Brotip#2014: Always have a wingman

Nothing would give more joy or personal satisfaction when I graduate than saying I did it all by myself. I LOVE having all the pressure on me and the joy of having something done all on my own. That’s not to say I hate group projects or working with others, but I’m at my best flying solo.

But the truth is, I cannot say I did myself. I have had more than enough help. Between my parents, my friends, my professors, my co-workers, I have been very well supported during my time in college.

Not to sound like a broken record, but there are so many people I can thank, probably too many.

There is one person in particular though that I just have to single out; my roommate Zach Draper. We both went to Rutland High School together and decided once we were both enrolled at Castleton to room together.

It’s probably one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, to room with someone who shares so many of the same interests. Just looking back now, I can’t help but laugh thinking about all the times we watched the various “Star Wars” films or made evening runs to China City in Fair Haven.

You really cannot put a price on having a great roommate, someone who is there for you in the ups and the downs. You learn so much living with someone else, including just how TO live with someone else.

Maybe the strangest thing about living with a roommate is just how certain personality traits or interests rub off on the other person.

I know for certain that I did not watch nearly the number of movies in high school that I do now. I’ve easily spent more time in movie theaters over the past two or three years than I have the previous 18 years of my life combined and probably then some.

And whenever we take a ride and plug in his iPod, I’m in charge and see fit to play anything by The Black Keys. Whether it’s “Tighten Up,” “Gold on the Ceiling,” or “Howlin’ for you,” both of us are just fine with that.

After all these years, there are two moments I remember more than any others.

The first was the day Hurricane Irene rolled through the area two years ago. Many roads were closed and school was cancelled for the next day, so we did what any college students who were told to just stay inside and hang out do.

We went out traveling the open road.

Our travels led us to the Fair Haven Shaws supermarket. We did what seemed like the logical thing to do and got some M&M cookies, some China City and came back to campus to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” because I had never seen it. It was a great evening.

The second real strong memory is when we watched “Top Gun” for the first time, again because it was a movie I had never seen before. Sure, it’s from the ’80s, so parts of it do not hold up so well anymore, but I still found it highly enjoyable. He always insists I’m Goose. No matter how many times I tell him I’m Iceman, he still calls me Goose, probably just because he knows how much it annoys me.

No matter which character from “Top Gun” I may or may not be, one thing is certain; I certainly found my wingman.

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