Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office


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Student Submission: Why TCU Isn’t My “Home Away From Home”

I can’t say that I have ever referred to TCU as my “home away from home.” In fact, it’s different from my home. Home is a place in St. Louis, Missouri, where the Cardinals making the post-season is a sure bet, Friday night football is mediocre at best (but watched with great company), and family dinners are a daily staple. Or at least that was what I thought before I packed up my life into boxes and shipped them just over 600 miles south to begin my college career as a Horned Frog. roommate

The Saturday a week prior to school starting, a little blonde freshman frog and I spent the day talking about our best friends from our hometowns as we assembled Milton 109, desperately trying to choke down the homesickness that crept into our voices with each “my mom makes the best meals” and “my sister did the craziest thing.” It didn’t take long for the nostalgic childhood memories to dissipate into the new ones that we formed as best friends; whether it was making the trek to Kroger together, venturing out to mixers decked-out in everything neon, or exploring all the happy hour deals that Fort Worth had to offer, TCU and all it has to offer became my home.

Diving into the TCU community head-first certainly contributes to why it has become my home, but even if I had been reluctant to get involved, the people here are so passionate about this place that I inevitably would have found my fit here. Joining a sorority, becoming a member of the TCU Showgirls, selecting three different majors, interacting with faculty, and applying for a variety of programs all have made up the unique experience that this school is for me. Back in St. Louis, I was involved in several diverse areas of my community, and this has translated to my current involvement in Fort Worth. They say “the more things change, the more they stay the same”; there is definitely some truth in this cliché. I’ve found my place at TCU, places where I feel comfortable but where I’m also pushed and challenged to grow. Staying the same in some ways, but changing certain aspects that have helped me discover more about myself and the world around me.

TCU is my home. It has been for almost four years now, and that time has gone by faster than I care to think about. I didn’t realize it at first, but many things about this purple-and-white world are so very similar to the place I grew up in.

girlsThe people I spend my weekends or late nights in the library with have become people that I could have known forever. The insane, full-of-life friends I made without a doubt have turned into family. My literal family is here next to me (my younger sister joined the Frog Family in 2015) with a comforting hug when there are tears and a bull horn to cheer me on when I succeed. It’s not my home away from home, because home is where the people you love are. Home is where you are happy, filled with purpose, and pushed to be your best self. Yes, my parents and family are back in St. Louis; I still have a bed in their house, and a room decorated the same way it’s always been since 5th grade. But I’m there two weeks out of the year, and they’re only a phone call or quick flight away. My home is my livelihood—those heated political debates I had around the family dinner table haven’t changed, they’ve simply moved to a few more tables with a few more people and a few more perspectives. The teams I go to watch now wear purple instead of red and white or blue, but I still get to watch the green and gold lose (my high school’s colors) when the Frogs beat Baylor. The more things change, the more they stay the same. But I know that my home here at TCU is one where I’m thriving, incredibly happy, and am molding into a person that will make my family and community proud.

alli

Alli Mather is a senior from Saint Louis, Missouri. She triple majors in political science, writing, and French. She is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, a TCU showgirl, and president of Pi Epsilon Pi.


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Student Submission: 6 Reasons Why You Should Come to TCU

1- Education

You should come to TCU because the education is phenomenal.

TCU has a plethora of programs to accommodate for every person. TCU hosts Business, Communication, Education, Fine Arts, Honors, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering Colleges. Of these, many have been nationally ranked and recognized for their outstanding prestige.

U.S. News ranked the Neeley School of Business in the top 5 in the nation for MBAs with the Most Financial Value after Graduation. Multiple Honors College professors have been named to the Princeton Review list of the top 300 professors in the country. Broadway boasts a number of TCU graduates, research studies for Science & Engineering and Nursing & Health Sciences are abundant, and students are engaged in hands-on experience throughout their college career!

Graduating with a TCU degree says a lot.

2- People

You should come to TCU because the people are one-of-a-kind.

I’m convinced that every person at TCU has an incredibly big heart. The students and faculty here are inviting, kind and selfless. You’ll find friends for a lifetime!

3- Fort Worth

You should come to TCU because FuNkY TowN iS fUN!

Fort Worth not only is home to the Horned Frogs, but is also a center of culture, food, and FUN! The legendary stockyards, Fort Worth zoo, downtown area, cultural district, Botanical Gardens and Trinity River trails are just a few of the Cowtown highlights. However, I’m personally a huge fan of Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth! This up-and-coming area has several great restaurants and places to spend time on the weekend. If these options aren’t enough, you can venture to other towns in the metroplex that have more events, restaurants, museums, parks and fun! There’s something for everyone!

4- On Campus Fun 

You should come to TCU because there the community and fun never end on campus.

Student Government and The Crew (an on-campus organization that specializes in fun) work together to build up community on campus. To do so, they create hundreds of events that take place throughout the year. One of my favorite events was Wednesday Swine Night! They brought adorable baby piglets on campus for you to play with, passed out mocktails and had other fun activities to do. It made a boring Wednesday wonderful and was a perfect study break!

Movie nights, obstacle courses, concerts, comedians, theme nights, bouncy houses, dunk tanks, free food, and much much much more. There’s always something to do on campus!

5 – New Development 

You should come to TCU because it seems like everything is new!

TCU is always building and renovating! We just finished off a Multi-Purpose building that boasts of 4 new on-campus restaurants, study rooms and offices. The Mary-Couts Burnett library has been renovated with new study rooms, computer labs and a café that connects to Reese-Jones, another brand new building with classroom and upscale features. They have recently built a new parking garage by Frog Alley and are in the process of building another parking garage in Worth Hills.

Additionally, TCU released their reconstruction plans for Worth Hills. Within the next two years, TCU will start rebuilding all of the Greek housing!

Texas Construction University is definitely a thing. You get a new building, you get a new building, EVERYONE GETS A NEW BUILDING!

6 – Freaking. Football. 

You should come to TCU because our football season is the best season in Horned Frog country.

In case you haven’t kept up with TCU’s incredible football season, let me give you the details. Our team rocks. We finished the season 11-2, defeated Oregon in the Alamo Bowl game, and rank as No. 7 in the AP polls. Next year’s season is going to be even better, so you should head down to Fort Worth to cheer us on!

Don’t flip out over making a college decision.

We already know what’s best for you. COME TO TCU.

 

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Madison Burnett is a junior Speech Language Pathology major. She is from Little Rock, Arkansas and she serves on the executive council for Zeta Tau Alpha.  


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Faculty Feature: Dr. Rima Abunasser, English

“I tell my students, it’s not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What’s more difficult is to identify with someone you don’t see, who’s very far away, who’s a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.” – Chinua Achebe

I generally begin each of my Global Literature courses by quoting Achebe. Better than course outcomes and class descriptions, Achebe’s words express what I most desire for my students — to acknowledge perspective, to understand the oddly comforting nature of difference, to discover the power of storytelling, to situate one’s self within transnational, global conversations.  In the Fall 2015 semester, my students and I had the opportunity to engage in this type of conversation in a way that extended far beyond our classroom. By collaborating with Discovering Global Citizenship, TCU’s QEP, we participated in a semester-long project based on peacemaking and narrative with Michael McRay, author of Letters from Apartheid Street: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine and Where the River Bends: Considering Forgiveness in the Lives of Prisoners. As part of his project on conflict and reconciliation, Michael traveled to Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, and South Africa, collecting the stories of peacemakers, former combatants, politicians, and survivors of conflicts past and present.

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Michael McRay skyping with students from Northern Ireland

Two of my classes, Multi-Ethnic Literature of the World and an Honors section of Global Women’s Literature, centered on the general theme of “Conflict and Reconciliation,” and all the literature we read expanded or complicated our understanding of those concepts. What did reconciliation look like? How do we actually define justice? How do our stories – individual, collective, personal, national – shape our ideas about peace and war? How do these stories help or hinder our willingness to reconcile? Working with Michael, we read literature from each of the locations he visited, Skyped with him while he was in Northern Ireland and South Africa, engaged with him on social media, and Skyped with some of the peacemakers/non-combatants that he interviewed. With so many stories at their disposal, my students excelled in making complex connections among various global conflicts and in identifying the sources of conflict and the possibilities of reconciliation in their own communities and in our society as a whole.

Michael shared all his interview footage with us – 163 GB of data, to be exact. Working in small groups of three or four, the students were tasked with creating short documentaries. Though each group relied on the same footage and resources, every documentary presented a unique story, a different perspective. Some students focused on women and peacebuilding, others on the nature of conflict, others still on the complexity of reconciliation work. The end result embodied the very best of what a literature class can offer. The act of deriving meaning from literature, from culture, is communal. Through their collaborations with one another, with the QEP, with Michael, my students added their voices to that communal act.

This is one of the short documentaries produced by my Multi-Ethnic Literature of the World class:

 

rimaDr. Rima Abunasser is an instructor for our English department. She has a Bachelors in English Language and Literature, a Masters in Literature and Literary Criticism, and a PhD in English Literature and Theory. She is currently researching ways in which Arab women writers rearticulate nationalism.


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Ask the Counselors: What should students avoid during their freshman year?

Freshmen, are you sick yet of everyone and their mother giving you advice about how to tackle your first year in college? Well we’re here to give you a few more tips. But since everyone hates being told what to do, we figured we’d do the opposite- tell you what NOT to do. 

Dalton Goodier – Don’t just stay in your room! Get out, join an organization, volunteer, make friends. TCU is a great academic institution but, just as importantly, it’s a tightknit community where you can make great friends and be involved in some amazing projects and organizations.

Allie Sevall – Your freshman year of college is a year to explore everything the school has to offer. Don’t feel like you have to commit to being in a dozen student organizations or activities at once. Take the time to explore everything and once your feel ready, gradually commit to getting involved in some activities.

Heath Einstein – Freshman year provides opportunities for exploration but potential pitfalls exist. Students are tempted to try everything under the sun and the opportunities are truly limitless. However, the primary responsibility for students is academic success. Students should not pay so much attention to their social lives that they fall behind in the classroom.

Caitlin Provost – Don’t bring a car! Take this time to get to know campus and city transportation. Also, try not to stick to what you know best. Try new things: clubs, sports, classes, etc. You just may be pleasantly surprised!

David Stein – Don’t close doors – literally and metaphorically. Keep your residence hall door open. You’ll get to meet so many people that way. Also, don’t say no to something you might be interested in. College is a time to try new things and re-invent yourself.

Margaret McCarthy – College is an amazing time to meet new people, try different things, and explore what’s outside of your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and definitely get out of your dorm room when possible!

Sara Sorenson – Don’t be too cool for school. Everyone is in a new environment and trying to find their way, so the worst thing you could do is act like you have everything together. It’s okay to be figure it out as you go.

 

What things do you recommend staying away from during your first year of college?


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Student Submission: My New Home

Being one of only a handful of people from my town at TCU, I was concerned before my freshman year that I may not fit in and would miss home. monkeyThe twelve-hour drive from Fort Worth to Atlanta meant that I would only be back east for big breaks and that seeing my friends from high school wouldn’t happen very often. Much to my delight, I very quickly found that TCU was, in fact, my new home. Starting at Frog Camp, I met a group of incredible people and settled into the routine of life at TCU with some of the best friends a guy could ask for. The relationships forged at Frog Camp are so strong that, even a couple years later, I am living with three other guys from my small group. We have all branched out, met other people, and brought them back to our circle – the network of friends we’ve created is really amazing when you consider it all started more than two years ago in a small group as an incoming freshman.

Beyond the relationships from Frog Camp, I was also fortunate to have the most amazing neighbors in my dorm my freshman year. From the RA to the last room at the end of the hall in Moncrief, we all stuck together, went out on the weekends with each other, and had each other’s back. Though everyone was in different fraternities and sororities, we were all best of friends and learned a lot from being around each other. Sharing stories about growing up in different places, studying together, and living together certainly helped me grow as a student, as a Horned Frog, and as a person. My entire hall from Moncrief still remain friends – some girls even live together as Juniors. Furthermore, our freshman RA, Mike, always makes it a point to meet us for lunch whenever he is in town from Houston for football games. This incredible sense of community that I can rely on truly puts me at ease whenever I miss home or am feeling down.

ballAll this is to say that for anyone concerned that they won’t be able to make a home at TCU, don’t worry. Take the time to reach out to people, cherish your time with peers, and put yourself out there. Chances are you’ll quickly find some of the best friends you may ever make in your life and these people will become the force that makes TCU truly your home.

Mark Alar is a junior from Atlanta, Georgia. He students Supply & Value Chain Management with Spanish for Business Professions minor, and he is involved in Delta Sigma Pi, Froggie 5-0, and the Baseball Grounds Crew.


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Student Submission: Frog Camp’s Impact

An unforgettable, life-altering, incredibly impactful experience is something that attaches to you like glue forever. It is an experience that changes the course of your life, puts you on a brighter path, and makes you into the person you are meant to become. It is undeniable that TCU’s Frog Camp has been that kind of experience for me and so many other Horned Frogs.

We always say that Frog Camp shouldn’t work. We take thousands of students each summer, go places all over the world and nudge them out of their comfort zones into things like grimy froggames, dance parties and small group activities. At the same time, we encourage them to face their fears, acknowledge world-wide issues like hate and take their future into their own hands. These are just a few reasons why Frog Camp is such an impactful and unforgettable experience.

Now you can probably better understand why we say Frog Camp shouldn’t work with all of these components coming together in a short span of time with campers who have never met. Well, the secret to Frog Camps success is TCU and the people who are a part of it.

For those of you who don’t know, TCU is a very special home for its students, staff and faculty. It’s a place where you acampre constantly encouraged to be the best version of yourself, to embrace hardships, to enjoy victories and to build your life’s foundation on genuine relationships with others. Thankfully this sense of home and encouragement trickle down into every aspect of Frog Camp. It is a program that is supported across the entire campus from the Chancellor, to our faculty and staff and all the way to our current student body. Without all of these components Frog Camp wouldn’t be what it is and wouldn’t be nearly as successful.

It has been an honor and such a joy to be a part of this program for the past three years. Although I won’t be here after next year, I know Frog Camp will. I love that it will continue to make TCU and all who are a part of it better and will continue to create unforgettable, life-altering, and incredibly impactful experiences.

As Always, Go Frogs!

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Kate Spitters is a senior Marketing major and Finance minor from San Diego, CA who is currently the Executive Director of TCU Frog Camp. Throughout her time here at TCU, she has enjoyed getting involved in TCU’s campus through Student Foundation (STUFO), Frog Camp, Kappa Alpha Theta, working for the Brown-Lupton University Union and becoming a part of the Chancellors Club.


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Fresh Faces: EmilyAnn Kellogg

We are so excited to welcome our Class of 2020! Meet one of our newest horned frogs and her journey to choosing TCU.

emilyannName: EmilyAnn Kellogg

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Major: Pre- Business 

Residence hall: Colby

Favorite Netflix show: How to Get Away with Murder

What stood out to you about TCU in your college search process? TCU was home from the second I stepped on campus! Regardless of who I passed on campus – whether it be a student, a faculty member or just someone who would consider themselves to bleed purple, they were all so welcoming and genuine about the horned frog spirit!

Why did you feel TCU was the place for you? TCU was the place for me because I knew that the community would push me to not only leave TCU a better student, but also to have left an impact on the TCU community and be well equipped to leave an impact on the world.

What advice can you give prospective students who are considering TCU? Go all in! If you are looking at TCU, make every detail count and make yourself count as more than a number!