My weekend started a day early as I skipped Friday to drive to Austin, Texas--the place I am likely to call home in less than five months. I got the chills as we drove into campus knowing that I would soon be making this drive with my bags packed, leaving Memorial for good. But, enough of the mushy gushy stuff. I had an absolute blast at Round Up. I will admit, though, it was exhausting, and at times extremely overwhelming. Let's call this weekend, um, Greek life on steroids.
Looking back, I think I experienced the perfect balance of excitement and anxiety for next year during my stay. I had a few moments where I missed home, my family, my bed, and a home-cooked meal. It dawned on me that I needed to cherish these treasures during my next few months at home and to take into account the smart decision of staying a two-hour drive away from home. Yet, at the same time I came to embrace this radically new environment and look forward to this journey ahead and being able to start fresh.
I was able to reconnect with girls from my school that I hadn't talked to in so long. If they agreed on one thing it was that this next year is the absolute best time of your life starting from the spring break trip throughout freshman year and if they had the chance, they'd do it all over again. I also met a lot of fresh faces, and there wasn't one girl I met that wasn't anything but bubbly, friendly, and so sweet. The motto of the weekend was "big girl gotta eat" as we all downed tacos, pancakes, hamburgers, Pluckers wings, fried pickles, and other sure-to-clog-your-artery food items. Some girls and I may or may not have made a Jack in the Box run at 4 in the morning...
Meet Austin Waltmon. We took this picture in dedication to our brothers--Matt and Andy. They are the best of friends and both so happen to have senior siblings that will both be living in Austin next year. I see a blossoming friendship in the works. Speaking of Andy, my mom's favorite story from the weekend was that I got into an SAE foam party (after an hour of waiting and nearly dying of suffocation in a mosh pit from hell on wheels) by mentioning my brother's name and association with a high school rap group he was in--Iced Out Eskimoz. He doesn't like to speak of it now that he's 24, but let me tell you, everyone else I know sees his days as McConvict as his glory days. PS-it's probably my favorite story from the weekend, too.
Liz came up for the weekend, although she is either Georgia or Louisiana bound. Tough call. I am a little bias for the tigers just so that she's closer to Texas!
Whitney was one of my Young Life leaders freshman year whom I adore. She showed me around on the first night and was serving up pancakes at that annual Theta Pancake feast. I had heard all the hype about these flapjacks, but I didn't know what to expect considering I've always been team French toast when breakfast time came. I clearly underestimated these heavenly treats. There were several varieties--some filled with breakfast meats, some with fruits like blueberries, the classic chocolate chip, and for those with an even sweeter tooth, you could swing for the M&M or Oreo.
We walked everywhere. I haven't quite got the Greek 'hood figured out yet, but I'm slowly beginning to form a map in my head and I think I'll be able to master it within a few weeks of living in Austin. Let's hope anyway.
I rode up with Mary Caroline (right) and here she is pictured with her roommate Allie. They met through a mutual friend--Josephine actually! There was roommate frenzy left and right with all the girls staying at Hardin. Some girls have cousins they're rooming with, some with girls from their school they never got to know, and some are still searching. I fall in the last category for now!
We took a little detour from the constant moving from house to house routine to snack on some snow cones at Sno Beach. It's just a little cart tucked in a shopping center, but it serves up delicious shaved ice with an overwhelming amount of flavors and is a campus favorite.
On a normal day, Katie here would stick out like a sore thumb on campus, but during Round Up weekend, this neon sorority-labeled gear is the norm. Round Up is the weekend where all the Greeks rep their sorority or fraternity. They all buy the gear ahead of time and the girls pass out their sorority items for the boys to wear as well.
So after a long weekend of very little sleep, I came home to Houston with yet another party to gear up for--our first graduation party! The dance floor was packed with boys and girls two-stepping to the music of local band Emory Quinn--a Texas A&M favorite. My brother claims he's buds with the gang, and well, I guess I believe him. I just didn't know rappers and country singers mingled. Learn something new every day I suppose.
So how's that for a busy weekend? A special thanks to Camryn for letting me bunk with her at Hardin! And to all of you who took us baby Longhorns under your wing and showed us the ropes, we love you and couldn't be more grateful!