Thank You To The Boy Who Taught Me About Trust

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By Makenna Doty

My first college class was at 2pm, and I hadn’t stepped foot inside that building until that day. A building with not one but two sets of stairs, AND an elevator. Why would there be three different ways to get to the second floor?

As if “Freshman me” needed to be confused any more. 

It was a LOT: Small town, sketchy apartment, expensive books, clean checks, dress code, 15 credits as a Freshman while trying to avoid a certain other 15. My roommates and I (there were six of us) had met a group of boys. Each of these boys stayed in my life for a few semesters, some even a few years, but one of them was the one who taught me my favorite lesson.

Ellis* had asked out my roommate Sadie*. Sadie was the skinny, blonde, small-town girl that I never was. Ellis had a car and made sure girls never had to open their own door or pay for their own bowling shoes. And then Ellis asked her out again. And again. Vicariously, I experienced my very first college dating scenario. (Don’t worry- I eventually established my own Dating Life Amusement Park complete with a “Relationship Roller Coaster” and “Break-Up Tilt-a-Whirl.”)

So their dates continued and something started to happen. I started to get nervous. Nervous for Sadie and nervous for me. I was worried I was going to see Ellis out on a date with another girl.

It was the thing to do in high school, for guys to kiss a lot of different girls. Or something. And I assumed college guys did the same thing. Every time I went to get a burger at Sammy’s for dinner or grabbed a fro-yo at Kiwi Loco, I looked for Ellis. I just KNEW he would be sitting with another girl at a table across whatever restaurant I was in. Even when I was on my own dates with the tall kid from my Journalism class, I looked for Ellis.

I think there was a tiny part of me that wanted to see Ellis cheating on Sadie. Maybe I wanted all guys to be the same douche bags they were in high school. I didn’t want to have my mind changed, and I wanted to be right.

But there was another side of me. The girl who people on campus didn’t know yet, the girl who learned how to grocery shop and use the library printer. The girl who wanted a new opinion. The girl who was ready to learn and grown. THAT part of me never saw Ellis out with anyone other than Sadie.

Ellis was the boy who taught me I can trust. He taught me that stories don’t have to always end in tears on the football field. Now, trust is earned. And there are some people who deserve it, and I’m lucky that was a lesson I learned my first semester.

There were eight semesters that followed. (Don’t do the math please.) And during some of those, I got to be the trusted one; other semesters I didn’t deserve even the benefit of the doubt. There were people who broke my trust and people who really didn’t deserve it but I gave it to them anyway.

This little experience with Ellis and Sadie and my small college town wasn’t really about dating. It wasn’t about being a freshman. It was about me. It was about my potential to trust others, and to be trusted. Scenarios of lying and cheating and frustration and gossip and denial have popped up everywhere from personal life to dating life to career life, ever since that first September. And they were sprinkled throughout my life long before that. But the choice I made to learn from that turn of events has made me a better person, and for that, I say, “Thank you, Ellis”.


Makenna is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, click HERE.

{featured image via pexels}

*names have been changed

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