I Love This Place

By Courtney Roberts

Walking around campus these past few weeks, I’ve been stopping more than usual -stopping to take it all in, talk to passing friends and enjoy the warmer weather. I’m becoming quite sappy. When I think about everything that has happened during my Baylor years, I’m caught up in a wave of emotion. I feel happy, blessed, thankful, proud and overjoyed at the friends and memories I’ve made. I always seem to think, “I love this place!”

These past two weeks have been especially wonderful. As school winds down, I’ve gotten to spend more time with friends, wander through Cameron Park and goof off more than usual. I celebrated my 22nd birthday, went to numerous end of the year parties and attended my last class ever. It’s going by much faster than I thought, and I’ve found myself taking quick pictures of things on campus in a bout of nostalgia. If I could take a picture of the Pat Neff bells playing “That Good Old Baylor Line” one last time, I would!

It’s funny to look back at where I was four years ago, experiencing major senioritis as I was about to graduate high school and not giving much thought to what my life would look like at Baylor. To be honest, I almost didn’t go to Baylor. I was torn between the University of Oklahoma and Baylor, and I didn’t make a decision until April 30, a.k.a the day before I had to make a decision. I was definitely throwing caution to the wind.

But, I’m glad I didn’t have many expectations going in. Baylor blew me away. I was amazed at how easy the transition to Baylor was, and I frequently called my mom to tell her about all the things I was doing and how I was never coming home. Before long, I had a big group of friends that I hung out with most of my waking hours. We did all kinds of shenanigans together, from sneakily climbing into Pat Neff’s bell tower in the middle of the day to hanging a 15-foot-long balloon arch between the outside of our friends’ windows at Penland. Eventually, I buckled down and learned how to study, but that is a different story.

To make a long story short, there is no way to succinctly tell you what an impact Baylor has made on my life. I’ve made friends and memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime, and I know so many of my peers will tell you the same. It’s been a crazy adventure, and I’m confident that this is just the beginning!

Below are a few pictures of my favorite Baylor memories.

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Celebrating my birthday with some friends from church!

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Kappa Alpha Theta’s member class of 2011. These four years have been such a blast with them!

 

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By far one of my favorite Baylor memories was getting to study abroad in Florence, Italy, with the Baylor journalism department. You can read about it here!

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After graduation, I will be working in the Texas Capitol as a legislative aid for a state representative. I’m thrilled to be working in such a fun place. I have no clue what life will look like in this next season, but God has provided so much already. Finding this job and finding a place to live in Austin just seemed to fall into my lap. I consider myself abundantly blessed when I look at all that has happened this year, let alone these last four years. But, I know that I’ll be back for football games in the new McLane Stadium, and I’ll make it a point to stop by campus when I pass through Waco.

I love this place, but “the old has gone, and the new is here!” So goodbye, Waco. Hello, Austin!

Last Tips for Incoming Freshmen!

By Brooks Goodwin

For all the graduating high school seniors who will be coming to Baylor to start of their college careers in the fall, I thought it would be nice to give some tips for how to make the most out of your summer.

First off, be sure to spend plenty of time with your family and friends. Heading off to college is a very exciting time. You will meet plenty of people and develop new friendships, but don’t be so eager to leave home without spending some last moments of quality time with your closest friends and, of course, your family. There is no telling how long it will be before you see them again once you move to Baylor, so make the most of your time with them while you can this summer.

Secondly, GO TO LINE CAMP! Seriously, I think that anyone you meet who finds out you are an incoming freshman will tell you to make this a priority. Line Camp is a really fun experience and definitely gets you excited to be a Baylor Bear. Line Camp will not only allow you to get a feel for living on Baylor’s campus for a week, but it will also allow you to meet many of your fellow classmates before classes even start, which can be beneficial if you don’t know anybody else attending Baylor. You also learn a lot of things about Baylor, such as it’s history and the chants/cheers done at football games, which you absolutely have to know. For more information, check out the Line Camp website.

Line Camp Group

My Line Camp Group!

Lastly, get excited! You are about to start the experience of a lifetime and join the wonderful community that is the Baylor family. College is a fun, challenging, life-changing and rewarding time, and I honestly believe that Baylor is one of the best places to make home for the next four years. Enjoy your summer and have fun when August comes around and it is time for move in. I look forward to seeing you all on campus, Class of 2018!

Building Your Future

By Avery Jackson

One really cool thing about being in college (and specifically Baylor) is that you learn how to be prepared for the job search when you graduate. I still have one more year of school, but I have already built my online portfolio in addition to two different printed versions. A portfolio is something you put together that shows your graphic design skills, your writing skills, photography work and YouTube videos you have created, no matter if it was for work or for fun. You can also show what you did for a summer internships or other jobs to give a potential boss an idea of what you can do. You package this up with your resume and cover letter, as well as letters of recommendation, and take it with you to a job interview.

In two of my classes this semester, this was my final exam. Both classes were simply there to help me build up my portfolio and learn how to put it together. I have already gotten a summer internship in Valparaiso, Indiana, with Kids Alive International as a communications/marketing intern, and it is a full-time paid position! I was able to send them to my online site to see some of my skills in writing and design, and it impressed them enough to hire me as their first intern!

Once you start at Baylor, a majority of your classes will have projects or papers you can include in your own professional portfolio, and who know, you might just land your dream job because of a project you did in your first couple years in school!

Check out some of the pages of my portfolio!

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In a Word…

By Frances George

Statue of Liberty: Freedom

The Tower of Pisa: Leaning

Dietrich Bonheoffer: Fearless

The Crown Jewels: Priceless

Many things, people and places can be described in a single word. As I look back over this year and the amazing privilege of writing for Baylor Admissions, there are many words that come to mind as I think of Baylor and what the university has come to mean to not only our daughter, but our family.

So, how would I describe Baylor? What do I think of when I hear “Baylor”?

In a word: (or ten)

Joy

Maturity

Opportunity

Introspection

Broadening

Deepening

Fun!

Valuable

Spiritual

New

Comfortable

Laughter

Lovely

Warm….Hot!

As this semester draws to a close and our students gear up for finals, a summer job at a camp, studying abroad, a first internship or a first “real” job post graduation, there is an opportunity and a challenge to look back in order to move forward. To think that my daughter is halfway through this very exciting academic adventure is thrilling and sad all at the same time.

While Mary Scott was home for Easter, we recalled the great highlights of the year: moving into her first house with the girls off campus, “Welcome Week” where SHE did the welcoming, new Bible studies through her amazing church, seeing familiar classmates and “old” friends on the first day of class, Recruitment, SING, Spring Break on a whim in Florida, home for Easter and coffee with Mom, gathering advice on all things heart related and now preparing to study in Spain with Baylor friends this summer. In a word: Busy!

Over Easter break, my daughter sought our advice on an issue with which she had been wrestling. She listened, differently than she had in years past. She inquired more deeply than before. She was honest in a matter in which she could have responded without emotion. She wanted to “hear” from her mother and her dad and process our words. As Mary Scott and I went out for breakfast and ran a few errands prior to taking her to the airport to complete the final weeks of school, she leaned over and said, “Mom, thank you for your advice. I needed to hear that. I am grateful for what you said.” In a word: Maturity.

At the Easter lunch table, with grandparents all around, I asked our guests, “What is the great blessing you have gleaned over the past year of life?” One by one, everyone gave their answer. When it was Mary Scott’s turn, she shared how she has realized more fully what a unique and wonderful place Baylor is. She said that she sees it more clearly now that she’s been there for two years and can compare stories with her friends at other schools around the country. She said she realizes how fortunate she is to have friends from such similar backgrounds as her own, with families who love and support, challenge and encourage one another and who have mothers and fathers who understand “family”. She is grateful for faculty who are caring mentors not just academic instructors. This doesn’t exist on most campuses…nor is it treasured. In a word: Thankful.

So, in the end, if we can say we are thankful for what transpires at Baylor in our children’s lives (the great moments and the ones through which our children wrestle and come out on the other side wiser and more mature), then its value is real and rare.

In a word: Baylor.  The name says it all. And for our daughter, our family and countless others, that has made all the difference.

Now for summer! In a word: ENJOY! (and thanks for reading)

And Then There Was One

By Joe Bridgeman

My final class as a junior at Baylor has come to a close. Then, after a week of finals, those class grades too will be sealed, and my junior year will finally be complete. It’s a bittersweet moment. Sweet, because I have accomplished much this year and learned a whole lot because of the hard work I put into my classes. Bitter, because school is so much fun, and I’ve got only one year left.

I am grateful, though, for the time I have had so far. One of the things I hated hearing before coming to college was “It’s going to be the best four years of your life! It’s going to fly by so fast.” I was excited about the “It’s going to be the best four years of your life” part but a little disappointed to hear the “It’s going to fly by so fast” part.  Unfortunately, it’s true. I feel like I’ve sufficiently taken hold of and appreciated the time I’ve had at Baylor so far, and I’m even more intent to do so now that I only have one year left.

I mean, how cool is it to get to spend four years of your life just learning as your full-time job? Trust me – you may not jump for joy right now over that idea, but we’ll both look back fondly at college from the workforce. I get to take top classes on whatever subjects I want and switch them out every three months for new ones. In some jobs, your best hope at an educational experience is either being sent to a conference or self-education.

What is the take away here? Don’t let yourself grumble about college.  Everyone has difficult tests, too much homework and too little sleep – which is good, because everyone understands the struggle. But, be sure to not get stuck focusing on the struggles or you’ll miss the view as the years fly by. And trust me, the view is worth it.

Here’s to the next one.

The Count Down

By Patara Williams

Classes are over!!! Whoo-hooo! Just one more semester of undergraduate courses, and then I’m off to the real world!

We have now entered “dead days”- days designated for students to prepare for finals

So, as I sit here trying to calculate the outcomes of each of my courses, I try to avoid any feelings of angst. Yes, no more class = joy! But the fact that dead days are in effect = scary…finals begin in a mere 5 days. So, I have two options:

  1. Freak out now and become consumed by my fear of inevitable tests…BAD
  2. Prepare now and utilize every moment for test exam preparation (no cramming)…GOOD

Being prepared for finals is not so much about studying as it is being organized. But studying is important! I find that my finals go better when I am on top of my schedule.

So, because finals begin in T-5 days, today is a great day to get organized. Here are my To-Dos:

  • Remind myself of the days and times of every final
  • Do any of my finals conflict?
  • If so, do my professors already know? (give them an early heads up)
  • Set a bed time and a breakfast time for finals week
  • Allocate rewards
  • If I complete X #hours of studying, I can: 1) see a movie, 2) Have dinner with a friend, 3) Take a Nap, 4) etc.
  • Start a summer countdown on my phone
  • Set aside times for meditation, prayer, worship and/or Bible reading
  • PRAYER DOES WORK
  • Figure out where I are going to study
  • Have a back up spot

Things not to do:

  • Fear
  • Become overwhelmed
  • Squander time
  • Go to sleep late
  • Skip breakfast

Obviously the week of finals is a bittersweet time since it means we soon must depart from our sweet Baylor and head home away from all of our Baylor buds. But, it is also a time of rejoicing because we are reassured that the light is always shining at the end of the tunnel, though sometimes we might forget in the midst of the storm. We must hold on!

Philippians 3:14

Sic ‘Em.

Sophia’s Senior Confessions

By Sophia Cooper

With graduation rapidly approaching (14 days, 22 hours and 1 min from writing this sentence, but who’s counting?), I have started reflecting back on my Baylor experience. What was my favorite memory? My biggest regret? My most successful moment? So, here they are: Sophia’s Senior Confessions!

  1. Morning classes are hard, and I had Physics 1 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:05 a.m. fall of my freshman year.  To counteract the sleepy monster that hit me mid-lecture, I snuck down to the Atrium Café during class and got coffee. At least twice a week…for the entire semester. (For the record, I got an A in that class!)
  2. My only major regret is not going to the OU football game my sophomore year (the 2011 season). I had a long week, tons of homework and knew we would just get blown out anyway. As I sat on the couch with my boyfriend David, we watched in awe as our Baylor football team made school history. Our discussion: “We could totally make it to Floyd Casey Stadium before the fourth quarter…” “I don’t know, there’ll be traffic…” “Nah, we’ll blow it…” “Let’s go…” “There’s traffic…” Back and forth, until we ended up just watching the TV as our fellow students stormed the field and rocked the Big 12. The worst part? My sister Katrin made it on ESPN.com.
  3. I am proud and embarrassed all at the same time to admit that I won the female division of the Gut Pak Run this spring. The Gut Pak Run is an event sponsored by the Freshman Class Council and the Baylor Triathlon Club to raise money for Mission Waco, a local charity. It consists of running one mile from campus to Vitek’s BBQ, eating a Gut Pak (I had a small) and then running back to campus.  I’m proud to say I won the race and embarrassed to say that I ate my Gut Pak faster than anyone else in my heat!
  4. I would never admit this to her face, but I loved having Katrin on campus with me. Having my sister here meant that no matter what happened, I had a friend.  While we didn’t hang out together as much as we should have, I loved having her study with me, running into her randomly around campus and taking pictures together at football games. We had two completely separate social circles and lives, but we always had each other. Spending my sophomore year Diadeloso with her was an absolute blast; even though it was her last one, she shared it with little me. Now that we’re growing up and moving out on our own, I realize how much of a blessing it was to have those extra 2.5 years of living near each other.
  5. I participated in events solely to get free food and T-shirts. You do what you gotta do in college!

These are only a few of the confessions I’m OK with my mom reading about (sorry Mom!), but the list of kooky memories I have goes on and on.  Tomorrow is my last day of class EVER, and then by 11 a.m. next Saturday, I am done with finals. I remember moving into Heritage House freshman year knowing no one but Katrin and desperately latching onto my roommate Lizzie in order to have one friend.  Now, we’re inseparable. These four years have gone by way too quickly, and now it’s time to be a big kid. God has provided me with more memories and experiences than I can put into one blog post, and I know that they have helped form me into the woman I am today. I am excited to announce I will be working as a Systems Engineer for Lockheed Martin’s Fleet Ballistic Missile program in Sunnyvale, California, post-graduation!  God has a big plan for me, and I know that my Baylor experience was part of His vision.  I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it for the world.  The memories and relationships I created over the past four years will last me a lifetime.

May 1st

By Laura Teague

College Decision Day! Today marks the start of a life changing adventure for the Class of 2018! Get ready – these next four years are going to rock your world. Some of you (I hope most!) will start your journey at Line Camp this summer and continue on with Welcome Week. Then all of a sudden, classes start, and you are an official college student. I can’t wait to cheer on our football team to victory with you in just 121 days in our brand new stadium, watch y’all run the line, experience Homecoming for the first time and pass on Baylor to you. Enjoy these last few weeks of senior year, even though school may seem like the last thing you want to do!

Today is very special for me, as my little brother is a senior in high school, and his decision is final today. As much as I wish he would be sporting his Line Jersey this fall, he has found his own perfect fit. He is fulfilling his dream of playing collegiate baseball at Samford University.

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Although he will not be on this campus with me next fall, my advice to him is the same.

Enjoy every second of this new adventure. Get excited about all of these next steps: meeting your roommate, choosing your classes and moving into your residence hall; it really is an exciting time! So this summer, practice your Sic ‘Em and get all of your Baylor gear ready for August 30th!

Congratulations Class of 2018, and welcome to the Baylor family!

Finding Home Away from Home

By Patara Williams

Every once in a while, I need some soul food, aka momma’s cooking. Every once in a while, I need to jab my brother in the stomach – sibling love. Every once in a while, I need to escape the worries of assignments, papers and tests.

As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes…I just need home.

I thought I had it made…my family lived 90 miles away. Not too far. Not too close. Just right.

In my earlier years, when I needed a taste of the home-life, it only took an hour and a half to get there. But for some of my friends, their issue of family and spatial proximity was not as fortunate. Three-day long breaks aren’t enough time to go home to Colorado let alone Nigeria or China to see mom, dad and siblings.

That forced them to figure out ways to fill the distance and feel the love, like:

  • Skype, FaceTime, Oovo, etc.
  • Call with that good ol’ fashioned telephone
  • Spend time with friends and their families during school breaks
  • Snapchat
  • Write letters….
    • Who does that anymore? Email…

My little brother (who I call Little Brother) caught me taking a selfie while on FaceTime…awkward.

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Or you can have your parents do what my mom did last Thursday….

Move to Waco O_o

Now don’t get your panties in a bunch. Living a few miles from mom isn’t that bad. Now that my mom and little brother are right here in home sweet Waco, I can look forward to good cooking, sibling rivalry and five mile drives to get away from the worries of college life. So, when finals week rolls around and I can’t find a study portal in the library, off to Mom’s.

Finding a home away from home won’t be a difficult task. The challenge will be allocating time toward family and friends and maintaining contact despite a hectic and exciting life away from home!

Embrace your years as a college student, but don’t neglect your family and old friends. It’s far too easy to become overwhelmed and consumed with the college life. Cherish family. Cherish friends. Cherish home.

I hope that Baylor will be your home away from home.

Sic ‘Em

Waco’s Best Restaurants

By Michael Allen

After growing up outside of the big city of Dallas, I was shocked at the restaurant selection in Waco. I have never been much of a chain restaurant kind of person, and it seemed like all Waco had to offer were average chain restaurants! However, after meeting older students during my freshman year, I quickly found out that Waco has many great and low cost restaurants.

Pic 2The first restaurant I have to brag on, which is only located in Waco, is George’s Restaurant. George’s offers a large menu, great “comfort food” and a fun atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if you order a chicken fried steak or a burger; you are guaranteed to leave George’s full and satisfied. My favorite item on the menu is the baked potato covered in fried chicken and queso. It’s not the healthiest item on the menu, but as long as you visit the Student Life Center (SLC) afterwards, you won’t have any regrets!

These next two restaurants I am going to group together, because they are both hole-in-the-wall burger restaurants. The first one is called Dubl-R Burgers, which is far down 17th street. It is definitely a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, because from the outside, you would almost be afraid to walk in. However, when you do, it almost looks like an old diner. There are booths along one wall and a short bar that overlooks the grills and the cooks. Every employee is very friendly and helps make the restaurant seem like a welcoming environment. Of course, the thing to order here is the burger and fries. They also offer a variety of shakes. The other hole-in-the-wall burger restaurant in Waco is called Kitok. It is located a little closer to Baylor than Dubl-R, but it is still on the same road. The thing that sets Kitok apart from Dubl-R is its oriental fries, which are a mix of real fries, onion rings and fried vegetables. They are a delicious in addition to one of its burgers. Both restaurants are affordable and always busy, which in my eyes are two good things!

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A great breakfast restaurant in Waco is Café Cappuccino. There are two locations and a guaranteed wait on any weekend morning. While the service is not always the best because they are so busy, the food is amazing. I always get the breakfast quesadillas with salsa! They are filling and made with delicious ingredients. I am not a coffee drinker, but have heard that the cappuccinos are good too!

I know that these are only a few restaurants, but Waco has many others that are sure to amaze you. For most students, you’re only in Waco for four short years, so it’s important to try these Waco hot spots while you can and avoid the big chain restaurants!