Last year I reflected on my four years at Baylor (full recap of my two years since graduating here) so in order to wrap up my quick walk down memory lane, here’s a re-post of what I shared last May when I gathered my 10 favorite memories from Waco!
I’ve had lots of time to reflect on my four years at Baylor since I graduated one year ago (full recap of my thoughts shared here), so in honor of the past 365 days of postgrad, I wanted to conclude this trio of Baylor-themed blog posts with 10 favorite memories from my college years. This isn’t to say that I only had 10 special moments from freshman to senior year, but these are the ones that stick out the most in my mind. Baylor truly kicked my ass more times than I can count, and I even found myself wanting to drop out when my grades and anxiety became too much, but I’m immensely thankful for my time in Waco and the people and experiences that shaped who I am today. Four cheers for one year! *Note: memories are ordered chronologically*
- Freshman—Watching Baylor football beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater for the first time since 1939 (I wrote about this game here!): I went to my first “away” game with BUGWB (Baylor Golden Wave Marching Band) when I was a freshman marching band member, and I’ll never forget that road trip and game as long as I live! We drove for almost 6 hours on a charter bus from 5 am till we reached the Oklahoma State University campus (not much to see in Oklahoma). Because it was late November, the air temperature was much below freezing and the wind chill made it all the worse. While we watched the game, most of the other band members left to warm up under the stadium, but I watched in the stands the entire time (wearing only a thin long sleeve shirt under my uniform…I was not prepared). My whole body froze, but watching the Bears mark a historic victory for the first time in numerous decades (using a third string QB, by the way) was astounding and is one of my top 10 favorite memories from my time at Baylor!
- Sophomore—Dallas Mochi Festival with Krista, Leah, and Rachel: Before I met the people in my Japanese class, I didn’t have any other girl friends besides Stephanie. Our class was like any other I’d been in during my college years because we all instantly connected and became close friends. I quickly bonded with Krista and when we decided to go to Dallas for their annual Mochi Festival, we invited Rachel and Leah. On the long drive, the four of us immediately formed a friendship that was the basis of our (still existing) connection today. These girls changed my entire experience at Baylor and without them, I wouldn’t have been as happy there as I was.
- Sophomore—Christmas party at Heath’s house: It’s no secret my sophomore to senior years were defined by my job in Baylor’s Athletics Communications department. While I wasn’t best friends with Lo and Jonathan just yet (Lo and I started to become extremely close), my friends were my student coworkers, and I loved learning from all of our bosses, especially Heath—the main man in charge. Toward the end of the Fall semester, our department had gone through some turmoil, but our Christmas party at Heath’s house was a bright spot and one of my 10 favorite memories from my four years. He and his wife made us all dinner, we played games, and opened white elephant presents before going home happy and full. This party was one of the last times we were all together, and I’ll always remember how full of joy I was after.
- Sophomore—Helping with freshmen football recruits: Although I wasn’t working in the football department at Baylor, I was able to work on communications preparation for National Signing Day by interviewing the freshmen football recruits for two weeks. I wasn’t actually doing a lot of work, but I got to hang out with some of my friends in the department, talk to the young recruits about their game day routines and life snippets, and watch the coaches do their jobs. Having the photography guy in our department (who also made my blog header!) take pictures of me pretending to be an athlete was also a fun highlight!
- Junior—Manchester Orchestra concert in Houston with Stephanie: After Stephanie graduated and moved back to Houston, we tried to plan ways we could spend time together despite being so far apart. One weekend my junior year, she drove all the way to Waco to pick me up and we went back to Houston (I’m still baffled at her willingness to drive literally 6 hours in one afternoon) to watch Manchester Orchestra live at the Blue Note! I had never seen them in person before and Stephanie didn’t know any of their music, but we had so much fun during the concert while everyone else in the seats around us were calm and boring as hell. After the concert ended, we drove around downtown Houston trying to find open food places and we picked up Whataburger before driving back to Waco (the woman is a saint I tell you). We talked for an hour or so before I passed out in the car and my mom called and texted me 26 times to see where we were!!
- Junior—Working at the Baylor vs. Texas Tech game at AT&T Stadium: One of the coolest perks of working in Athletics (and my most exciting of the 10 favorite memories), in my opinion, was that every other year when Baylor “hosted” the Texas Tech game at AT&T Stadium, several student workers got to work in the press box as well. My boss drove a few of us along with our other bosses to Dallas where we all watched the game from inside the press box with a massive buffet of food and desserts. We ate expensive plates of food prior to kickoff, and my friend Lauren and I even got to go on the field to take pictures. During the game we didn’t even have to work on anything, and at halftime, we had an entirely new meal selection to eat. Obviously the food wasn’t the most interesting part of the day, but it was thrilling to be in a high place with important media members, prime rib, and a whole ass candy section. Oh, Baylor also won that game, so that was just as wonderful!
- Junior—Jonathan’s first birthday safari at Fossil Rim: By the Spring semester of my junior year, Jonathan, Lo, and I were full fledged best friends who ate most lunches together and bothered each other at work as much as possible. For Jonathan’s birthday that year, Lo and I wanted to surprise him with a road trip to Fossil Rim: his favorite place in the world (I wrote about that day here). Lo’s husband Jason made us all matching t-shirts to wear, we had a cake, and drove around the sanctuary singing songs from The Lion King while feeding every amazing animal. This trip was the first full day we spent together outside of work (though I could add more than 10 favorite moments with just them) and it was one of the highlights of my year.
- Senior—Watching Reggi for 10 days after Zach’s wedding: A distinct nod goes to the weekend I spent in Houston for my former boss/Reggi’s dad Zach’s wedding, which I attended with Lo, Jason, Jonathan, his then-girlfriend/now-wife Urn, and my other former boss Jil and her husband Matt (I love seventh wheeling my adult friends). Because the newly married couple was going on their honeymoon right after, Zach asked me to watch our puppy Reggi for 10 days. I hadn’t seen Reggi in almost a year at that point since he moved to Houston at the end of my junior year, so having him all to myself for nearly two weeks was so special! I love Reggi immensely and I miss him all the time, so I’m grateful for those days that I got to spend with him.
- Senior—Placing second in the Beall Poetry Festival Student Contest: One of the 10 favorite memories of my time at Baylor was when my poem “Dear George” took second place in Baylor’s Beall Poetry Festival Student Contest. I didn’t start to write many of my own poems until my Creative Writing Poetry class in senior fall, so submitting pieces to any contest was too scary. However, my mom convinced me send in my poem and at the contest ceremony, one of my professors announced that I took home the second place prize after being judged by an internationally known poet. I had to read my piece in front of everyone (approximately 50 people) including the panel of poets and almost every English professor. I’m always hard on myself when it comes to the work I create, so having my piece validated by an actual writer felt huge to me!
- Senior—Graduating with a BA in English from Baylor: I had many an academic struggle in college, so earning my diploma in front of my entire extended family after four difficult years was the highlight of my 10 favorite memories in Waco! I couldn’t have ever felt more proud.