After meeting in the college dorms, Brooke and Sunshine celebrated overcoming the challenges the pandemic has posed and their love in this beautiful sunset photoshoot.
Tell us about meeting in the college dormitoreies.
We met in August 2019 at a Historically Women’s College in California, where Sunshine was in their senior year, and Brook was a new junior transfer student. We were both resident assistants for dormitories at the college and met at staff training, where we were immediately into each other.
During a break in training, Brook mentioned she hadn’t gotten a campus tour yet, so Sunshine took her on a history tour of the campus and was so nervous that they couldn’t make eye contact the entire time.
We flirted for quite some time and began dating that November.
Do you have a favorite memory together?
Brook: I have loved the little trips Sunshine and I have gone on. Our road trip to visit my family was incredibly amazing, and I loved seeing Wisconsin for Christmas as well! But, of course, our time together on the Mills College campus is also special to me. One particular memory is sitting together under the wisteria while I worked on my senior thesis.
Sunshine: I feel like this changes every time we travel together. From hiking at Los Osos State Park in California to a trip to meet Brook’s family in Idaho, it always sticks with me when we travel and explore. With us both being Geminis, it makes sense that we have the most fun when new environments and adventures surround us!
How has dealing with Covid while fiishing up senior year challenged your relationship?
Brook: Going to school through the pandemic was a massive challenge for both of us. And a challenge that lasted through both of our senior years. But, I think we learned a lot about what each of us needs in a relationship, how to communicate those needs, and what is most helpful when the other person is struggling.
Sunshine helped me through the stress of senior thesis, graduation, and being uncertain about the future, and I hope I was able to support them similarly!
Sunshine: Living through COVID quarantine, my depressive episodes, or living long distance from each other have been the most challenging. The main thing that has helped us maintain our relationship and make it through these challenges is our patience and communication through all of them.
I am always impressed by Brook’s open and direct communication about thoughts and feelings, and I have developed sharing my own as our relationship has grown. We have had to learn a lot of patience for ourselves.
As our lives have felt interrupted by the pandemic, and our plans for careers have been tossed upside down.
It hasn’t been easy, and I’m so thankful that Brook has held on with me as we continue to navigate our roller-coaster lives these days.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
Brook: Sunshine’s kindness and generosity towards others are some of the many things I love about them. They are always willing to lend a hand, be a shoulder to cry on, or just listen, and I admire how genuinely compassionate they are towards everyone. They are also hilarious, intelligent, and always looking for a new passion project.
Sunshine: It’s absolutely impossible to pick one thing. I could narrow it down to her wit and humor about her personality, she’s so quick and observant, and our senses of humor click so well that she’s constantly making me laugh. Physically, she is incredibly elegant. She is a dancer and it shows, she holds herself so well that when she enters a space, she just exudes confidence and grace.
What do you dream of in a future together?
Brook: I am looking forward to a future with lots of travel, jobs we both love and are passionate about, and feeling joyful and fulfilled. I’m definitely on board with traveling the world, but going to space freaks me out a little!
Sunshine: My ideal future would be that we both find jobs in our respective fields. Brook’s in International Relations, mine in Public History, and in the same city where we will have the chance to be together in person again and live with our lovely kitty, Willow. Beyond that, I hope to see us travel the world (And maybe space. Jk. Maybe.)!
Tell us about why you decided to have photos taken of your love.
Sunshine: We had a wonderful time on this shoot with Kassia. The outfits we chose were gowns we got for a school-hosted ball just before COVID hit. We missed our one chance to go together while we were both students, and the dresses sat in our closets for a year before we could finally pull them out and have a beautiful evening together.
Brook: Kassia is a fantastic photographer. She made us feel comfortable, found an incredible spot for the shoot, and the photos all turned out beautiful.
Photography by Kassia J