Texas State Technical College communications
WACO, Texas – Texas State Technical College students Jacob Bledsoe and Joshua Johnson did not get along when they met as fifth-graders at Homecroft Elementary School. A teacher eventually told them to make peace and try to be friends.
They took the advice. Bledsoe and Johnson, both 20, are now candidates for Texas State's summer commencement Aug. 17 at the Waco Convention Center. Bledsoe is scheduled to receive an electrical construction certificate, and Johnson is set to receive an associate of applied science in welding technology. Both are considering job options in Indiana and Texas.
Today they are best friends, but their friendship took an unexpected turn when Johnson and his family left Indiana and moved to the Lone Star State. "We planned on high school graduation together, but that did not happen," said Bledsoe, son of Jerry and Melissa Bledsoe. Johnson said a teacher at his alma mater, Chisholm Trail High School in Fort Worth, encouraged him to attend Texas State.
Johnson visited the college and liked it. Bledsoe credits Johnson with influencing him to leave Indiana to attend college with him. After graduating from Southport High in 2016, Bledsoe worked at UPS and later as an electrician's helper. "He felt he could be doing more," Johnson said.
Bledsoe applied before seeing the campus for the first time in August 2017, and arrangements were made for the two to live together. The two have learned when to give each other space after classes or on challenging days. Bledsoe tends to be extroverted, and Johnson is more introverted. Bledsoe said Johnson can make great tacos while Bledsoe is good at grilling.
They once lived about 20 minutes apart on the Southside and visited each other's house during the summer after fifth grade. They spent days playing outside, riding in the Bledsoe family's fourwheeler and visiting Kings Island amusement park in Ohio. Although they did not have classes together in sixth grade, there were a few minutes during school days when they would pass in the hallway and talk. Johnson and his family left Indianapolis the summer after his sixth-grade year.
"We were definitely upset," he said. "I was upset that I would lose my friends." The Johnson family lived in Houston for a few months before moving to Fort Worth. While in Houston Johnson got his first Xbox and was able to communicate with Bledsoe through the video game system. "We talked and texted every day too," Johnson said.
Despite the distance between them, they were able to see each other during their freshman and sophomore years. Bledsoe was a defensive end on Southport's football team. Though Johnson never got to see him play, Bledsoe sent him video clips.