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Musings from the TCU Admission Office


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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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Ask the Counselors: For whom is TCU the perfect fit? (Part 2)

In a previous post, our counselors shared the idea of for whom TCU is the perfect fit. That idea of “fit” is something a bit tough to identify for prospective students, so a few more of our counselors decided to share how they best convey it families and students.

David Stein
TCU is a perfect fit for students who want something more out of their experience than graduating with a degree and finding a steady job. We offer so much more than a degree – it’s the full experience – and that’s why our graduates are creating and changing more than they are just filling jobs.

TCU LEAPS, a campus-wide day of service, is the perfect way to get wrapped up in the TCU and Fort Worth communities.

TCU LEAPS, a campus-wide day of service, is the perfect way to get wrapped up in the TCU and Fort Worth communities.

Margaret McCarthy
TCU is the perfect fit for students who wish to have a full and exciting college experience.  In addition to pursuing a degree, students at TCU typically like to be involved in a variety of things, including leadership opportunities and supporting fellow horned frogs at athletic events.  We have a very active campus community, so TCU is a great fit for students who like to keep busy outside of the classroom.

Alexis Olympia
Students who want to make a difference, big or small, in their community and the world! Students who are looking for the full undergraduate experience with challenging academics, a vibrant student life, and a place where you are more than just a number or a face in the crowd.

Sometimes at TCU, it is important to remember to laugh at yourself

Sometimes at TCU, it is important to remember to laugh at yourself

John Andrew Willis
TCU is a fit for a student who is serious about their academic coursework, but doesn’t take themselves too seriously. It is also perfect for a student who wants to be a leader in their field and community and is willing to develop skills outside the classroom in order to become a true citizen of the world. TCU has high expectations, but we will do everything in our power to help a student realize success. If you want to be challenged, encouraged, and have a great time, TCU might be the place for you.

Michaela Bradshaw
TCU is the perfect fit for students who are willing and ready to take advantage of opportunities.


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Student Submission: Hail, All Hail, TCU (Baseball)

The TCU spirit is definitely alive on the baseball diamond.

The TCU spirit is definitely alive on the baseball diamond.

Growing up, I was raised in a baseball-loving family. My brother played baseball until he was in high school, and my dad even did some coaching. I was born cheering for the Texas Rangers and Nolan Ryan has long been a hero of mine. When I was 12, I watched the Little League World Series not because I thought the boys were cute, but because I loved the game. I can’t count the times I sat eating nachos in the nosebleed seats at the Ballpark in Arlington (before it was Globe Life Park) or drove to Fort Worth on a Sunday afternoon to watch Matt Carpenter play in Lupton Stadium. I know what a suicide squeeze is and I can explain the infield fly rule to you with ease.

What I’m trying to say is that I love baseball. The love of the game has been engrained in me since birth. I was cheering for TCU Baseball before I even knew I would go to school there. Football is great and basketball is exciting, but I live for weekends in the spring when I put off my homework until Sunday evening (procrastination not recommended) and meet my friends at the baseball stadium to cheer on the men in purple.

My favorite College World Series player, Connor.

My favorite College World Series player, Connor.

For a lot of people, their favorite TCU memory was when they got their bid card to the sorority they wanted to be in (which was a great moment for me) or when they got an A on the Chemistry test they studied so hard for (thank goodness I never had to take Chem). My favorite memory (or memories, rather) happened only a few months ago when TCU Baseball made it to the post-season…. And then kept on going all the way to Omaha.

This memory will stick out to me forever for two reasons. The first is the sense of pride that TCU developed when they banded together behind the team. You can see this in the guy that drove from Austin to Fort Worth and made it in time to catch the last half of the infamous 22-inning game, or the troopers like myself who couldn’t be in Fort Worth so we watched into the wee hours of the morning on ESPN GameCast. You can see it in my group of friends who physically ran from campus after one of our orientation sessions to watch the end of the game that sent the team to the College World Series, the staff members in Student Development Services that crowded around the television to watch the guys defeat Pepperdine, and the parents and families who gathered around TVs in the Union instead of going to their orientation sessions.

The other reason the memory will stick out to me is because I was cheering on my friends who are reaching their dreams on the baseball field. When I was growing up and watching college and professional baseball, I thought the guys seemed so much older. Now I sit in the stands and cheer on my friends: my neighbor Dylan, who comes in to catch; my friend Connor, who makes contact with the ball every time he steps up to the plate; and the guy I sat next to at orientation, Kevin, who knocks homeruns over the wall at TD Ameritrade Park.

Every TCU student has a different favorite memory; mine all have to do with baseball. The moment that I (admittedly) cried when the team was announced as a national seed, awkwardly high-fiving the parents at orientation every time we won a game, but more than anything, an entire stadium of fans dressed in purple, chanting and wooing and screaming at every TCU run. That’s the stuff that memories are made of.

TCU BlogBrittany Deisher is senior Music major from Keller, Texas. She is involved in, Student Foundation, and served as the Logistics Director for the TCU Orientation Staff.


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Ask the Counselors: What do you wish you would’ve done at TCU?

While each of our counselors can point to significant opportunities they were given at TCU, each of us can also look back and identify opportunities on which they failed to capitalize. Whether because they didn’t have enough time in their four years or because they discovered an interest a little too late in the game, it is evident that not everyone can take advantage of every opportunity at TCU, because there are simply so many things to do! Take a look at what some of our counselors wish they would’ve done as an undergrad on campus.

Kyle Cochran
I wish I would’ve studied abroad. After seeing so many of my friends have amazing experiences in other countries, I know I also could’ve learned a ton by stepping out of my comfort zone and studying overseas.

The Crew is responsible for hosting the daily campus programming, so there is always something for TCU students to do!

The Crew is responsible for hosting the daily campus programming, so there is always something for TCU students to do!

Sara Sorenson
I wish I would have done the Crew events every time they were available. The CREW provides several different activities to get involved in each day, and with these is an opportunity to meet students that maybe I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s such a great way to meet new people and be united as a Horned Frog family.

David Stein
If I could do it over, I would have come in as a pre-major. Although I didn’t end up changing my major, it would have been great to explore some other areas and not jump in so quickly.

Beatriz Gutierrez
I wish I would’ve applied to be a Frog Camp facilitator. It was/is a competitive position but one that is worth at least applying for.

This day will come more quickly than expected, so embrace every moment!

This day will come more quickly than expected, so embrace every moment!

Karen Scott
I wish I would have stayed here for four full years. I graduated a semester early, because I came in with a lot of AP credits. In hindsight, that was a mistake. All my friends were stll at TCU and I missed it terribly. College is the most exciting time of your life. Don’t rush through it!

John Andrew Willis
I would have studied abroad for longer. I went to Madrid, Spain for a few weeks in the summer, but I think I would have gone for a semester if I could do it again. Regardless of where you go, studying abroad is one of the most fulfilling experiences of college. Not to mention, who’s got time to go explore foreign countries when you have a job after college?

Michaela Bradshaw
I wish I would have gone to Frog Camp, lived in a co-ed residence hall my first year, and taken more classes with my friends.


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Student Submission: A Messy Life

The biggest lie you are told is that college can be contained in four years.  Contrary to popular belief, college is not an isolated eight semesters apart from the rest of your life experience, nor is it separated from the “real world.” College is a “real world,” and it’s a fantastic world.

As a junior, I am slowly realizing just how profound and lifelong this fantastic world of college can be. I have gained incredible wisdom about myself and about others that will carry me places the rest of my life, and the best part about it is that this wisdom does not become mundane or irrelevant once I walk across the stage at graduation.  Instead, it becomes applicable and useful in guiding decisions long past my days of cafeteria-eating and dorm-living.

Everyone say GEEKS!

Everyone say GEEKS!

One of my favorite nuggets of wisdom I continue to love about TCU is that people here are geeks. We are not all geeks in the sense that we carry pocket protectors or read Texas Instrument manuals for fun.  I mean we are geeks in the sense that we have a personal enthusiasm so beyond normal that people may doubt our sanity, but never our passion. We are the fans who find a stranger saying, “Go Frogs!” as grounds for immediate and lifelong friendship.  We are the students who find ourselves spinning in classroom chairs, because we learned something so mind-blowing, we cannot physically contain ourselves. We are the Frogs whose souls light up like halogen lamps upon the casual mention of an organization in which we are invested, because we truly love the things we have said “yes” to. If you can relate to any of the above situations, you are a Frog. And if you cannot relate to any of the above situations, you are probably also a Frog, because TCU will guide you, encourage you, and help you discover something that will make you feel like the enthusiastic geek described above.

Let me be honest, however. Embracing the glorious mess that is a geeky life isn’t always easy. It seems simpler to fit college into a neat box that can be stored below your lofted twin-sized dorm bed the rest of your days. But what fun is that? It’s much more exciting to live a college experience that is delightfully chaotic, full of your own adventure and discovery. Did you know that putting cookies through the sandwich toaster in Market Square yields the perfect combination of a dessert with crispy edges and a gooey center? Did you also know that putting pita bread through the same toaster yields something like the lovechild of charcoal and tire shreds? Did you know that jumping into Frog fountain is one of the most spontaneous and allegedly forbidden activities on campus? Did you also know that doing it during an ice storm sometimes causes you to get four stitches in your kneecap?

These are the discoveries that have led my TCU experience to be passionately geeky and delightfully chaotic. We Frogs like our lives to sizzle and pop. We are adamantly opposed to waking up one day, realizing that college was simply a collection of meetings, classes, dirty dishes, and unmade beds. We, however, are completely in favor of waking up to realize that college was a collection of meetings for organizations that we are proud to invest in, belong to, and support. It was a collection of classes that are engaging and contribute to the impressively vast, yet penetratingly deep education with which we long to graduate.   It was a collection of dirty dishes and unmade beds in a dorm room that has fully transformed into a home with friends that have fully transformed into family.coliseum

So if you attend TCU, you will learn, like the rest of us already here, to let your time in college bleed into the rest of your life, because we Frogs can’t be contained in a box. We Frogs like it a little bit messier.

devincenzoJulia DeVincenzo is a junior double major in Communication Studies and Spanish from Memphis, Tennessee. She is involved in Student Ambassadors, Connections, KLIFE, Chancellor’s Scholars, and the John V. Roach Honors College.

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