Six years. Six years ago I moved halfway across this country. Packed my bags in California and made the trek to the great nation of Texas.
And yes, Texas is indeed its own nation.
I always had strong ties to this state. Twice a year my family and I would load up the car and drive 27.3674 hours to see my relatives. My parents, my brother, two dogs, a cat, and myself in a silver Dodge Caravan. Despite being covered in dog hair, being sick of one another and crying my eyes out when we had to go home, those trips were one of my favorite things from my childhood. It made sense that I would go to college in the Lone Star State.
Six years ago, I did that.
I remember getting that acceptance letter. To be honest, in addition to the “encouragement” from my father (who was also a Bear), the reason I applied was because my high school laziness was not required to write an essay.
North Russell, Room 307 was my dorm. My parents moved me in and we toured the campus. Then the night came to say goodbye. They drove me to Welcome Week Roundup. We hugged and cried before I turned to make my journey across the Baylor Science Building fields with all of the other freshman. When I turned around for one last look, the van was gone.
I was on my own. For real.
What an adventure! Freshman year was filled with trying not to fail classes. Instead I made the Dean’s list. Sophomore year I got really involved with the university. I joined the Bear Pit and met some lifelong friends along the way with sporting events. I also met a cute boy, who would date me and break up with me, but I would never be able to get him out of my mind.
Junior year was my year to live like a “college kid.” I became a lot more social. Spent some time with various fraternities. Reaffirmed the fact that I never wanted to be a part of the Greek Life. And applied for what would be the greatest adventure of my college career.
That adventure was the Baylor Communications in New York program.
I was accepted into the program the summer before my senior year. The fall semester was spent sending out hundreds of application for internships. Applications to David Letterman, Rachel Ray, ESPN, CBS, MTV, etc. I took two trips to NYC that semester, interviewing with Letterman, Rachel Ray and ESPN New York, and finally accepting ESPN. January 9, 2010 I moved to the Big Apple. Another move across the country to a city I never thought I would visit, let alone live in.
Greatest five months of my life! No reservations, nothing holding me back, living in the city that never sleeps.
Coming back I finished my degree and walked across that graduation stage August 14, 2010. While in New York I was offered a position hosting my own show on a radio station in Waco. Needless to say, I accepted and have been working in the building ever since.
Near the end of 2010, that same boy I met and dated sophomore year came back to Texas from his own adventure with Royal Caribbean. To simply put it, he said he couldn’t live with out me. A year and a half later, on July 15, 2012 he proposed.
Now, here I sit, in the studio of a country station in Waco, Texas talking about the start of a new year for students at Baylor University. There’s a ring on my finger and a sense of gratitude in my heart.
Sometimes I wish I could replay the last six years of my life, not as an actor but as a viewer.
It’s been a great six years, but I’m itching for what lies ahead.