Brandon – STEM (Part 3)


Me at Battle of the Hall 2011

The residential colleges are truly amazing places when it comes to the sheer number of diverse student voices living and learning together in their communities. Just about every student has their own unique thoughts and opinions about nearly every topic that could possible come up in a conversation, and this is a great thing to have in a community. I have a group of friends that demonstrate this very well. This group has lived in STEM with me for what feels like a lifetime, and I think what makes us all such good friends is how different from each other we really are.




Blaze is one of my oldest friends in STEM and probably the most similar member of my group to myself.  I first met Blaze while playing ping-pong in the STEM lobby my freshman year. We had a large group of guys that played ping-pong for hours every day in the lobby my first year. Blaze was one of the better ping-pong players, so I’d usually play about five or six games against him before I would finally decide to head back to my room. He was, and still is, pretty quiet when it comes to most social situations, so nearly every game we played was in silence. It wasn’t until I moved across the hall from him my second semester that we really had any type of real conversation that didn’t have something to do with ping-pong. But after that, we became pretty good friends, and would usually spend hours talking about all sorts of ridiculous things while hitting around on the ping-pong table. Blaze and I are both pretty easy-going, so we never really argued about a lot of things, but we would often bounce different ideas off each other and would talk about those ideas until something else came up in the conversation.


Ben is Blaze’s roommate, so when I moved across the hall from Blaze my second semester, I also moved across the hall from Ben. Ben is a naturally competitive and argumentative guy who comes from a Mexican background. He is also one of my best friends within STEM, and we probably spend the majority of every day during the school year hanging out with each other. Ben is a computer science major and is fairly good with math which means he is one of the few people around here that will actually have a mathematical conversation with me.  We argue a lot and make fun of each other constantly, but that’s just how we pass the time. Ben and I are kind of like brothers. We fight about a lot of different ideas, but at the end of the day, we are always hanging out with each other and having fun.


Tyrus is my current roommate, and he actually went to the same high school as me before we came to UCA. Tyrus and I never really talked much in high school, but we had a lot of classes together in STEM and in our majors, so we naturally became friends over the years. Mine and Tyrus’ relationship is a lot like my relationship with Ben. We argue just about everyday too, but our arguments are usually about something involving the ability of a linebacker to outrun me in a 100m sprint or some issue from the news. Tyrus is a biochemistry major, and we often talk about various things from his classes too.


Laney was the first girl in our group. Laney was in my Bio II lab group, and I can’t really remember how or why she started hanging out with Ben, Blaze, and I, but she did. At first, Laney kind of went with whatever the group was doing, but as she became more comfortable, her voice became one of the loudest in our group. Laney disagreed with a lot of the things we talked about and would join our arguments and poke fun at the rest of the group just like everyone else did.

Taylor and Anna:

Taylor and Anna are the newest members of our group and were both members of STEM last year then became Advocates for this year. Taylor and Anna are both very different additions to my group of friends. Taylor is very outspoken and will argue about most things. Anna is quieter and usually keeps most of her opinions to herself, but every now and again, we can get her to voice her opinion about something.

Just within my closest group of friends, there is an extremely diverse set of opinions, interests, and personalities that makes my community more enjoyable. The rest of the residential colleges are just like this. Everyone has different viewpoints and when all of those people are put together in the same environment, the product is something great.

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