Story by Marianna Moore

Between bites of burger at Five Guys, Ymbar Polanco and Andrew Olson discussed their doubts and nervousness about their upcoming freshman year.

Polanco was passing through Springfield, Missouri, after completing the Summer Transition Program at Mizzou, and he had invited Olson, who’s from Springfield, to grab lunch. They had been assigned together as random roommates, and neither knew what to expect. The only words they had exchanged, through Snapchat, were, “I have a microwave,” and, “I have a fridge.”

Olson, a health sciences major, shared his nervousness about time management and keeping up in his classes. Polanco, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major, was also anxious, but after seeing his roommate’s nervousness, he felt better.

“Knowing he was nervous about things as well and that we don’t have it all together was a relief,” says Polanco, who is from Carthage, Missouri.

Both roommates had chosen to live in Mark Twain Residence Hall because of its location in the Honors College neighborhood. This means the hall is dedicated to students enrolled in the Honors College.

The neighborhood has worked out well for Polanco and Olson. During a hall meeting on Move-In Day, the residents made a group chat on their phones. That’s how everyone became close and started hanging out together.

“Everyone is as nervous as you are,” Olson says. “No one knew each other, but everyone had that in common, so it was easy to meet new people and make new friends.”

Olson and Polanco quickly noticed they had similar interests. They spontaneously decided to attend a concert together after discovering they enjoy the same music. They didn’t get home until 2 a.m. on a school night.

“It was worth it,” Polanco says. “It was definitely worth it.”

The two of them do a lot of things together. From playing video games to grabbing dinner at Panda Express, they have built a strong friendship.

“I think we’ll be friends for quite a while,” Olson says.

“Friends forever,” Polanco replies.

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