I, like some, chose TCU because it was far away from home. Rather than go to a state school or some place all my friends decided to go, I wanted to be different and pave my own way. It’s a great idea, until you show up on campus and realize you have no friends here. No one to eat lunch with. No one to play frisbee with. No one to be there for you when you realize all this. No family. No place like home at all.
At first, it seems like the whole semester will go on like this, and college becomes an intimidating challenge to accept that maybe the place you chose was the wrong one. You think how you just really want to go home, back where everything is where you left it, and everyone you need is still there.
And then the first three hours after you’ve moved in are over.
You go to the BLUU, and some person sits across from you, asks where your from, how you came to TCU, and what you love most about the place so far. You stare blankly, confused at how a complete stranger could get this perception that you’re someone to care about, as if you’re like family or something.
You go to your mandatory hall meeting that night, and the people you sit next to get this idea that we’re all in the same boat of not knowing each other. You’re not sure why they’re acting like this, cracking jokes and laughing with you as if you’ve been friends for years. Then you go to your first hall wing meeting and meet the people you’ll spend the next year with. You don’t know it yet, but some of the best times of your life will be spent with these people, from all walks of life, from all across the country and maybe even the world. Sooner or later you’ll be laughing and crying with them like it’s all the same.
You’re forced to go to a fair. You sign up for too much but as soon as you meet these people who share your interests, from political aspirations to rock climbing just like back home, you come to find this environment is more comfortable than you’d ever imagined. You even get so used to all these new people decide to try out what everyone has been trying on you: you sit by that
fellow freshman in your first class Monday morning and decide to ask their name. Months later, though you don’t know it yet, you’ll both be pouring over textbooks and scrambled notes at 3 A.M. as you down another Red Bull, prepping for the final you both have to take in five hours.
But before that night, you went home for Thanksgiving. Leaving school, you noticed a strange feeling, as if it were happening all over again: leaving home. Something about the past few months stuck with you, from walking across campus and never being able to make it the whole way without someone stopping to ask how you’re doing, to sweating through an afternoon football game under the sweltering Texas sun with hundreds of your allies dressed in purple. There’s no way you could possibly know all their names, but from the people who smile to you on the way to class or the people screaming, “Give ‘em hell, TCU,” right alongside you at the game, you realize this is family, acceptance, community.
You realize this is home.
Laredo Loyd is a Political Science and Psychology double major from Little Rock, Arkansas. He is involved in SGA, Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the TCU Catholic Community, theHop, TCU men’s soccer club, and is a connaisseur of local Fort Worth restaurants