After two years at Franciscan and one year at Pitt, I finally found my place at The University of Texas. Transferring as a senior meant I had to spend an extra year in school, but in my mind, it was worth it to get the degree I wanted and graduate from a school I loved. And I did love it! As you’ll see below, my 10 favorite things about UT may read a little more like favorite things about Austin–I never experienced living on campus, and with how much of a priority my internships and blogging were at the time, it sometimes felt like I was working first and a student second. I actually think that made being in school for five years a little easier! While I’m sure there are some special things about UT that I missed out on as a result, my little sister Kristen (pictured below on the far left) is a sophomore there now, so I love getting to hear about her experience. And, I have a few more years’ worth of excuses to visit :)
1. Being part of a HUGE university, and all of the history, traditions, and community that come with that. This might be a product of starting at a small school, but I loved being able to answer “The University of Texas” when people asked where I went to school, and not have to explain where it was.
2. Living within walking distance of both Torchy’s Tacos and Kerbey Lane–and finding it perfectly acceptable to have their respective quesos on consecutive days. They’re so different! ;)
3. Standing in the main mall and seeing the Tower on one side and the Capitol building on the other side…especially when the Tower was lit up burnt orange for a UT victory!
4. There are clubs and organizations for everything under the sun. I loved being part of Mu Epsilon Theta, a Catholic sorority, and Texas Belles, a group for girls who were interested in event planning, while I was at UT. I remember being so excited to learn that both groups even existed!
5. People are really nice. I’m not sure if this was just the contrast of going back to the South from Pennsylvania, but I found it so much easier to meet and befriend people at UT than I did at Pitt.
6. Texas football! Even when they’re not the best team (let’s not talk about it…), the spirit and tradition of Texas football is awesome. There’s nothing quite like spending Saturday at DKR with 101,000 friends decked out in burnt orange and cowboy boots!
7. Living in Austin. If these points were in order, this would be my top one–I loved everything about living in Austin, and miss it all the time! So many cool stores, amazing restaurants, and things to do.
8. The Austin Flower Company. If you live in Austin, I insist that you make this little shop on W. 35th Street a regular stop–they have a huge variety of wholesale flowers that are available to the public, and the people who work there are so cool. I went at least every other week, just to poke around.
9. Being at UT and in Austin gave me so many awesome opportunities to intern and dip a toe into the wedding industry, through things like interning for Camille Styles and attending The Cream Event. I’m so grateful for that!
10. The feeling of walking across the stage to get my University of Texas diploma. When I was deciding whether or not to transfer, I envisioned graduating from Pitt and feeling like “Thank goodness it’s over.” When I envisioned graduating from UT, I got butterflies. I’m so proud to be a Texas Ex!
I had to include this last picture from my graduation day because it shows off my “class ring!” I feel so strongly that each step of my experience mattered, and when I graduated, it didn’t feel right to just get a Texas ring. Instead, I headed to the Color Bar at Kendra Scott and made something to represent all of my schools! The biggest stone is burnt orange for UT, and I also included green for Franciscan, light blue for my Franciscan household, navy blue for Pitt, and yellow for my UT sorority. It makes me smile every time I look at it–it’s truly my college journey all wrapped up in a cocktail ring :)