Alumni Social Media Highlight


Strangers to Roommates to Bridesmaids 

When going off to college everyone dreams of what their experience will be. Mass media portrays the university experience as an opportunity to reinvent oneself and cultivate relationships that last a lifetime. Whether those relationships come in the form of best friends, roommates, classmates, college sweethearts, or something in between, many people crave a fairytale ending by the time they’ve earned their degree.

But do people ever experience college the way we see it in the movies?  

 The short answer: Yes! But, the longer answer begins with a story about UC Santa Cruz alumni Rosemary Garcia and Fernanda Rojas (Oakes, ‘18). 

 In September 2021, UCSC Alumni social media platforms created the “Roommate Challenge” where Alumni tagged their former roommates in a post and shared their UCSC experience. Garcia and Rojas were randomly chosen by staff after participating in the challenge. After they were chosen our staff got to them better and everyone fell in love with their story. As said before it sounds like a fairytale. 

 Both women were Oaks affiliated and met at freshman orientation. After their meeting, they found out about their roommate assignment. To both of their surprises, they matched with each other. The two immediately clicked, bonding over television shows. Fernanda stated, “To this day, we got her husband into The Bachelor because it’s such a big part of our friendship.” Their fast friendship was also a lasting one, as the two were roommates three out of the four years at UCSC. Rosemary found love at UCSC. Throughout their relationship, Fernanda was completely supportive. Rosemary and her partner got married in 2020 and of course, Fernanda was Rosemary’s maid of honor. 

The two made amazing memories throughout college. When asked about their funniest memories, Rosemary immediately mentioned Rojas’s stuffed lion, Serengeti. “The first thing that comes to mind is Fernanda’s stuffed lion,” Garcia said, cracking a smile. “It would crack me up because I learned about how much she liked Lion King. Randomly she would burst into the ‘Circle of Life’.” 

 Rojas explained that the song helped her clear her head during stressful school situations. Both also offered advice to current students about how to be great roommates and how to make the most out of their time at UCSC. Their answer? Mutual respect. 

 “We’re very similar but also have a lot of differences,” Rojas said. “We respected each other, and each other’s boundaries.” 

 Garcia agreed whole heartily with this sentiment. The two also offered some advice on making the most out of your time as a student at UCSC. 

“Really learn the values that you’ve gotten from being there,” Garcia said. “Make friends with people from other colleges, and learn the values from people all over campus.” What we can learn from Rosemary and Fernanda is the importance of being open when entering college or any new environment. These two are a perfect example of Slugs who found everlasting friendship at UCSC, and all that was possible because they were willing to go through new experiences together. 


Thank you so much Rosemary and Fernanda for telling your story.

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