When Courtney met Hannah (and when Hannah met Courtney): a ONE Campus friendship story

ONE Campus is about mobilizing college students in the fight against extreme poverty. One of the many positive outcomes of this mobilization is the community that ONE Campus members build to support one another in their activism efforts. Campus Leaders Hannah (Belmont University) and Courtney (Drake University) met in August 2016 and their time together spawned a friendship that goes beyond campaigning and state borders. ONE Campus asked Hannah and Courtney to share their story.

Courtney’s story:  

It all began with an email, so I suppose my first line should be a big huge thank you to Gordon and Fady for inviting me to the 2016 Millennium Campus Conference earlier this summer.

That email that turned into a group message. I am not very outgoing, so I did not participate as much as the other excited ONE Campus members, but I was following along with the conversation, and immediately a few people stood out as potential friends. Hannah was one of them. She was very outgoing and generous and I knew I had to be her friend.

I had left San Francisco at 6 a.m. to make my way to Washington, DC, and by the time I made it to the conference I was so exhausted that I was practically falling asleep on the front desk of the dorm, when Hannah walked in with her luggage. We began talking as we waited for our room assignments, and the universe was clearly smiling down on us, because we ended up being roommates. The rest as they say, is history.

That first night, we stayed in the lounge conversing with other MCC attendees and getting to know one another. Over the course of the week, we attended various sessions and lectures while exploring the city at night. I’d say our bond was solidified between the third and fourth day when our nightly conversation was going so well that we stayed up until close to 4 a.m., talking about anything and everything.

We came to find that we held very similar views on a variety of issues, which shouldn’t be surprising considering we are both heading ONE Campus chapters at our respective schools. We were in D.C., having a great time, and it didn’t seem like the week was ever going to end. That last day at ONE headquarters for training was bittersweet as we knew that we would be separated the next day and who knew if our friendship would survive the long distance? As Hannah can attest, our fears were unfounded. I mean, after you spend a week with someone constantly saying “Take a Kim K. selfie with me!” you’re bonded for life.

Hannah’s story:

The minute we left each other [at the end of the Conference] that Sunday, Courtney and I have been digitally inseparable. Not a day goes by where we don’t Snapchat or text each other, and we’ve had several Skype/phone dates. I even mailed her a signed picture of my face, which now hangs on her refrigerator.

We talk about everything from ONE stuff and the struggles and successes of being a Campus Leader to roommate drama and academic hardships. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve told Courtney that I was dead. Or the amount of times she’s ranted about her group projects. I also definitely tried to steal her idea for a ONE event.

For a while we had played around with the idea of visiting each other during our overlapping Spring Break weekend, but the distance wasn’t worth it. Then mid-October, Courtney hit me with the news that she could come visit me in 2017 before her classes started. I said, “AMAZING,” and she booked her flights.

We also give each other great advice. I’ve probably had like six-quarter life crises this semester, and Courtney’s been there for every single one. True love.

All stories have acknowledgments, right? Thank you to Gordon and Fady for sending the emails that changed our lives. Thank you to the rest of the ONE Campus team for making the week so incredible. And thank you to ONE for the unbelievable opportunity to get trained and represent our schools and this organization!

Editor’s note: After thousands of texts and a few flights later, this January Hannah and Courtney reunited in Nashville.

Love this story? Join Hannah and Courtney and the 100+ ONE Campus chapters around the country by bringing ONE to YOUR campus today.