for the love of Thursdays

After jam-packed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (class, labs, teaching lab or cycling class keep me busy all hours of the day plus various evening commitments, meetings, intramurals), Thursdays have become sacred this semester. There is just something about the promise of waking up on Thursday mornings knowing that after one more sleep the weekend will have arrived and life as a college student will manage to slow down for a day or two.

This isn’t to say that I only live for the weekends (although it’s hard not to) or don’t enjoy my time in class or working. I am in fact a self-proclaimed nerd and learning-lover who was itching for class to start back up again during the dog days of summer. I also am absolutely loving my new job as a human anatomy lab TA. Not only do I get to use my passion and aptitude for learning the intricacies of the human body, but I’m becoming friends with my “students” who are mostly fellow senior biology majors applying to medical, dental, PA, PT, etc. schools just like me. I proudly already know all fifty of their names and can’t wait to begin dissections next week with them. All that being said, I still long for at least one day alarm-free and knowing that I’ll have a few more hours to devote to things I enjoy outside of school once the end of the week arrives and a little less time to things like studying for my first physics test (yep, third week of school and already took one yesterday).

After discussing and interpreting a few lament Psalms in my morning religion class and quickly working through a physics lab I semi-understood, I was finished for the day around 1 pm.

*Side note – before turning in my first lab report for physics, I was checking my calculations and realized me AND my fellow upperclassman lab partner both found slope of our drawn graph backwards (we did change in x on top instead of y). I had to change all the rest of my answers and analysis and immediately texted my partner that we apparently need to go back to seventh grade algebra. I promise we’re smart. We really are.*

I enjoyed a leisurely lunch (Thursdays are the only day I have time to not scarf a packed wrap or some fruit and nuts in between classes) and did force myself to stay at the science building for just another hour to get a start on some histology notes (this weekend is solely devoted to catching up in that class aka opening my book maybe?) before riding my bike back home.

Here are the real reasons Thursdays are so darn lovely. Today I got home mid afternoon and headed straight to my cozy bedroom, got under the sheets, and didn’t even bother to get my phone from my backpack to set an alarm. I woke up a perfect thirty minutes later, grabbed my book Delancey to hopefully finish (about a young couple opening a pizza restaurant in Seattle that I started reading over the summer just because), and curled up on the couch with the afternoon sun streaming through the window behind me.

Thursday nights are now Lifegroup nights, and that simply means meeting with a fun, intentional, passionate group of college students to be in community, worship, challenge and pray for each other. I had spontaneously told Jenna earlier that we needed to do a girls night of bruschetta and wine, because is there anything better? She quickly agreed, so after Lifegroup I headed to her place and threw together two varieties on golden and crusty roasted garlic bread: classic tomato basil and honey goat cheese/balsamic arugula/prosciutto. Our other friends came over and I insisted I make another batch. We sipped Pinot Grigio, talked, and laughed about everything with Spotify playing Michael Buble in the background. Jenna asked why was I so “crafty/arsty/sophisticated,” and as I plated and topped with the final curls of prosciutto, shavings of grano padano, and last drizzles of EVOO, said,”That is so Shauna!” For those of you that don’t know, I (along with Jenna, Chelsea, my sister and mom) am totally in love with Shauna Niequist’s books, insist to everyone I know that they must read them, and claim that the reason I relate so much is because she is literally me in about twenty years. Go look her up or check out my posts on here about her books that spoke so deeply to me. Long story short, she loves God, she loves people, and she loves eating food with those people, so basically she gets me. 10460322_772389946145578_6775106868803851349_n

As a senior whose GPA is solely down to a pride issue and will not have any implications of my future (i.e. dental school acceptances come December hopefully) now that I’m done with the application process, I have completely embraced these nights when other things matter more than studying: things like going to my favorite coffee shop to read for leisure, time spent with an uplifting community, cooking and eating with those I love, blogging, delaying sleep for an overdue Pinterest binge, and simply saying yes to spiritual and physical rest so I can do it all again next week.

16th grade and I’m still a nerd

yes, we picked out our outfits the night before the first day

yes, we picked out our outfits the night before the first day

It’s official. Now that I have made it to the end of the first week of my last year at Baylor University (cue “Time of Your Life”), I guess I can’t deny it anymore. I’m nowhere near back in the grind of full schedules, classes, and studying, but I guess that’s me already embracing the senior mentality. Heck, I even missed my first day of Tues/Thurs class and lab this week for my Houston interview (dental school/interview update post soon – hint: it involves a purchased plane ticket headed north!). As much as I enjoyed my long summer break free of studying anything besides books for leisure and acoustic guitar, I’m so excited for the new semester. Even after all these years of school (and let’s not do the math on how much more I have ahead of me), I still love brand new notebooks, pens, and pencils. Here’s a quick look into my classes this semester:

funny faces, brought to you by appendix tissue

funny faces, brought to you by appendix tissue

Histology – For any non-biologists out there, that would be the microscopic study of tissues. Sounds less than riveting, but I’d like to argue on behalf of the class and professor that it will in fact be really interesting (in other words extremely difficult but rewarding per usual of my favorite science classes). The professor is a recently retired pathologist, and with an M.D. and PhD., clearly he’s brilliant (or insane for that much schooling?). One of his favorite topics to discuss is his many former students now in med/dental/etc school texting him while they’re in histo lecture saying how bored they are since he prepared them immensely. Another class to suffer through now to have life be a tad bit easier later? I’ll take it.

Physics – Yes, you read that right. I put this “freshman-level” class off until now simply because it is not on the DAT and is not a prereq for any other classes for my major. Eight hours are required in my degree and for dental school prerequisites, though, so here I am working my way through online homework problems about trains passing each other. Joy. My prof at least is the sweetest and nerdiest Colorado native that seems to genuinely want to help us conquer the beast that is physics, and I know a few fellow pre-dent friends with senioritis in my class.

Psalms and Wisdom Literature – Once again, I get to study the Bible for college credit. As much of a challenge it always is and oftentimes outside of my academic comfort zone, I still love that I made the choice to do a religion minor at one of the top Christian universities. My professor is a jolly old man that reminds me of Santa Claus, and he pretty much already knows all the names in our small class made of a mix of religion majors, a few Chi-O’s, and a large handful of people that go to my church (if you go to Baylor you will understand this is comically predictable). I can’t wait to see what all I’ll learn this semester about one of my favorite sections of the Bible.

Organizational Behavior – this is the intro class in the Management department required for my business administration minor. I didn’t exactly go into it excited about another class with a lot of material not entirely relevant to my future career as a private practice dentist. I guess some ideas will be applicable to organizing my staff and understanding how people work together, though. The professor is a bit bitter towards higher education and claims to have hated every minute he was in school. He said he became a professor to teach students what actually matters that he was never taught; things like your GPA doesn’t matter, work you do at your job doesn’t matter, only using the corporation’s agenda to fulfill you own agenda. See why I already tune him out often? I’m not complaining about his non-existent attendance policy and saving us a chunk by not having to buy the textbook, though.

b-e-a-utiful and ready for football on the Brazos

b-e-a-utiful and ready for football on the Brazos

The first week was also filled with reunions with old friends literally all day long in the science building, leading my first couple of sections as an anatomy lab assistant (loving it already), the first pumped up college worship service of the year at my church, taking in the sights of our brand new football stadium at Traditions Rally, and some Friday night pizza and drinks topped off with a hilarious round of Balderdash with friends.

Cheers! To senior year.

ASDA Mouthing Off post – I guess I’m a real blogger now!

In the craziness of the last couple of weeks, I forgot to update all my pre-dental / dental student readers out there that my article I wrote for the American Student Dental Association’s blog, Mouthing Off, was published recently. It was also a fun fact to share in my last interview. If you’ve followed my blog the past few months, it was basically a revision of my original post on here about my dental mission trip to Panama last spring break. If you’ve always wondered what those trips are really like, read my post to get a first-hand look at the incredible experience.

“A smile is the same in any language”

Interview #1: nerve-racking or…fun??

The long awaited step that has been the one part of the application process I’ve always felt the least prepared for has officially started: I’ve got one dental school interview behind me!

My first one was at UTHSC – San Antonio this past week. One fun thing about interviews is the opportunity to squeeze a mini vacation out of it. My older sis and baby nephew tagged along for a couple days down to the chips and salsa capital of Texas.

but first, pizza

but first, pizza

Since this was my first of a few, I was slightly nervous and somewhat over-prepared. I trudged my way through pages of possible questions the week before and recruited Jenna to mock interview me as well as my sis helping the night before. Here’s a sample of some of the common questions I researched and thought up answers (but definitely not too-rehearsed) for:

Why dentistry?
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
Why our school?
How do you define success?
Tell me about your leadership experience.
Tell be more about ___________ (interesting topic from personal statement/other essays).
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
What career would you pursue if not dentistry?

I put on my brand spanking new suit and the heels that I was dreading would cause issues (I managed to end the day blister free thankfully), and found my way to the admissions office. I was thankful that me and my roommate were lucky enough to get the same interview date for both of our first. Having someone to make eye contact with during awkward moments or do mutual teeth checks with (remember we’re all talking to teeth-obsessed people so it matters, ok?) after lunch was a welcome gift. Once everyone had arrived in the conference room, I think I counted about twenty students. There was a collective quiet nervousness from everyone, but as the day went on and I got to talk to some of them, they were mostly pretty cool. The thought that some of these people could in fact become my classmates and best friends the next four years was crazy. We started with a presentation by the dean of student affairs about the school, curriculum, special programs, and student life. Next, there was a financial aid presentation discussing FASFA, loans, and the ridiculously intimidating dollar amounts none of us wanted to talk about. For lunch, one of my favorite parts of the day was getting to talk with current students about the school and life as a dental student. The (relevant side note – very attractive) guy that sat near me and I mostly talked to was a D3, super friendly, and eager to answer all my questions. Our interviews started around 1:00, and my student interview was first. Overall, it was extremely laid-back, and we clicked great; we discussed everything from triathlons to dental missions. Here’s some of the questions he really asked me (different from the lengthy list I practiced, but things I actually wanted to talk about).

What do you do to relieve stress?
What kind of books do you like to read?
How do you stay organized?
What will you/your strengths bring to our school?
How do you handle conflict?

Of course then I had a few questions I got to ask him about the school and how he likes living in San Antonio. We could have talked for several more minutes, but he had to take me down the hall to my faculty interviewer. 

My professor who interviewed me was an older ex-air-force doc over their AEGD programs in the comprehensive dentistry department (in other words a pretty important guy), and I could just tell by his loud and friendly demeanor that this interview would probably be just as stress-free. Again, I was wondering why I even thought to worry about this whole thing. We talked about playing music, my cooking, his military traveling, and he was especially interested in my religion minor. I went on to tell him about my personal interest in studying the Bible academically and even described a lot of the classes I had taken. Before I even started though, he said he could already tell I was a Christian (he was too) by the first ten minutes of our interview. It was really neat to be able to talk about one of my passions outside of dentistry-specific topics like my experience in Baylor’s religion department. Some other questions included:

How do you handle conflict? (again)
What do you do in your free time?
What kind of books do you read? (again)
How do you plan your day and stay organized/handle busy schedules?
What are your strengths?

Just like my first interview, we could have chatted for the rest of the hour. I felt like I had just met two people over coffee and talked about life. THIS was what I had been anxious about for so many months? He walked me back to the admissions office, and when we parted ways, he shook my hand and basically showered me with affirmation and wishes for my best. I was so thankful to be paired with such a genuine guy who loved his profession, being apart of the UTHSCSA family, and was so positive and encouraging to me in my future as a dentist.

The day ended with tour of the school, during which I actually ran into a friend there for a med school interview – small world! He casually blended in and tagged along to our tour so we could chat for a bit. After the tour we took a quick survey and had to write a short essay (nothing to really fret about – I can knock out a page on just about anything and make it sound convincing). I made sure and get one picture from the day with Audrey before catching the shuttle back to the hotel.

started freshman year, now we're here

started freshman year, now we’re here

I’ve got the other two Texas interviews this week and next, and I’m only hoping they are also so laid back and enjoyable. It turns out these seemingly scary days that determine our future could actually be…fun? After all, I should be looking forward to them because they are how I’ll get a feel for where I could be spending the next crazy hard but incredibly exciting next four years of my life.

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What else to celebrate one interview down than fish tacos and a marg on the riverwalk?

Interviews, SDN, and other nerdy things

Is this real life? All this time leading up to this next phase of interviews (and then ultimately/hopefully acceptances!) and now it’s finally here. I’m so grateful because I’ve already heard back from each of the Texas schools for interview invites! All of them are happening in August though (as soon as the 11th), and with it now being the 2nd, I’m getting slightly nervous since it’s so soon. I’m trying to be patient about the other out of state schools I applied to because according to Student Doctor Network (basically the type-A future doctor’s bible on all things admission tests/interviews/applications – and where I go to get a good laugh in at how ridiculous and stressed these guys are sometimes), they haven’t started to send out invites yet.

I quit working at Gap a couple weeks ago (freeeeedom), and I recently informed The Shack that this would be my last two weeks there – seriously so hard to do, and I’m not looking forward to whenever I have my last shift there. I hope if any of them are reading this they understand how much I loved and appreciated that job this summer. They let me fulfill my lifelong hope of working in a restaurant, and I have nothing but great memories to take with me.

I’ve spent some time (in between lots of spontaneous nights with friends, old and new) at one of my favorite spots in town to tackle projects with bottomless coffee and sweet morning treats in hand.10348360_750482198336353_6367950917821525942_n

First on the to-do list was to finish writing my blog post discussing my dental mission trip to Panama for the American Student Dental Association’s “Mouthing Off” blog (to be published this coming Friday!).  I have actually started to look into potential interview questions and tried to do some more research on each of the schools to somehow think up some all-too-important questions for my interviewers (without looking stupid by asking something I could easily find on their website). I’m confident on the talking about me part, so I’m hoping the interviews just turn into conversations elaborating on my application, discussing the latest books I’ve read, or what I do in my spare time to handle stress like blogging. Hey, it could happen.

Another task was crossed off this week when I purchased my first big girl professional suit. Now I’ve just got to find some “conservative” shoes to accompany it because for some reason admission committees don’t think dentists can be professional and stylish at the same time. I beg to differ.

To top off this post about the past busy few weeks, I think a picture of this Etsy purchase I bought for myself, just because, is in order. 10313654_751601114891128_1427569048264042981_n

It’s Saturday, friends. SMILE.

“Everything is interim…”

IMG_7566The dog days of summer are upon us, and I’ve definitely reached that point of the season when I’m so looking forward to the next that I can honestly admit that I’m just about ready to fast forward to August and a new semester. I am in fact a nerd and do actually enjoy school and busy schedules. This summer has been one of mental, spiritual, and physical recharging (i.e. sleeping incredibly more than I do Aug-May), trying to save up some funds, falling back in love with making music, diving into new and unexpected friendships that have marked my life forever (needing an entire post of their own), and of course tackling dental school applications and soon interviews (more exciting news on that to come!). Today I was trying to finish up my last Shauna Niequist read (if you’ve missed my past posts over the last year you should know that she is my soul sister and basically me in twenty years – I dream of having dinner at her table one day), Cold Tangerines – with a side of cold brew coffee -and the chapter titled “Writing in Pencil” resonated so deeply with me.  She basically highlights the [not always sunshine-and-roses] adventure that is discovering the difference between our seemingly immovable plans and God’s always-surprising yet perfect paths we end up on. IMG_7570 This summer is definitely one of those interim times of future-oriented thinking as I try to wrap my brain around how different my life (and bank account) could look the next four to ten years based on where I end up getting accepted and attending school after college. This road is ever-changing and every day I feel like God has something new to reveal to me about where He’s leading. I had a friend a few weeks ago put it in a new light, though, that really changed my previous view of “I just want to go where God wants me to go.” He said that God only wants to give us the deepest desires of our heart (Psalms 37:4-5 happens to be one of my favorite verses in the Bible) and that He is not only walking in front of us “leading us”, but right beside us and also behind us, nudging us to take the path we really want to (if it is a desire He has placed on our heart). He gives us new dreams for our lives and wants nothing for us but to thrive along the way of seeing those dreams become a reality. We are truly IN Christ and Christ is IN us, so can we ever really lose? Nope. I realized that no matter where I ultimately decide to go, I can’t really make the “wrong” decision. The point is not if I end up in Texas, Colorado, or the East Coast, it’s that anywhere I am, God will be there with me, molding and shaping me into who He has created me to be in THIS season and each season to follow. So I can sit here and think my life will look like ______ in five years (think something like starting an OMFS residency, most certainly not married yet, living in a “cozy” city apartment with a dog), but more than likely I could be beyond surprised by the goodness of God to make it look entirely different from my stubborn plans. I’m so thankful that “life with God is a daring dream, full of flashes and last-minute exits and generally all the things we’ve said we’ll never do,” and that “with the surprises comes great hope.” Here’s to putting down the permanent marker and picking up a pencil, open to erasures and edits from an Author writing the best version of our lives we never saw coming.

the 254 and why it feels like home

wacotown-mar14People too often like to talk indifferently about this little city in the “Heart of TX” along I-35 between Dallas and Austin, but after living here for three years, I can’t help but speak up on behalf of my lovely home away from home in Wacky Waco.

I’m not claiming it’s some new bustling metropolis, but it’s so much more than just a place for a pit stop for a Cowboy Coffee (granted, that’s a pretty good reason) during a long Texas roadtrip.

These are just some little treasures I’ve discovered (or have been dying to) that help make the 254 what it is (and I’d add photos but there are too many to choose from of my 3 years of living here!):

  • It happens to be the home of Baylor University, a.k.a. the best college ever. Duh.
  • Sunsets that can’t be beat over the Brazos and now the brand-spanking new McClane Stadium awaiting its debut.
  • The wackiest and most perfect little coffee shop, Common Grounds. So many things make it the Waco treasure that it has come to be: the lived-in couches, cleverly-named and highly-caffeinated beverages that I partly owe my high GPA streak to, and the coziest backyard which has hosted musical guests like Jon Foreman, Phil Wickham, Needtobreathe, All Sons and Daughters, Ben Rector, and Gungor (all of which I’ve seen and/or MET).
  • That same shop’s competition and the newly named #2 on the top 20 hottest coffee shops in the nation, Dichotomy Coffee and Spirits. Seriously, why have espresso and alcohol never really been friends before this? We all know avid coffee lovers usually are the same people who appreciate a good cocktail. This place is a young-urban-hipster-craft-drink-connoisseur’s paradise. The rooftop view of the courthouse and the highly photographed Alico building’s red letters is the icing on this espresso cake.
  • Stand-up-paddleboarding on the river or “mountain” biking through trails on a sunny spring day, courtesy of rentals from locally-owned Outdoor Waco.
  • A city of passionate believers on a mission to set the world on fire, starting with McLennan County and reaching to Southeast Asia. There are an indefinite number of students and adults in Waco that I meet day in and day out that live to dream big with God and want to see the nations set free. My church, Antioch Community Church, is also the host of World Mandate, an incredible annual Christian conference.
  • Lake Waco Dam. Again with the sunsets…
  • This is Dr. Pepper country. So much so that Dr. Pepper [Float] Hour is every Tuesday at 3:00 in Barfield Drawing Room on Baylor’s campus. I’ve only been about twice in my college career due to a little thing called being a science major and living in labs at all hours.
  • The newest and biggest HEB in Texas. If you don’t happen to live in central/south TX or Mexico, man am I sorry for you. HEB is the gloriousness that is the best grocery store ever that makes even uttering the word “Walmart” downright absurd. Fresh, hot, scratch-made tortillas daily (these are not the kind to be used for tortilla tossing off the suspension bridge, another Baylor tradition), free samples and cooking demos, ample produce and specialty ingredients that meet the needs of most foodies, and two whole aisles of an extensive and quality beer and wine collection.
  • Cameron Park is one of the largest and most beautiful municipal parks in Texas. I’ve spent countless hours on the trails (and gotten lost a time or two), worshipped with friends on the grassy fields, ran two Bearathons (Baylor’s half-marathon) through the dreaded hills, and enjoyed some quality quiet times reading and journaling from Lover’s Leap overlooking the Brazos. Apparently it’s also something like the best disc golf course ever if you’re into that, but I can’t attest to it since I don’t have oodles of free time to throw a frisbee to some targets.
  • An on-the-rise downtown with new restaurants, bars (my favorite is easily Muddle – a classy cocktail lounge where the best Saturday nights are spent at the weekly piano bar or on the back deck with a taco and a live band), food trucks, and shops opening up all the time as well as the weekly Farmer’s Market. It’s so refreshing after growing up in a small town with about 70% of downtown vacant and rundown.

This collection is no where near all-inclusive, but at least you can see what it is I love about this place that I’ve come to call my home and can’t imagine having to leave in less than a year.

#Iheartthe254 #Wacotown #Wacoisawonderland #KeepWacoWacko #HeartofTX

Meat and other ‘Merica things


10367736_737019966349243_6995694065233738491_nWell I’d say I’ve officially crossed the bridge to being a real live American woman by cooking my first successful big roast of meat. Sure, I cook all the time, but rub down and roast a four pound pork butt for seven hours in my oven, I had not.

I had my friends over for a pre-July 4th celebration last night since all of us actually have to work today (what is that? that is not exactly freedom, my friends). I don’t even know why I automatically jumped to pulled pork sandwiches, but once I did I had the whole menu played out in my mind. I did some researching and landed upon this fabulous recipe for more of a Texas style pulled pork that wasn’t drowning in crockpot liquid (pulled pork is really not a TX thing, but I might like it better than fatty brisket, shhhhh).

http://thegoudalife.tumblr.com/post/26502809520/slow-down-eat-pork-coffee-chipotle-pulled-pork

A coffee chipotle rub and dry low and slow heat give you that beautiful charred bark on the outside and fall apart moist and slightly sweet meat on the inside. If that’s not American, then I don’t know what is. I let DJ contribute by having the all too important task of shredding the pork, even though I knew he was bound to (and did) “taste-test” about a half pound of it before bringing to the table. Boys…

I tossed the pork with about a cup of Stubb’s original BBQ sauce (again with the accidental TX theme) and paired it with the slaw from the same site (with the addition of carrots): red cabbage, julienned jals, cilantro, and a great tangy lime dressing (I subbed Greek yogurt for the mayo). Spicy, limey, and crunchy perfection to contrast the smoky sweet pork. I toasted up a combination of honey wheat Hawaiian rolls for sliders and onion rolls for regular sized sandwiches.

For an easy side, I roasted a few ears of corn (in their husks and directly on the oven rack at 350 for about 30 min) and served them with a chili lime honey butter that really complimented the pork sandwiches. I just eyeballed amounts of chili powder, lime juice, and honey and stirred into room temp butter.

Jenna brought over the cutest little watermelon, and dinner was served. Of course some cold, classic Shiner was the perfect beverage for this Texas, I mean American, celebration. After another dinner of hilarious conversations, we played a round of Apples to Apples and concluded that none of us have low self esteem or confidence issues; it gets pretty heated and competitive with our four fiery personalities, the only way games should be in my opinion.

What other way to finish off a Fourth of July dinner party than with Bluebell berry sundaes and watching one of the greatest American works of the 20th century, The Great Gatsby?

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Happy Independence Day to all you lovely Americans. Rep those Stars and Stripes proudly wherever you may be today, and never take our freedom for granted!10151998_737240736327166_9154440737824637170_n

The gift of waiting

jessie:

A fellow Waco blogger (that apparently goes to the same church as me) whose words are what so many young women my age and in this season need to read. Thank you for this difficult but beautiful reminder.

Originally posted on Wonder & Wandering:

Six years ago I met a boy. I had zero romantic interest in him, but we became the best of friends. We loved all the same things… soccer, live music, pizza + beer… the list could go on but these ones carry most of my memories of friendship with him.

We spent more afternoons at my favorite coffee shop in Jonesboro, Arkansas than I can remember between 2008-2010, sometimes talking and sometimes just sharing a table while I studied and he planned worship sets. We took as many trips to Memphis as we could to see our favorite bands play together. We talked sports and there was never anything more than a high five going on between us every time we left hanging out.

Then 2011 rolled around. He had a girlfriend at the time, and I remember beginning to think that I missed my best friend. Somewhere over those…

View original 922 more words

(Part 2) So you’re done with high school: A college senior’s thoughts to new grads

Well I promised a continuation of my rambling advice about entering college, so here it is (even though it’s really only one more huge point I wanted to talk about). If you missed part 1 – check it out here:

http://eatpraylearnblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/so-youre-done-with-high-school-a-college-seniors-thoughts-to-new-grads/

srat

shout out to all my tri delt friends ;)

6. Do not feel like you need to rush Greek life to make friends or fit in. This is in no way meant to take a stab at all my incredible friends that do happen to be in a sorority/fraternity. They know I like to give them a hard time sometimes, but I’m sure all of them could convince you to rush after telling you that Greek life has done all these great things for them. I’m just speaking from personal experience, the decision I made that was best for me, and wanting to give you the other side of the story that too often gets no attention. Even though it feels like Greeks sometimes run the campus or are everywhere, in reality, it’s often the considerable minority (Baylor’s is surprisingly only around 25% I think). From the second you step on campus, you will get asked a very typical slew of questions from everyone you meet: where you’re from, what are you majoring in, which dorm you’re in, and lastly ARE YOU GOING TO RUSH? I hate this question just because it automatically places you in one of two categories. Well I’m telling you that if you answer no and your peers no longer want to pursue that friendship with you (aka potential sister/brotherhood), then they never really were going to be your close friends. Some people think that if they don’t join a frat/srat it will be impossible to make a lot of friends in college, network for business (oh how I get that answer every single time and why our business building – nicknamed Hankamer High – easily has the highest percentage of Greeks), or that they’ll miss out on something that apparently is advertised as a crucial part of normal college life. Here’s my opinion on it, and why I chose to answer no every single time I got that question.

  • Money. We’re already attending a very expensive private university, and several hundred to even a couple thousand more a semester would never fly with my parents. I’d rather any little extra bit be going to my future schooling/wedding fund personally.
  • Constant forced socializing. I am exactly down the middle of extravert and introvert. I really do love meeting new people and would consider myself a pretty outgoing, confident, and friendly person. I do not consider myself as someone who enjoys surface level small talk or having to attend meetings, mixers, socials, and several other events every week because I need “points.” Also, who actually has time to get ready and dress up that much? Between full course-loads and working multiple jobs I barely have time to sit down and eat dinner or even shower every single night.
  • Girls and way too many of them. Hello, estrogen overload. I love my good girl friends, I really do. But expecting to be like “sisters” with over 100 girls and never getting tired of hanging out with any of them? I’ve actually always considered myself as a girl that would almost rather have more guy friends than girls. I love hanging out with guys because, generally, there is no fake facade, catty gossip, diet talk, judging each other all the time, or emotional roller coasters complaining about being single or asking for advice about their breakups.
  •  Limited opportunities for non-Greek things. This was probably my biggest deciding factor. I am someone that loves to be involved in several different spheres and could never narrow myself to being in just one or two things and have the SAME friends that do everything together (aka srats/frats). It always seemed to me that girls in the same sororities were such tight friends (think, “On Wednesdays we wear pink”), but those sisters were the only kind of people they interacted with consistently. The main answer I give is usually something like, “I didn’t want to be in a sorority, because I didn’t want to JUST be in a sorority.” With all the crazy time commitments they have and events planned all the time, it didn’t seem like something I would want to sacrifice so much for in order to commit to only that one thing. I’m highly involved in ASDA, All-University Sing, the fitness department, academic jobs (SI, TA), Antioch Church, previously the choral department, and oh yeah – I’m a biology major with double minors applying to school to become a doctor (my grades kind of matter). I love having so many countless friends ALL over campus and from all kinds of backgrounds with such varying personalities, passions, things in common with me, etc. Variety really is the spice of life, and I just didn’t want to be so into sorority life that that’s all I really got to do in college. Finally, there was no way I wanted it to take time away from studying and succeeding in school which was in fact the reason I came to college: furthering my education.

Again, please don’t read this as me thinking I’m so above Greek life, and I completely realize that it is absolutely the best decision to rush for some people. Just don’t believe the lie that it also has to be for you.