Kelly Salinas / Hilltop Views

From the Rio Grande Valley to Austin, freshmen Carlos Chavira and Eduardo Carrillo have made the move from high school friends to college roommates.

College friendships start in the dorms, continue to grow

Hailing from Brownsville, Texas, Carlos “Charlie” Chavira started college in an entirely different atmosphere than the place he calls home. In the midst of a culture shock, he found familiarity in an unlikely source: his roommate, Eduardo Emmanuel Carrillo, also known as “Lalo.”  

At a small high school devoted to the medical sciences in the Rio Grande Valley, they met in freshman year homeroom. Growing up together, both Carrillo and Chavira have been through it all: high school, graduation and leaving for college. Instead of parting ways after high school, however, they were brought together.

“I always say this, but I don’t know what I would have done without Lalo,” Chavira said. “My first year of college would have been completely different.”

The dynamic from friendship to roommate can be turbulent. The change in their case, however, turned out to be more positive than Chavira could have expected.

“Honestly, it’s been a big change. Our boundaries have changed since living together, and we’ve become way closer. It’s more than a friendship: he’s like family.”

Though they have the same roots, they have contrasting personalities. Chavira, the more introverted of the two, enjoys the aspects of Carillo’s personality that differ from his own.

“He’s really extroverted, and he’s always saying something funny. He’s also really on top of his things, which helps me be on top of my things.” Chavira said.

Though there may be differences, the two have a lot in common. As a part of the Natural Sciences Living Learning Community, the two share not only similarities in the past, but in the pursuit of their future.

“We’re both biology majors, we both have the same path, and we both have the same drive,” Chavira said. “We help each other be our best.”

While sharing the same academic goals, the two also connect on emotional level. Living in the same space provided them a foundation to experience the highs and lows of freshman year in solidarity.

“We’re growing together, we live together, and we share the same struggles. We’ve been through a lot, and we share a lot of memories.

“When we came to St. Ed’s, I didn’t really know anyone but Charlie,” Carrillo said. “Having that foundation was great- I could have a day full of meeting new people, come back to the dorm and see a familiar face.”

It was this support that made the transition so much easier. Through late night talks, everyday routine, and similar career paths, the two have become closer than ever. Living together formed a friendship deeper than surface level.

“I feel like I’m going to be viewing Charlie as one of my lifelong friends,” Carrillo said. “We’ve already been through so much in high school, we’re going to the same university and we have the same major. I’ve seen him grow and he’s seen me grow.”

Their shared roots in South Texas allowed them to mesh naturally, and while no pairing is perfect, the two have made it this far with no major issues. In sharing a room, they’ve learned more about each other than they ever would have back in highschool.

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