Homies not from home

Ethan Sherwood and Olivia Decell, who have been dating for three and a half years, pose together after a football game. Photo Credit: Olivia De

The first friends you make in life are important people. They teach the meaning of friendship at an early age. But the ones from college are the ones with you after you fly out of the nest.

Freshman year can be weird without the squad from middle school and high school you grew up with, but it also provides a chance to meet new friends and acquire a new partner in crime.

The registration visit opens a flood of fresh faces, faces that will be there throughout the college career. Some will be closer than others.

It was registration by the Fine Arts Center in 2015 when two Castleton freshmen, Tyler Bernatovich and Ben Castle, met just “shooting the shit,” Bernatovich said.

Ben Castle and Tyler Bernatovich hang out in their house, bottom right.

They’ve been friends ever since.

For the past four years, the two have always hung out. They spend their days together “skiing, shesh, get food, GTA [Grand Theft Auto] and COD [Call Of Duty], shit like that,” said Castle.

When asked about a memory of his friend, Castle recollected the time a perhaps slightly inebriated “Tyler stood up on that railing on Glenbrook spouting gospel.”

Bernatovich remembers April 20, 2017, a renown marijuana holiday, where they brought a “$20 acrylic tube” [a bong] in a fanny pack to the mountain to use on the chairlift.  “It was such a stoney day,” Bernatovich said.

The two plan on staying in touch after college and will keep chilling.

But registration is not the only place to build a lasting friendship freshman year.

Camille Stengal and Bronwen Hopwood met at a party.

Bronwen Hopwood and Camille Stengal pose together happily. Photo Credit: Bronwen Hopwood 

“It was instant friendship.  I had no doubt in my mind she was gonna be my best friend,” Hopwood said about Stengal.

A good friend always has your back, but Hopwood has Stengal’s knee.

One night while walking back from “wherever the fuck we were walking” Stengal took a little spill cutting her knee open. Hopwood stepped up to the plate like a true friend and scrubbed her open wound.

The two have lived together since their sophomore year, first in the dorms and now off-campus.   

But not all freshman acquired friendships are the platonic kind.  Olivia Decell and Ethan Sherwood began dating three-and-half years ago their freshman year.  The two have been going strong together since and are “very rarely apart,” Sherwood said.

“The best part about being with Liv for so long is the fact that you get to experience all of the memories you make in college with someone else. It was great having someone who would show up to every game on Saturday and root for me all four years I played here,” he said. “Liv has been the best girlfriend any guy could ever ask for and I’m beyond excited to see what the future holds.”

Decell feels the same, saying she’s happy to be moving on in life after college with the guy she calls her “soulmate,” who she met so long ago.

“Ever since I met Ethan the first week of freshman year, I knew I was going to spend forever with him. I knew that my soulmate was out there I was just waiting for that ‘moment,’ she said. “Over three-and-a-half years later with the same boyfriend, I couldn’t be happier. I truly don’t know what I would do without Ethan.”

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