps and a sharp intake of breath before hearing the dreaded phrase, “What… is… THAT?” I slowly raised my eyes from my computer screen to fixate on a two-inch dark blob of matter that had materialized in the middle of our living room floor. Fear welled up inside me before rolling up my throat and bursting out of my mouth:

“COCKROACH!”

Okay, full disclosure, this was not actually a cockroach. CBU maintains the campus very well, so our apartment was never actually under threat of infestation. This beast was actually just a ginormous beetle from Hades that had wandered in from our open door when we weren’t watching. I in my terror, however, did not care to differentiate between the species of insect and merely attributed a name to it in a moment of sheer panic and frazzled senses.

What happened next is purely a battle between human and nature. Molly, as it turns out, was almost as afraid of the thing as I was. She was able to think fast and throw a little cup over it before it could run away, leaving it temporarily trapped in the middle of our floor. What ensued shortly thereafter included a lot of babbling, shouting, deliberating, and yes, even a little bit of crying.

Molly and I did not know what to do with this giant beast in our apartment! We eventually came up with a master plan of attack: call every male we know and ask them for help. Unfortunately, no one was available at the time. After further minutes of panic and deliberation, we decided that there was no other way to go about this, and we had to battle the thing ourselves.

After the whole event with the beetle, Molly and I sat on our couch, severely shaken but laughing constantly at the fact that we were able to tame the beast. This was a serious coming of age moment, you see, and we got to share it with each other and recount it to others.

When Molly and I battled with the beast, we were not worried about our behavior. Our reactions were perfectly honest (if even slightly dramatic), but they were uninhibited. This is how everyone should be more often with each other. We should act in honesty and share our genuine fears, concerns, and eventual triumphs. A large part of college life includes finding like-minded individuals who you can grow with and learn from, and this process is helped along by honesty.

I sincerely hope that it doesn’t ever take a terrifying insect to bring you to a realization of the importance of honesty. I do know, however, that all shared experiences lead to new levels of bonding, and ultimately make memories that will last long after college ends. I know for a fact that I won’t be forgetting this adventure!