"One day, I just asked him to hang out," Pavnica said. "We'd been at the gym and when he was getting into his car, I asked him if he wanted to get some pizza and hang out."
Molchin said Pavnica was "very easy to talk to" and the two "just clicked."
Both boys decided they wanted to study mechanical engineering. Pavnica said a high school aptitude test suggested mechanical engineering as the best career fit for him.
Molchin said he "had no idea" what he wanted to study but was considering aviation.
However, Pavnica talked very positively about engineering.
"So I said, 'OK, I'll become an engineer," Molchin said.
But separation was on the horizon as high school graduation approached.
"I had planned to go to JJC," Pavnica said. "And Molchin was all set up to go to Northern. A week before we started class, he's like, 'Yeah, I don't want to go to Northern. I'm coming to JJC.' And so he followed me to JJC."
Molchin said he planned to study mechanical engineering at Northern Illinois University but then felt it wasn't the right move for him. So he attended JJC for one year, took many of his classes with Pavnica and moved to SIU the following year.
But first the two friends discovered they couldn't do the math, Pavnica said.
"We couldn't do math at the level they wanted," Molchin clarified.
Pavnica said he understands calculus just fine and Molchin said he "can do statistics all day long." Molchin also discovered he didn't enjoy design work At SIU, Molchin learned he could study industrial management and applied engineering, which he felt was a better fit.
And Molchin communicated that information to Pavnica, who finished his core classes at JJC and then joined Molchin at SIU.