Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office

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Student Submission: The Life of a Pre-Med Horned Frog

TCU BlogPre-med is not just a college track that prepares you for medical school. It is a lifestyle. It is a journey. More importantly, being pre-med can be the biggest decision you’ll ever make in college. For me, it’s a decision I made before I ever set foot on campus and I have not regretted it since.

Being pre-med requires making certain sacrifices in order to be successful in the dauntingly rigorous prerequisite courses and on the MCAT exam that students must take before medical school. On occasion, I have had to sacrifice sleep, important events, nights out with friends, and more in order to maintain the high grades needed to get into medical school.

But honestly, I would’ve had to sacrifice so much more if I were not pre-med…

TCU BlogIf I were not pre-med, I would have had to sacrifice the opportunity to be in some of the most interesting and challenging science classes I have ever been in. I know classes like Organic Chemistry and Molecular Biology do not sound like fun “blow-off” classes and that’s probably because they are not. However, these classes have taught me so much and they have given me the greatest appreciation for science I could have ever imagined. One of the biggest reasons I chose TCU over other schools was because I knew that TCU takes pride in keeping class sizes down to a minimum to encourage an intimate and conducive learning environment. Pre-med students need this in order to do well and master the material before taking the MCAT and before entering med school. At TCU, you are not just a number in a classroom. You are a person who matters.

If I were not pre-med, I would have never gotten the chance to meet some of the most intelligent and thoughtful professors here at TCU. There is not a single professor that I have not liked at TCU. They often know you by name and sincerely want you to do well in their classes. The professors I have met have challenged me, molded me, and, more importantly, have taught me more than I ever thought I was capable of learning. At the beginning of sophomore year, I was offered a research position by my Organic Chemistry teacher to work in his personal research lab. I have worked in his research lab for three semesters now and he has been a very important mentor to me ever since. I have been humbled by the experience of getting to work with such knowledgeable professors and am continuously amazed by how much they are willing to invest in students. For pre-med students, it is vital to really get to know their professors. Medical school applications want recommendation letters and professors can write genuine letters if they know a student on a more personal level. The opportunities for this at TCU are limitless if you are willing to put in the effort.

TCU BlogIf I weren’t pre-med, I would have never have become friends with some of the most caring and ambitious people here at TCU. Going through difficult prerequisite classes, late-night study sessions, and MCAT preparation classes automatically bonds you with other pre-med people. We have gone through the same things together and truly understand each other’s lives and passion for wanting to be a part of the medical field. I love the people I have gotten to know in pre-med and am so glad they have been there to make the journey a little bit easier.

Most importantly, if I were not pre-med I would have had to sacrifice my one true dream of becoming a doctor. Having a little sister diagnosed with the life-threatening lung disease, Cystic Fibrosis, has changed my life in many ways. She has inspired me to become a Pediatric Pulmonologist one day and continuously gives me the motivation I need to stay on this difficult journey.

Being a pre-med at TCU has in no way hampered my college experience. If anything, it has enhanced it in a way I never thought imaginable. I am so thankful to be a part of TCU and I am even more thankful to be a part of TCU’s Pre-Health Professions Institute.

TCU BlogBailey Shepherd is a junior Biology major with minors in Sociology and Chemistry from North Richland Hills, Texas. She is involved in TCU Ambassadors, the John V. Roach Honors College, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honors Society.

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Student Submission: TCU and the Horned Frog Feeling

“Why did you choose TCU?”

This is a question I get all the time from friends, relatives, classmates, and especially prospective students and parents. I usually talk about the small class sizes, the exceptional pre-health program, and the beautiful campus. And while yes, those were all things I considered in my decision, none of them were the deciding factor. What was that deciding factor? The feeling I got from being on campus and interacting with people. It is extremely difficult to explain and it seems ridiculous but I just knew TCU was the place for me. There are other schools with small class sizes. There are other schools with good pre-health programs. There are other schools with immaculate campuses. There are, however, no other schools that made me feel the way I did about TCU.

commonslawnFor the longest time, I never told anyone that I made my college decision based on a “feeling” because it seemed utterly ridiculous. How could I leave such an important decision to something so trivial? The truth is (if you are a high school senior, I am sure you understand this feeling) after a while, all of the colleges you visit start to run together and you begin to wonder how you will ever make a decision. They all seem like good schools and they all have good programs. I felt the same way. The fact of the matter is that when it comes down to it, yes, you are choosing the place where you will get your degree but you are also choosing a place that will become home for the next four years and possibly even longer. You have to choose a place where you see yourself fitting in and becoming a part of a community. Sometimes when you just cannot help but smile walking around campus, it is your heart’s way of telling you that this is the place you belong.

TCU BlogMy advice for choosing a school is to trust yourself. You will make the right decision and just because you cannot explain it to other people in a way that makes coherent sense does not mean you are wrong. Trust yourself because only you know what will be the best fit for you. So why did I choose TCU? Because every time I walked around campus, I could not help but smile. I met people that were similar to me and made me feel like I could truly fit it on this campus. I chose TCU because I just knew it was the right decision. I encourage you to trust your judgment and choose the school that feels right. And remember, you don’t have to have an annotated bibliography to support your college decision.

kaitlynKaitlyn Upton is a sophomore Chemistry and Biology double-major with a Child Development minor from Corpus Christi, Texas. She is involved in the John V. Roach Honors College, TCU Ambassadors, and Frog Aides.

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Student Submission: A New Place to Call Home

Throughout my three semesters here at TCU, I’ve constantly been amazed by all of the opportunities that Fort Worth has for students and young adults seeking a well-rounded college experience. Further, I am continually amazed by the knowledge of the TCU faculty and staff when it comes to connecting students with programs that peak their various interests. For me personally, I met my counselor for my major before I even stepped foot in the classroom when she staffed my Frog Camp, one of our First Year Experience programs. As a Speech-Language Pathology major, I was very concerned about finding places that could give me relevant experience, but would be lawful for an unlicensed practitioner to conduct hands-on training. Now, I greatly enjoy my job as an English tutor for elementary school kids where I am gaining exposure to what it’s like to provide help during small increments of time. This has opened the door for me in terms of working with professors on research, and preparing myself for life beyond TCU as a graduate student.TCU Blog

Beyond my major classes, I have been able to connect to Fort Worth and its rich history. This goes far beyond two-stepping at Billy Bob’s or chowing down on a good breakfast taco, although, those experiences are equally as important. For instance, in my World Geography class, we had the opportunity to take a walking tour of Fort Worth and learn how the city came to be. As we walked along the main roads of downtown, my professor made it feel as if we had transcended decades of time. We passed through the courthouse and saw original remnants from the actual fort in “Fort Worth,” saw buildings that outlasted outlaws, and watched as a five generation family business made cowboy hats for high profile members of society. From one end of Sundance Square to the Kennedy Memorial, it felt like I became a true Texan as I understood Fort Worth and its importance to Texas and the colonization of the United States.TCU Blog

Being from Colorado, I always felt that although I was happy in Fort Worth, I never had any ownership over it. Once I became fully immersed in all it has to offer, Fort Worth not only became a part of me, but also gave me the authority to show other people (aka future Horned Frogs) how they can become a part of it, too.

TCU BlogEden Reeves is a sophomore Speech-Language Pathology major from Boulder, Colorado. She is involved in the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, TCU Ambassadors, and serves as a Chapter Resident Assistant, TCU Rho Gamma, and Panhellenic Delegate for her sorority. 

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Ask the Counselors: How do you define the culture of TCU?

When it comes to choosing a college, you can compare class sizes, areas of study, athletic programs, the quality of facilities, or really anything else, but at the end of the day, it often comes down to “feel.” This feel stems from identifying the campus’s culture and seeing if it will allow you to thrive during your four years. While it is not always easy to define, our counselors took a stab at what TCU’s culture truly is.

Kyle Cochran
TCU has a culture of safety. When I say this, I don’t just mean that TCU is a physically safe place to be, but rather that it is a place where students can feel confident to try new things, make themselves vulnerable, step out of their comfort zones, and know that they’ll have ample amounts of support along the way.

The annual Chancellor's Assembly is a time for every new TCU student to come together so they can learn not just call TCU their school, but also their home.

The annual Chancellor’s Assembly is a time for every new TCU student to come together so they can learn not just call TCU their school, but also their home.

Heath Einstein
Nurturing. At almost every turn there is someone to help you along your journey

Caitlin Provost
TCU has a culture of acceptance. Every student has the opportunity to discover who they really are and are welcomed with open arms.

Sara Sorenson
TCU is accepting. It sounds cliché but students who attend our university find that they truly can be who they are and others will not only be accepting of that but they will be encouraging as well.

David Stein
TCU is a place where anyone can feel comfortable. No matter who you are or what “clique” you belonged to in high school, you can come to TCU and feel comfortable. The faculty and staff are so friendly, and we make it a point to recruit and enroll high caliber students in and out of the classroom. It makes for a culture of caring.

Margaret McCarthy
One of the most noticeable aspects of TCU’s culture is the friendly and welcoming environment.  Our students are very supportive of one another, and hospitable to those outside of the TCU community.  When I joined the Admission Office, I felt comfortable and at home here almost instantly.

Beatriz Gutierrez
I would say that the culture of TCU is very much that of camaraderie. TCU holds a special place in my heart not only because of how beautiful the campus is but also because of the people that I have met on campus. We are a family and while you have your ups and downs with family, in the end you love them and embrace them for who they are. The same can be said about TCU.

Anything purple is tough to miss on TCU's campus!

Anything purple is tough to miss on TCU’s campus!

Alexis Olympia
TCU is a very special place! Our faculty and staff truly care about their students and want them to succeed. We have a ton of school pride – we bleed purple!

John Andrew Willis
Puppies and ice cream. Our amazing Chancellor, Victor Boschini, observes this from time to time, so I assume I’m allowed to. TCU is lighthearted like panting puppy breath and fun like going to get ice cream. TCU students are rather intelligent, but bragging about it is definitely not in style. Our students also have high emotional and social intelligence in my observation. I believe this is a result of our culture of involvement in student organizations, which certainly helps them advance quickly in their careers.

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Student Submission: The (817) is a Lot like Heaven: An Out-of-State Student Guide to Fort Worth

This is an out-of-state student’s take on showing others a few hidden gems I have found in the Fort Worth community over the past three years of attending TCU.

When I came to TCU, I had only visited campus and didn’t know much about the “Cowtown” that I was about to call home for the next four years. Through asking friends and locals, reading about the area and randomly stumbling upon places, I have experienced some awesome places in Fort Worth that I would like to share with you.

I’ll begin with some of the better known areas:

The cattle drive in the Stockyards is definitely worth checking out.

The cattle drive in the Stockyards is definitely worth checking out.

Fort Worth Stockyards
This historical area is a lot of fun during nights and on the weekends. It is full of great Tex-Mex and BBQ restaurants, my favorites including H3 Ranch, Riscky’s Barbeque, and the always popular Joe T Garcia’s. Grabbing a burger and listening to a local country artist in the open aired Love Shack is also a great choice if you’re feeling a little more casual. Other highlights of this area include the arena, which hosts regular rodeos and the famous Billy Bob’s Texas, the world largest honky-tonk and a great place to learn how to square dance or two-step. The daily long horn cattle drive is also a tourist favorite that never gets old.

Sundance Square

Sundance Square has quickly become the place to be in downtown Fort Worth.

Sundance Square has quickly become the place to be in downtown Fort Worth.

Sundance Square is in the center of downtown Fort Worth and is a must see while in town. The city hosts tons of free events in the Square during the week including free concerts, movies, and workout classes. This is also a great starting point for finding fun shops, restaurants, comedy clubs, and other entertainment options in the city.

Panther Island
Panther Island is a pavilion that is located on the Trinity River Trail. Fort Worth puts on lots of big events in this area including concerts and river floats. During Thursdays afternoons and evenings through part of the year, artists play on the pavilion and you can listen from the fields, beach, or in an inner tube on the river. During the week the river is a popular escape from the heat. On-site retailers will rent kayaks or paddleboards to beachgoers for something a little more adventurous.

Water Gardens are a certain hidden gem in downtown.

Water Gardens are a certain hidden gem in downtown.

Fort Worth Water Gardens
An awesome place to do homework, go on a date, or reflect of life, the Water Gardens are a well-kept secret in the heart of Fort Worth. This park is a very unique Fort Worth landmark that is definitely worth visiting.

Magnolia Avenue
Magnolia Avenue is a really cool area near the hospital district that is growing like crazy. This street host favorite stops for students including Melt Ice Cream, Avoca Coffee, Torchy’s Tacos, the “local living room” Brewed, Yucatan Taco Stand, Words on Wheels, and many other great spots.

West 7th

West 7th offers tons of things to do on the weekends.

West 7th offers tons of things to do on the weekends.

West 7th is another cool area close to campus with lots of fun places for students to go. Favorites include In-N-Out Burger, Lucky Strike Bowling, Movie Tavern, Montgomery Plaza, and the always-popular Sweet Sammies ice cream sandwich shop.

Botanic Garden/ Zoo /Arts District
Fort Worth has a beautiful Botanic Garden that is free to the public and a great place to visit. Right down the street is the well-known Fort Worth Zoo. Also located in this area are several of the finest art galleries in the nation including the Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Fort Worth is an incredible city that I have enjoyed living in for that past three years. It’s full of great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment that is “Worth” while to visit.

Go Frogs!!!

TCU BlogAlex Colbeck is a senior Communication Studies major from Denver, Colorado. He is involved in Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, Student Foundation, and serves as one of the Programming Interns in the TCU Office of Admission.

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Student Submission: Finding My Fit

In coming to college, the biggest piece of advice my older and wiser friends gave me was simple, yet important: get involved. The idea has remained in the back of my mind throughout my college years and is something I, along with many of my classmates, took to heart and embodied well.

I vividly remember walking into the Activities Fair the weekend before my very first college class and instantly becoming overwhelmed. There were literally hundreds of booths for me to visit, all claiming that I would find my fit in their organization. On one side of the Rec, we had Ignite, one of the largest Christian organizations on campus, and on the other side, we had Club Quidditch for all the Harry Potter fans out there. Where was I to begin?

Suffice it to say, I walked out of the Rec that day with my name on too many contact lists and my email inbox was soon bombarded with invitations to club meetings that I would never have the time to attend. It took me a little while, but I finally devoted myself to the organizations I was passionate about.

The TCU Orientation Staff ready to welcome the incoming students!

The TCU Orientation Staff ready to welcome the incoming students!

My first semester, I got a little too involved. I simply couldn’t make it to every meeting when Ignite was at 9:00 and the Music Educators Association met at 9:30. When would I study and go to class? (You know, the real reason we come to college.) Getting involved is important, but what’s more important is that you balance that with getting your education. My first year experience taught me a lot about what I really wanted to be involved with: my sorority, giving campus tours, and most importantly, being on orientation staff.

Serving on staff for two summers taught me a lot about myself, and even more about why I love TCU. Orientation Staff was a way for me to give back to the school that has given so much to me. Being a very relational person, I thrive off of getting to make relationships with the new students and their parents, helping them adjust to life at TCU and making their home here.

I definitely found my fit with this group of awesome people.

I definitely found my fit with this group of awesome people.

Whether it’s running around with a broom between your legs and throwing a quaffle through the goals, leading the student body as a member of the Student Government Association, or dancing on the chairs at Greene Family Camp as a Frog Camp facilitator, there is something for everyone at TCU. When I open the doors for the new students and their families on day one of orientation, I always remind myself that these students have their entire college experience ahead of them, while mine is almost entirely behind me. As sad as it is for me to be moving to the next chapter of my life, I am hopeful that each new student will find their fit. When the first year students ask me for advice, I think back to the advice I got as a new student and simply say, “Get involved.”

TCU BlogBrtittany Deisher is senior Music major from Keller, Texas. She is involved in Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Student Foundation, and serves as the Logistics Director for the TCU Orientation Staff.

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Student Submission: A Student’s Perspective of TCU

To the prospective students, Future Frogs, Tadpoles, or whatever else you would like to call yourselves, the following is a personal testimony of my experience at TCU thus far. My name is Chad Hummel, and I am currently about to enter my sophomore year at TCU. I was in your shoes not too long ago, and I understand how difficult, nerve-racking, and often time-consuming the college-search process is. That said, I hope to offer you the best possible analysis of TCU I can possibly give.

Take note that I will not try to sugar-coat my experience at TCU or make it out to be absolutely perfect. I will try to be honest and objective, because if I am not, I would be doing a disservice to you. Trust me. It happened to me before…And I transferred schools. Now I’m at TCU, the place many students refer to as “the happiest place on Earth.”

The Cultural Routes trip with the Honors College helped solidify my love of the TCU community.

The Cultural Routes trip with the Honors College helped solidify my love of the TCU community.

So what makes TCU so special, special enough to be dubbed “the happiest place on earth?” I could talk about the amazing credentials our faculty and staff has. I could talk about the terrific reviews our various academic schools and departments have received. I could talk about our campus that is so beautiful that it seems it should belong in a fairy tale. But you can find all that on our website. I want to tell you what ordinary life is like here as a TCU student. Yet that begs the question: is life as a TCU student ever “ordinary?”

One of my favorite things about TCU is that in general, students know how to balance work and play very well. Just as at any college, there are those who are way too focused on their studies and there are those who are way too focused on having fun. But I have found (through both personal observation and the testimonies of upperclassmen and alumni) that TCU students love to work hard and love to have fun. And talking to my friends back home that attend other universities, I’ve found that TCU students, as a whole, balance these two important areas of life much better than many of the students at these other universities.

For example, I was studying for several hours in my dorm room one night and went to the basement to put my laundry in the wash. On my way down, I bumped into one of my good friends, who was wearing a grin the size of a Jack-o-lantern on Halloween. He excitedly told me about the Moped he just learned how to ride and urged me to take a quick study break to check it out. We ran outside, hopped on, and zoomed around the empty streets for several minutes, laughing and enjoying this unusual study break.

Market Square is the place on campus where friends meet, eat, and hang out!

Market Square is the place on campus where friends meet, eat, and hang out!

Another thing I love about TCU is its diversity. With over 85 different countries represented and about half out-of-state students, the TCU student body is pretty diverse. “Diversity” has become a pretty common word that is often thrown about in this day and age, so what does it mean? What is good about diversity? I think diversity of the sorts that is prevalent on TCU’s campus is good because it leads one towards a better understanding of the world we live in. TCU’s mission statement is as follows: “To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” The diversity at TCU prompts students to better understand the global community.

Moving from my home in Washington State down to Texas was very eye-opening to me in that I realized Texas is very, very different, and not everyone does the same things I do or was raised the same way I was. And then getting to meet people from all over the world (I’ve made friends from South Korea, Sweden, Ghana, and more) was even more eye-opening. It is fascinating to talk to people who grew up so differently than I did. In the increasingly interconnected world in which we live, it is important to understand people’s differences and why they do the things they do. Surrounding yourself with people from diverse backgrounds is a sure way to cure narrow-mindedness and to develop a solid cultural awareness.

I want to leave you with one last thing. Life as a TCU student is always an adventure. There is never a dull moment. You will have the opportunity to work hard and to have fun at the same time. You may be studying on a balcony as the sun strikes the red roofs of TCU’s gorgeous buildings at sunset, and the next moment you may spot a camel trotting across the commons. Yes, they brought in a camel for Hump Day. After class, you may be headed to Market Square for lunch when you stumble upon a circus in the commons, full with entertainers and numerous catered foods. You may be walking out of your dormitory, and your friend may cruise by on his Moped and offer you a ride to the library. You never know what might happen on an ordinary day here at TCU, but you can be sure of one thing: your TCU experience will be far from ordinary.

I wish you the best in your college decision.

God Bless,

Chad Hummel

TCU BlogChad Hummel is a sophomore Business major from Seattle, Washington. He is involved in Neeley Fellows, the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity, and the John V. Roach Honors College.


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