In 2003, I took my first step onto the campus of Texas A&M University. I was in the process of picking a college to attend in the fall, and A&M was a “safety school” for me. As I walked through campus, I fell in love with the spirit. I fell in love with what Texas A&M stood for. Howdy. Silver Taps. Muster. Everything about it was calling me.
I’ve been asked many time why I didn’t go to Texas, or some other school. I was never really able to explain it, but A&M was different for me. It’s a place that asks you to be more, to do more, to be better. At the same time, it rewards you with a family. A&M isn’t about the superficial. There’s a thread that runs through it. Howdy is more than a word, more than a greeting. It’s a friendliness that embodies what A&M stands for.
I feel blessed and honored to have been an Aggie from the moment I took my first campus tour. Of course, being an Aggie isn’t always easy. I spent my 5 football seasons as a student watching us lose. A lot. Including a 77-0 bea down by Oklahoma. Since then, I’ve seen us excel when we were a sure underdog, and falter under heavy expectations.
Yesterday, I watched my favorite team of all roll into Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We started the season with no expectations. A new coach. A new, and much tougher, conference. Hopes to just sneak into a bowl. We sit here now with two tough losses at home to tough new SEC opponents. But as the clocked ticked to 0:00, Texas A&M was on top. Beating the number one team in the nation is unreal.
The thing is, I’ve never needed the football to have the passion for A&M. UT fans that I graduated high school with hang their hats on a 2006 National Championship. And while I wish we could have achieved something similar, the football is not what A&M is about. I’m so thankful for the 4.5 years I spent there. To always feel part of one giant family. As I sit here, less than a mile south of another great university, I miss my home of College Station.
I am thankful for each and every Aggie that makes Texas A&M a special place.
Recently I was thinking about when I turned 15 and started to learn to drive. I remember riding in a car with one of the older girls on my basketball team, and wondering if driving would ever feel as natural and easy as it looked for them. I didn’t think I would ever be comfortable behind the wheel of a car.
And then, bam, it was like second nature. I could drive to school without thinking hard about changing lanes and tun signals. It just happened.
A lot of things are like that. This summer, starting a new internship, I felt overwhelmed and scared that I would have no idea how to do anything. But then, as sure as anything, I got used to it. There’s a certain comfortability that comes after a few weeks. You figure out a little bit more of how everything works everyday. And while I am nowhere near having it all figured out, it’s not scary anymore.
Life is kind of like that. You start a new school without any idea of where you’ll fit in, or who your friends will be. And then you figure it out. You move to a new place and have no idea how to even get to the grocery store. And then you figure it out. Let’s just hope that life overall is like that. Maybe someday, I’ll figure it out.
Now that I’ve been in grad school for a year, it may be time to look into a folder I’ve been keeping in my bookmarks bar. Every time I saw something I wanted during the school year that I wanted but most assuredly could not afford at the time, I bookmarked it. So I’m sure this folder is full of clothes that are no longer available, and other things I still can not afford. Some of these don’t even have “This product is no longer available” place holders. Let’s take a look…
- Victoria’s Secret sequin miniskirt. I can’t even grab a picture of this because the link leads to nowhere. I did get a sequin miniskirt, so I’ll consider this fulfilled.
- This Phoebe Couture sequin dress. Alright, so I would probably never really get to wear this anywhere, but I still love it. And…it’s still (sorta) for sale. Hmmmmm.
- No longer available from Zappos Nine West sequin Luminare flats. These are so cute. Maybe I can still find them.
- These just serve as another replacement for Louboutins. Still, I need some nude shoes.
- I’m cheating a little here, because I actually bookmarked some Dolce Vita heels, but these are similar and more awesome.
- Inexpensive and work appropriate…color block dress.
- Ha. These…and the wellies to go with them. Unfortunately, I have no budget for Hunter boots.
- Another dress I wish I had an excuse to wear. I love long-sleeve mini dresses.
- Tiny rings. Although I did by a similar Kate Spade one, I’d love to stack these. Especially with initials.
- And in a bit of a change of category…this iPad stand. Luckily, this one can wait for real life when I have time to cook again.
Alright, there are so many more things on my list, but they can wait for another post.
I am genuinely amazed about the great people around me. I know many who know me will scoff, but I consider myself lucky to have gone to two schools that put such an emphasis on service. Undergrad at Texas A&M showed me a range of service, from fun giant one day projects, to weekly service, to public service to our country, there’s a spirit that can’t be denied.
Of course, service is a huge part of Notre Dame too. I’m lucky enough to go to school with some great colleagues, many of whom have started their own initiatives (here, here, and here). It’s been great to get to support these causes and attend their events. I’ve also been so lucky to have participated in many of these projects over the past year. I feel honored to be part of such a great program.
There’s an important message of giving back. Whether its to your community, or to the world, there’s always more to do.
Living without a TV that’s all my own has led me back to my love for bad music. #consequences. It’s quite unfortunate, but my music tastes have been heavily influenced by bad music favored by the best-worst college (2.0) bars that I frequent at school. While a list of songs that have been added to my repertoire will at some time surface in a future post, I am digressing.
My love affair with music stems heavily from its ability to pull me back to memories, whether they be good or bad. Hearing that random song on the radio that was on the radio every day the summer of seventh grade, or the Vitamin C graduation song that was played over and over with “I’ll miss all of my friends, class of ___” from high school has an instantaneous effect.
In the same way, smells have an intoxicating effect. The smell of home when it’s been too long, or the cologne that a boyfriend was fond of can just get my mind going. There’s something beautiful and sad in some memories, but I guess that’s what makes it so fun.
Today, I decided I could live in New York City and love every minute of it. As much as I love my home state, and as much as I would like to deny it, the hustle and bustle of New York appeals to a part of me that craves excitement. While I’ve tried to deny forever the possibility of moving east, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the feel of the city. Being in my mid twenties and in school leaves me with so many possibilities for life. There are so many things that could happen or not happen, but having the unknown out there is what makes it more interesting.
Notably, I am not quite working in the city this summer. Luckily, a short trip south and I am fully entrenched in the concrete jungle, or as a friend likes to put it “the Mecca.” You can ignore the obvious problems with the nickname. Two little day trips of tourist-ing have given me a taste. But I want more. I want to get to know it, feel it, and part of me would like to try having it be my home. At least for a time.
When thinking of the future, there is so much to consider. Pondering moving further away from family is at the same time exciting and sad. It’s hard to think that my parents won’t be a short three hour drive away, but a whole plane ride of logistics away. At the same time, there is so much possibility ahead (ignoring the poor job market). One year from now I will be graduating from business school, left with a career ahead of me (hopefully).
One year ago, I was mentally preparing to start a new journey in life, ready to leave the state I’ve always called home for school in Indiana. Fresh off of my first trip to Notre Dame, where I got to meet some of my future classmates, I was nervous and excited about what was to come.
One year later, South Bend is my third home (after San Antonio and College Station, of course). I could not have asked for a better first year of business school. From orientation, to long days spent cramming in Mendoza, to football games, to snow (a big deal for a Texas girl), to China, to meeting some of the best people around, this year has been a whirlwind of experiences. I’m not sure I could ask for anything more.
Of course, a year in my life would not be complete without a few pictures.
Saying goodbye to Houston
Orientation – Perfect time to see the football field
First social of the year – pub golf
Tailgates…with no tailgate in site
Birthday with some of the bests
Career Fair is over? Let’s go to Disney!
Exploring campus with my best friend
And exposing her to after game rituals
Watching classmates winning the grad league flag football game in ND Stadium
Beating #1 Syracuse = Court Rushing
- Hockey games are all that and more
Watching friends compete in Bengal Bouts
Let’s get dressed up…for prom
Meanwhile, in China…
I may never bowl like this again.
Because spring football is a great excuse to have fun
Mud Volleyball – I wish I could say it was all fun
Let’s get dressed up again…
Family breakfast, because we have to say goodbye for the summer
And one crazy, fun, exhausting year later, I can’t imagine a better experience. All I have to show for it is some pictures, a lot of great memories, 17 classes worth of credit, and some great friends.