I just got back from the ؟thriving metropolis؟ known as College Station, Texas this morning. I got to spend 3.5 days looking at the campus, talking with students and faculty in the SAAHE program I’m applying to and hanging out with these fine people!
I got to Kelsey’s house Saturday night and promptly realized I forgot all my toiletries in Arlington. Thus, Barclay picked me up, took me to Layne’s and then to Target to buy mini shampoos and conditioner. We then popped in to surprise Mark and Macie before heading to Barclay’s house to watch some 30 Rock.
Sunday I got to go to Fellowship Church for their crazy celebration Sunday! All the homegroups brought their banners and walked to the front with their gifts for Operation Christmas Child. The church was really different from The Rock (and yes, I realize I came on an anomalous day, but I can still tell it’s different normally…), but I liked it. They have 15 homegroups, and I know choosing one if I end up there will be hard because there are so many great people!
After church I ate lunch with Kelsey’s homegroup, Connect, and then spent some time catching up with wonderful Wenet! I then ventured around College Station to find a grocery story and went to dinner with Sam’s homegroup, Ebenezers of the Essential Earth. There was a piñata, so that was pretty fantastic.
Monday is when I started all my official school stuff. I spoke with the director of the SAAHE program on the phone and found out that they pick 15 people from 60 applicants, which made me somewhat nervous until I was reminded that Harvard’s odds are 1/2000 and my friend Caleb’s med school chances are 1/15. I guess 1/4 is better than those, right? Plus I felt a lot better after meeting with some first year SAAHE students and talking to two former Mizzou hall coordinators who now work at A&M.The program sounds really awesome, and I’m even more excited about it than I was before!
After all my meetings I went to Barclay’s photography class and saw the infamous Typography classroom. It was pretty beautiful. That night I went to Thanksgiving dinner with Barclay’s homegroup, Smackdown, and brought Wenet along as well. Overall it was quite an enjoyable day.
Tuesday I managed the bus system for the second day in a row and took an official campus and residence hall tour, just out of curiosity. IT WAS SO HOT. That’s one thing I’m going to have a lot of difficulty with when I return to the Lone Star State. There I was, in late November, sweating, losing my straight hair to humidity and wishing I were wearing shorts. High of 85 in November, Texas? Not acceptable. Besides the warmth, the tour was pretty cool.
After my tours I got Freebirds (at the headquarters location) with Macie and then crashed Junior E-Walk with Kelsey. SO MUCH WHOOPING. I’m so good at senior wildcatting now, though. I got the legs and the hands and everything down to an art. I’m ready for my Aggie ring! Fightin’ Texas Aggie Graduate School Class of 2013! Whoop!
It was amazing to me to discover the differences between Mizzou/Columbia and A&M/College Station. They’re pretty much nothing alike except they’re both kind of in the middle of the state a few hours from the big cities and they’re both Big 12 schools. In the words of one of the former MU hall coordinators I met, “College Station is pretty much what you would expect if you gave a bunch of cowboys money to build their perfect college town.”
- A&M’s ResLife is completely different from Mizzou’s; they don’t even require/can’t even accommodate freshmen on-campus housing.
- Their campus is way less pretty.
- Everyone drives/takes the bus everywhere; walking from off-campus housing is pretty unheard of because there’s not a lot of housing right near campus. (i.e. no East Campus neighborhood equivalent)
- THEY LOVE BIKES. SO MANY BIKES EVERYWHERE. And you thought Columbia liked their bikes. CStat’s got a bike lane in every main road.
- Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous school spirit. I mean I knew there was school spirit, but I can’t even count how many times I whooped during the 45 minutes I was at E-Walk. Also any time Barclay or Kelsey knocked on a door, it was to the rhythm of “hullabaloo, caneck, caneck.” Also someone honked “hullabaloo, caneck, caneck” in the church parking lot on Sunday and about 50 people wildcatted. Ridiculousness.
- It’s huge. There were more A&M students at Saturday’s game against Nebraska than GO TO MIZZOU. 30,000 students at the game alone.
- Their bus system is legit. Prompt, always available, easy to navigate, available to people like me who don’t even go to their school!
- Their parking is not as good. No free parking on weekends? What if I wanted to visit Wenet’s dorm?
I’m sure there are a million other differences, but these aren’t really bad differences; they’re just differences. I like both schools a lot for different reasons.
Sadly, the timeline for me finding out about getting in is SO LONG. I’ll know if I’m invited to interview by the end of January, then I’ll find out if I’m in at the beginning of March. My application is done, so for now it’s a waiting game.
In the mean time, I’m doing a little more research to apply to one more school close to home. I feel fairly confident about A&M, but I should have a backup plan.
Let’s do this.