You know that a new year is upon us when the moving trucks start to out-populate the professors. It’s always nerve-wracking and a little scary moving to a new place, but fear not because we are here to help! We’ve compiled nine things that we thought would be handy for newcomers to know before moving to Baylor University and Waco, Texas.
If you hear someone yelling sic’em, then know you’re around Bears.
It’s a weird thing that we often yell that while sounding better than the hook’ems and gig’ems of the world, makes less sense. It usually is accompanied by a Bear Claw and originated from the football field, but has since become appropriate for just about anything Baylor. It’s meaning is essentially a mixture between admiration and excitement, and you’ll be saying it before you know it!
If you want a glimpse of our most famed alumni, then head to the Silo District.
To be honest, you’d have a better chance of seeing the Gaines’s picking up a pepperoni pie from Shorty’s than through the swarms at Magnolia. The Silo District still has a lot to offer, though. Stores like Magnolia and The Findery are bringing both tourists and fashionable home décor to the city. Also, Shorty’s is real good.
If you love history, then you came to the right place.
Waco is a place of immense history that is restored, refurbished, and treasured. In fact, both Magnolia and The Findery are housed in nearly one hundred-year-old buildings. A block away is the Dr Pepper Museum, which showcases the town’s most famous invention. If you’re not impressed there are many more museums, as well as historic houses, hall of fames, and a National Monument.
If you’ve never had a Dr Pepper float, then enjoy having very happy taste buds.
A place that loves its history also strives to keep its traditions. In the Student Union, Dr Pepper Hour, which occurs every Tuesday afternoon, has been happening since the fifties. The Dr Pepper (also, never use a dot after the Dr in Dr Pepper!) floats that are served there are a heavenly combination of vanilla ice cream and the carbonated good stuff. After you’re first taste you’ll already be asking for seconds.
If you are still hungry after your delicious float, then don’t worry.
I thought I’d play a fun game where I visit a different restaurant every time I go out to eat. It’s been a year and I’m still nowhere close to the bottom of the list, which, like my appetite, is ever-expanding. There is everything here! Southern, Thai, BBQ, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, Czech (kolaches!!) and American to name a few. The real struggle won’t be finding a tasty meal; it’ll be deciding what really great restaurant to go to for dinner tonight.
If you need to take a walk to digest, then head to Cameron Park.
Driving, walking, biking, running, riding, hiking through Cameron Park transports you to another world. The trees are lusciously green and overgrown providing shade from the beating sun. Lovers Leap provides an excellent view of the surroundings from its elevated position on top of one of the only large hills in the area. The Riverwalk catches the breeze from the Brazos River to make for a perfect destination year-round.
If you see a tortilla floating in the Brazos, then head to the Suspension Bridge.
If there’s still a small glimmer of light left from the sunset on your way home, then you just may see something in the corner of your eye floating in the water that looks like a lily pad. Then, you see twenty more. Don’t be confused, it’s just a tortilla from another one of Waco’s strangest traditions. People throw them off of the Suspension Bridge hoping to land them on one of the old train track pillars a few yards out into the water. Why? Because it’s oddly enjoyable and you are bound to eventually agree!
If you like to stay out after the sun goes down, then walk two blocks south to Downtown.
Waco is a small town that has a lot of big city amenities. On the first Friday of every month, businesses Downtown stay open for longer hours to provide an opportunity for strolling on Austin and Franklin Avenues. There is a movie theater with excellent food, concert venues, restaurants, coffee shops, and more popping-up seemingly every other day. Once here, you won’t be thinking that there’s nothing to do for too long.
If you ever feel lost in Waco, then know you’re around family.
The best thing to know about Waco, though, is how friendly and welcoming the people are to life-long residents and newcomers, alike. Despite all of the city’s hard times, it’s still truly the epitome of Southern comfort and, quite frankly, you’ll never want to leave.
So, welcome, sic’em, and don’t throw away that last tortilla!
By Matthew Doyen
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