Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office


Leave a comment

Student Submission: Jumbotrons and Grimy Games

When I think of TCU, I think of a family. I think of smiling faces, unique opportunities and Horned Frog spirit. I think of people that are accepting, loving and passionate. I think of a campus where fellowship fills every classroom and relationships flourish. I think of a beautiful place that I am blessed to be able to call home. TCU is not just a school in Fort Worth or a place on a map, but it is a true community. It is a community that unconditionally supports one another and provides an endless amount of opportunities to succeed. My role in this Horned Frog family began the first time I stepped onto the campus.

Grimy Games are the highlight of Frog Camp Challenge!

Grimy Games are the highlight of Frog Camp Challenge!

My adventure and remarkable journey took off when I was deeply impacted by the welcoming community of TCU at Frog Camp. I felt like a valued member of the student body within minutes. Becoming a Frog Camp facilitator then became a dream of mine, for now it was my turn to spread the contagious joy and vigor for TCU to all those who had not experienced it yet. This drive is what keeps the community of TCU so alive and meaningful. Whether diving into a pile of oatmeal during grimy games or breaking it down on the dance floor in front of a new Horned Frog family, there is comfort and trust surrounding each moment.

I felt so loved as a first-year student and when I became a facilitator last year, I knew I needed to turn around and spread that love to other students. My community began at Frog Camp but as soon as the school year began, I experienced TCU’s incredible spirit in a whole other way.

Football season at TCU is an exciting and eclectic time. I experienced the communal aspects of TCU in a completely different light and I have been hooked ever since. It is amazing to see the stands filled, Horned Frog spirit seeping from every crevice and fans that are truly bleeding purple. Game day can bring us all together to not only cheer on our team but also to celebrate the incredible school that we all attend.

Even Jerry Jones's jumbotron couldn't contain the TCU spirit.

Even Jerry Jones’s jumbotron couldn’t contain the TCU spirit.

When TCU played at AT&T Stadium during the 2013 season, our whole Horned Frog community gathered together and traveled to cheer on the Frogs. This game was such a wonderful representation of the TCU spirit and to top it off, my friends and I made it on the jumbotron. We were filled with joy from head to toe and we even made it into the local newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in the fan photos from the game. This moment, this game and this claim to fame would not have been as meaningful or as memorable without an incredible reason to be proud. I am proud to be a Horned Frog because of the community that we have, something unique, special and truly incomparable. Football is only a mere representation of our school and the spirit we have, for our community extends further and deeper in an indescribable and beautiful way.

As a rising junior, I hope to continue to instill, pursue and develop the community at TCU. Frog Camp, Student Foundation, Chancellor’s Leadership Program and the other activities at TCU that I have developed a passion for have all shaped the role I play in this Horned Frog family. Every student is a valued member of this family and has a purpose at TCU. Whether showing their pride through utter mess and grime or on a jumbotron in front of thousands of fans, each student is meant to be at this incredible school and is undoubtedly loved by all other Horned Frogs.

TCU BlogAbbie Maynard is a junior Broadcast Journalism and Spanish double-major from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is involved in Frog Camp, Student Foundation, the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, and the John V. Roach Honors College.


Leave a comment

Ask the Counselors: When giving an information session, what are you most excited to share? (Part 2)

In our office, each admission counselor is responsible for giving information sessions to our guests on campus. Each of us craft our own presentation with stories, facts, and other tidbits that we feel make TCU special. In a previous post, some of the counselors shared their favorite pieces of information, but check out a few more!

David Stein
I love talking about the curriculum and the different classes offered. Obviously students will take their major classes, but to know that there are cool electives like “The Hunger Games and Civic Survival” or “Topics in Italian Cinema” makes for a lot more interesting set of classes.

Margaret McCarthy
When giving an information session, I’m most excited to share aspects of student life.  TCU has a very close-knit community, and there are many ways that our students build relationships with one another.  I also love talking about Fort Worth, since it’s the perfect location for our university.

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that nearly one third of TCU students enjoy!

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that nearly one third of TCU students enjoy!

Beatriz Gutierrez
I always love sharing my study abroad experience because I believe TCU has great opportunities such as these for students to embrace the mission statement by engaging in the global community.

Alexis Olympia
I enjoy talking about the great relationship between TCU and the city of Fort Worth. There is no doubt TCU is the hometown team! Purple reigns throughout the city at the local grocery stores, and in the neighborhood homes that proudly display TCU flags in their yards. The Fort Worth community fully supports the university. In 2009, Mayor Moncrief declared “Go Purple Friday” as a way for city residents and employers to show their pride for TCU and our athletic programs. Dying the Trinity River purple was also quite a sight to see!

Purple lights on buildings is just one of the ways in which the city of Fort Worth shows its TCU pride.

Purple lights on buildings is just one of the ways in which the city of Fort Worth shows its TCU pride.

Karen Scott
I like to tell people that we have an internship scholarship program. It’s designed to help students who get internships that are unpaid or low-paid. TCU guarantees an internship to everyone who wants one. We’ve recently had interns at places like the World Health Organization in Switzerland and the Cannes Film Festival in France.

John Andrew Willis
TCU is the total package. We have big football and little classrooms. We love you like a family member, but of course expect you act like a maturing adult. Essentially, any idea a student presents that would mesh with our mission to create ethical leaders is one TCU will help make a reality if at all doable. The possibilities are, very truly, endless.


Leave a comment

Ask the Counselors: When giving an information session, what are you most excited to share? (Part 1)

In our office, each of the admission counselors is responsible for providing the daily information sessions to our guests throughout the year. While the message is designed to be the same, we are given the opportunity to tailor our sessions to what we love most about TCU. Below, the counselors have shared one of their favorite parts of their information sessions and what always seems to leave an impression on our guests.

Kyle Cochran
I always love seeing how people respond to Frog Camp, one of our First Year Experience programs. As far as supplemental new student programs go, TCU is really a leading university in preparing incoming students for success outside of the classroom, in addition to inside.

 Major NCAA Division 1 sports are incredibly rare at a school the size of TCU.

Major NCAA Division 1 sports are incredibly rare at a school the size of TCU.

Heath Einstein
Much of my information session centers on our unique size. There are no other colleges that play major Division I sports with our size – medium size with an almost exclusive emphasis on the baccalaureate years.

Caitlin Provost
I get excited to talk about the Freedom of Expression page when discussing the admission process. Students are always thrilled to know that they have the opportunity to be unique and express to us something really personal or individual about themselves.

Victoria Herrera
As a parent, I like to provide short, but true stories of my boys’ TCU experiences so visitors can get some insight of “the real deal.”

Sara Sorenson
I love talking about the TCU traditions that we have on campus. It’s especially exciting when there is an alum or two in the group because you can see their faces light up and know that although campus has undergone a numerous about of changes, our traditions remain the same and unite us all.

If you see this sign at stores and restaurants around Fort Worth, you can receive discounts on Fridays in the fall simply by wearing purple!

If you see this sign at stores and restaurants around Fort Worth, you can receive discounts on Fridays in the fall simply by wearing purple!

Jill Sangl
I really like talking about the relationship between the city of Fort Worth and the university. The fine folks of Fort Worth are very proud of TCU and our students. During football season, if you wear any TCU item (or the color purple) on Fridays, you can receive a discount at various restaurants and stores.


Leave a comment

Student Submission: Something Loved and Something Missed

As I prepare for my semester abroad next spring, I have learned to appreciate the little things about TCU. Whether it is a gorgeous sunset behind the stadium or the late talks with my friends at four in the morning, I know that I will miss every little bit of TCU. Despite all of this, I have decided to go abroad for the third time thanks to TCU’s commitment to a global experience.

TCU BlogMy first experience abroad with TCU was Frog Camp Spain. The summer before my freshman year, I embarked on an unforgettable journey with twenty-three other incoming freshmen, four facilitators, and a few faculty members including the Chancellor. We experienced a traditional flamenco performance and got a chance to try it ourselves by taking flamenco lessons. We explored the historic city by visiting various landmarks and climbed to the top of the Cathedral’s tower to get the best view. We ventured into the city every night in search of gelato and made new memories every minute. This trip completely blew all my expectations of TCU away, and I could not have thought of a better way to begin my TCU adventure. I got to know an awesome group of people, many of whom are still some of my best friends today, through our journey in Seville.

TCU BlogTwo summers later, I had the opportunity to travel to London for one of my Honors Colloquia classes. The deal was that we would meet once a week for eight weeks to discuss various topics about today’s media then we would fly across the pond in order to finish our class in London for ten days. Once in London, we would meet twice daily. First we would meet in the morning discuss our topic for the day, which ranges from public diplomacy to communication between different cultures. Then later in the afternoon, we would go on site visits to understand first hand some of the topic we review in class. These visits included the American Embassy, the BBC, and CBS. In addition to class, we also had the chance to explore London and experience its culture. We had daily trips set up including Westminster Abbey and the London Eye and saw various theater performances. Although I had never seen a play before this trip, I saw four musicals throughout my stay including The Book of Mormon and Once. The trip was absolutely fantastic. I got to learn more about a topic that I otherwise would not according to my major, and I got to explore a new city.

My third and biggest trip is on the brim of the horizon. Next spring, I will be spending the semester in Freiburg, Germany studying the economics and politics of the European Union. As an Economics major, I have always wanted to combine my love of traveling with my love of learning and pursue an international career. The IES EU program acts as the perfect gateway for both. Not only is the program based in Freiburg, Germany, it also takes students on three trips around Europe to visit various EU institutions and member states. Europe will be my classroom, and I can see firsthand some of the policies that we learn in lectures and hear from influential people that hold my dream career. In addition, I also have the opportunity to apply everything I learn into a summer internship afterwards. This internship will give me professional insight into the intricate processes of a different governing system while understanding how different cultures can work together. This program will help me pursue my passion and experience the world.

Although I know leaving TCU will be one of the hardest things I will have to do, I know my experiences will be worth it. Traveling will allow me to understand other cultures and learn more about myself. It will push me to my limits and tests everything that I have, but it will be a once in a lifetime experience. I thank TCU for giving me this opportunity and for giving me something to miss every day when I am gone.

TCU BlogHenry Mak is a junior Economics major from Beaumont, Texas. He is involved in TCU Ambassadors, the John V. Roach Honors College, FrogTutoring, and is the curator for TEDxTCU.


Leave a comment

On the Road and the Quest for the Toad

The following is an excerpt from an email written by one of the freshman Admission Counselors, David Stein. David was on an admission trip this fall in West Texas and told the staff about one of his adventures in search of the elusive Horned Frog. Enjoy!

I had an option… Check into my hotel in San Angelo and watch Netflix for a while, or go on a spiritual journey through the wilderness.

TCU BlogI chose the spiritual journey. I drove from Abilene down to the San Angelo State Park, home to just one of four state parks hosting the official State of Texas Longhorn Herd, and much more importantly, about 7,500 acres of protected land for the Texas Horned Lizard (or as locals call it, the Horny Toad).

As I pulled in, I explained my quest to the park ranger, who gave me a picture of a Horned Frog and told me that was probably the best I was going to do. She seemed more enthused about me paying my $4 entry fee than the epic journey of which I was about to embark.

I started at their main trail, the Burkett. This is where I was promised to see the longhorn herd. To my disappointment, grasshoppers and a few birds were about it for wildlife, but it was absolutely beautiful nonetheless. Travel season can be a tough time to find solitude among the hundreds of eager students and emails awaiting your attention. This was the first time in weeks I was able to be alone with nature.

Though I didn’t immediately see any Horned Frogs, it was still evident the Horned Frog spirit was powerful in this place. Among the brown dirt and occasional mesquite tree sat purple flowers, and the purple buds of cacti were starting to show.

weeds TCU BlogDisappointed with the three-mile Horned Frog-less hike, I stopped back at the station to grab a map, and noticed something immediately. This ranger obviously led me to the wrong path. I hopped in my all-terrain rental car (2013 White Chevy Impala) and found the trailhead I should have been looking for all along:

TCU BlogThat’s right — the Horny Toad Trail. I would have to walk another mile-long trail just to get to this spot, and the Horny Toad Trail itself would be another few miles — but like my spirit animal itself, this little guy was brave, resilient, smart, and ready for an adventure.

About a half-mile through the trail, I came across a large hill of carpenter ants next to a bed of large rocks. It was the perfect habitat. I rustled some leaves to make myself known. I overturned a few rocks. I busted out a perfectly choreographed Riff Ram Bah Zoo — and still there were no Horned Frogs to be found. Just when I was ready to give up, a flash of brown scurried to my right. I looked over to see a small Horned Frog running into the thick grass. I pulled out my phone to take a picture, but as I drew closer, LaDainian (I’m sure was his name) hustled away, most likely to return to his group and continue their genius plan to defeat the herd of Longhorns in the park.

This brief encounter with our fearless mascot made the entire trip worth it and it made me think about the weeks we spend on the road during admissions travel season. We visit high school after high school and attend college fair after college fair and however long it may seem, one great interaction with a student makes it all worth it.


Leave a comment

Ask the Counselors: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give for students’ apps to stand out?

At TCU, we have what we call a “holistic” review process for each and every application. This means that no one piece of the application will make or break our decision and we definitely aim to get to know the students as best we can through the different required application materials. With this, students can stand out throughout the process in a variety of ways. Here are some things we specifically look for as we review each student’s file:

So many applications. So little time.

So many applications. So little time.

Kyle Cochran
Take AP, dual credit, IB, and honors classes. Taking a challenging schedule will not just let us know that you are a hard worker, but it will also help you knock out a bunch of Core Curriculum classes along the way.

Heath Einstein
Play to your strengths. If you’re funny, be humorous. If you’re poetic, write a poem. If you’re musical, submit an mp3 of your vocal styling.

Caitlin Provost
Be yourself when writing your essay and answering the short questions. A trained admission representative will know when a student’s writing is genuine and from the heart, as opposed to something they’ve written that is just technically correct.

Sara Sorenson
Challenge yourself. Challenge yourself in your classes, in your involvement, in your volunteering, and in your relationships. Really push the limits and think outside of the box and make sure that shines through in your application.

David Stein
Take tough classes and work hard to get good grades. It’s as simple as that. The other pieces (essay, resume, recommendations, tests scores, etc.) are all very important, but nothing is as impressive as seeing a good schedule with multiple AP, dual credit, or IB classes with good grades.

Margaret McCarthy
Students who pursue a challenging curriculum and take advantage of the academic opportunities available at their high school will stand out most to me.  In addition to impressive academics, your personality can truly shine through your essay.  Whether it is a serious or funny topic, be yourself and share something that I wouldn’t get to know from other parts of your application.

Beatriz Gutierrez
Be yourself. This means that your application should reflect your personality. If you are funny, your essay can be funny. Remember this process is about you. This is the one time that it is all about YOU!

Alexis Olympia
Spend quality time on your essay and resume. We do read ALL of them and we want to get to know you better!

John Andrew Willis
Be genuine and expressive. Be yourself, but don’t leave anything out. If you have a tendency to brag, you might need to tone it down. If you have a tendency to be humble, you may need to elaborate. Err on the side of more information, rather than less. Essays, for example, can be too long. However, more often than not, they are too short.

Also, take a look at our application checklist to find out more about what we require!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers