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The Board Member: How I Became Best Friends with My First Fender-Bender's Girlfriend

(Image courtesy of me)

People become friends because they have something in common, shared values, or similar goals. In the history of friendships, I seriously doubt it's common to befriend the person who hit your significant other's car. Yet, that is how I became friends with Maddison (Maddi) Berman.

(Image courtesy of me)

In college, Maddi and I ran in similar circles. She is friends with one of my great friends Scott. Scott loved discussing his and Maddi's misadventures in the student government office. So, whenever I saw her, I would say hi, but never had an in-depth conversation.

(Image courtesy of The image shows, "capacity for the rock climbing tower in the RWC on the main campus will increase when the Summer A session starts May 17." (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15))

On a random day during my junior year of college, I went to the University of Central Florida's on-campus gym. After blasting 2018's top hits on the elliptical, I ran to my car in the pouring rain. After I backed out of my spot, I was not paying attention and hit a random guy's car while driving through a stop sign. He told me he was not hurt, and we pulled into two nearby spots. When we were swapping insurance information, the random guy (Matt) turned out to be a true mensch (a really nice person). After bonding over this experience, we hugged and said it was nice meeting each other. I thought two things: how lucky no one was hurt and that my first car accident happened with a nice guy. I never thought I would ever run into him again.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

During my senior fall, I campaigned for student government to be a senator for the College of Arts and Humanities. The legislative election is a hybrid of the opening scenes from the 1999 movie Election and the 2009 film Love and Other Drugs. The would-be senators would sit in various spots throughout campus and strike up conversations with anyone. We would all ask, " Hi (insert name), I was wondering what is your major?" If the person said, I am an in the (insert name of school), we would introduce that person to the candidate. When I was campaigning, I knew the best place to be was in front of the UCF student union. The student union's central location and constant traffic flow made it prime real estate. I sat with a group on the last day of the elections, and Maddi happened to be in that group.

(Image courtesy of me)

While talking about our mutual love of painting, she showed me a cooler she painted for her boyfriend's formal. At UCF, people invited to formal would paint their date a cooler as a thank you. So, she showed me the one she did, and the name read Matt in big letters. I laughed and said, " You're Matt's girlfriend; I'm the girl who hit his car.". She responded with the same energy level, " That was you; he only had the nicest things to say about you. I was thinking, who the f%$# is this, Rachel Huss." We both started laughing. That night, we discovered that we were elected to serve the UCF student body.

(Image courtesy of me)

During our final semester of college, Dr. Adrienne Frame, the dean of students, came to talk to the Student Government Senate. She told us the importance of having a board of people who act as your advocates, sounding board, and friend. Maddi and I looked at each other and declared that we were each other's board members.

(Image courtesy of Image depicts Dr. Frame)

In the past, almost four years, Maddi and I remained friends as we both went to post-secondary school, moved to different states, and started new chapters in life. Maddi graduated from law school, took the bar, and is establishing herself in the South Florida legal community. I am so proud of all your hard work and can't wait to see what the future holds for you and my first fender-bender.

(Image courtesy of me)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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