Westbury was from St. Louis, Missouri and Johnson was from Woodland Park, Colorado. The two were placed together their freshman year by the random roommate selection that Western provides. After learning about each other via Facebook and texting each other a bit, the girls began to become friends.
“I was going to be a Business major, but I knew that I did not want to live with Business majors. I placed myself in the Recreational Outdoor students because I knew I would fit better with them,” Johnson said.
While in Rubidoux their first year, Westbury and Johnson were living in one room but shared the suite with two other people. Johnson had a high school friendship with the student living below her, so all the girls started to get to know each other and the four of them just clicked.
“We all did tons of things together. We were similar in a lot of ways and that is probably why we got along so well. I actually climbed my first 14er my freshman year with them,” Westbury said.
The group of friends went on hikes, explored the Gunnison Valley and shared tents together. They bonded over climbs to peaks on mountains and stories being told late at night in the dorms. Westbury even spent time with Johnson’s family on long weekends due to not being about to fly home.
“These girls were my biggest fans and were open minded about everything. It is hard to transition into college from high school, so it is nice when you meet someone that you can open up to and not feel uncomfortable about it,” Johnson said.
Westbury and Johnson shared a room in Pinnacles their sophomore year and then went separate ways when Westbury studied abroad her junior year. Even after not living together for two years, the roommates still kept in touch and continued on their adventures together.
Their senior year the friend group met up and traveled to California during spring break. After four years studying at Western, the two best friends graduated together and are now working in the same building at Western.
Today, Johnson works in Western’s admissions office as an admissions counselor on the first floor of Taylor Hall and Westbury works as a program coordinator on the third floor of Taylor hall. With offices so close together, it is easy for the friends to see each other often.
“It is nice to have my best friend just down the stairs! We meet up to bounce ideas off each other all of the time,” Westbury said.
After meeting as roommates, becoming best friends and landing jobs at Western, they describe their experience as a dream come true.
Story by Grace Flynn.