Everyone who knows Allie absolutely adores her. It is no coincidence that her last name is Bright, because she brings sunshine wherever she goes and always puts a smile on any face she encounters along the way. I'm lucky enough to have Allie as a roommate and a best friend, and know that she is someone who truly has made a special mark on the person I am today.
When I think of Allie, I think of music and adventure and oatmeal and enchanting blue eyes. On mornings when we have the same class schedule, we both play a game of who-can-sleep-in-the-longest-until-the-other one-wakes-up. Recently, I have been the one to drag her little blonde self out of bed, but our Sophomore year Allie was always croaking, "Nads! You have ten minutes till class!" from her pathetic tiny top bunk. We are a funny pair-she's always hot, I'm always cold, she loves camping and hiking and peanut butter; I love reading and cupcakes and hot chocolate.
But best of all, Allie is patient and understanding. Even when I turn up the heat in our house without telling her and she wakes up in the morning "sweating," she can only be mad at me for about ten seconds before skipping down the stairs to eat her waffle. She has an incredible outlook on life and wants the best for everyone around her, including insects and animals and even elderly people who she doesn't know. We recently went abroad and managed to remain as close as we've always been, despite the 10 hour time difference and her frequent travels with beautiful men with accents (also known as kiwis)!
There is one specific instance with Allie which stands out in my mind. All of my friends were out traveling for the week, and my trip didn't start until a few days later, so I was on my own in Madrid for a couple days. One of the nights when I was feeling lonely and sorry for myself, I went on Facebook and mesaged Allie, explaining that all of my and the world's problems would be solved if only I could see her pretty face. Within fifteen minutes, she was on Skype and had me cracking up about her adventures in New Zealand, telling of all of the crazy, wonderful things she was doing and people she had met.
A few months later at Recruitment, we were all sitting in a circle together, and each girl went around sharing a special story they have had with a friend in Alpha Phi. Brittany talked about how many times Allie was there for her during our abroad experience, and that even when Allie couldn't be on Skype, she found other ways to be there for us. Brittany told us about one day in particular- she had grown extremely homesick, and emailed Allie that she was upset and needed someone to be there for her. Allie was off traveling for the weekend, but managed to get on a computer for a few minutes to help Brittany out.
All she wrote was, "Sorry Brit, wish I could be there for you. Go take a walk, and listen to 'Keep it Loose Keep it Tight' by Amos Lee." That small phrase and kind suggestion was all Brittany needed to get her day going; all she needed was Allie's reminder that there was someone out there in the universe who cared.
This story epitomizes Allie. She doesn't just go out of her way to be there for one or two people-she is there for anybody, whenever and wherever they need her. She has a million friends, and she gives her whole heart to every single one of them. She'll drop whatever it is that she's doing to share a cup of coffee or take a walk on the beach, and getting to know Allie has been one of the best things that has happened to me at USD.
On the phone the other day, my mom called Allie a special "star." Resisting my tempation to bash her totally predictable cliche, I laughed and agreed with her. The funny thing is, Mom is completely wrong, because actually, Allie shines brighter than all of the stars combined.
Love you baby kiwi...xx