Attending Baylor University, much like attending any university, is a formative time in a young adult’s life. A large piece of that time is learning to live in a new, unfamiliar place. Learning to navigate Waco, getting acclimated to campus and finding a routine in a new place is all a valuable part of the college experience.
However, as much as learning to live in Waco is important, learning to leave Waco is crucial as well. As you grow to call Waco home, it is important to spread your wings and explore beyond the “Baylor Bubble”. Whether it is traveling abroad or taking a weekend trip to the coast with your friends, leaving Waco from time to time is important for several reasons.
College is a time when students are continually learning new ideas and methods of thinking. Occasionally, so much new material is learned at once that it can be hard to find a way to process or apply this information to every day life. However, leaving Waco can allow you to reflect on what you are learning, in a different environment. During travel to new and old places, you encounter different concepts and scenarios that allow you to think about what you have learned outside the classroom setting.
Another reason that leaving Waco is important is that it helps you form bonds with friends involving experiences beyond Baylor. Cheering at Baylor sporting events, attending the Homecoming Parade and making midnight trips to Taco Z’s with your friends are all important ways in which students bond in Waco. However, traveling outside of Waco with your college peers can help create memories that go beyond the university. It takes you and your friends away from your common ground, so that you all are forced to enter completely new situations together, in turn forcing you to make unforgettable memories.
Lastly, traveling outside of Waco is important for the most obvious of reasons: it can give you a break from the hectic and demanding schedule that college can put on us all.
As a member of the Baylor Riding Association, I take part in a bi-annual trail ride in Valley Mills. Each semester we, as a club, go to C-Bar Ranch and help the owner host and manage the trail ride. Although it is only 35 minutes away from Waco, we get to camp out for a whole weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. While we help with the chores around the ranch, we mostly just hang out, eat, and ride horses. Despite being a busy weekend, trail rides always ends up being a refreshing time away from Waco.
Trips like these allow students to take a small mental break away from tests and deadlines. This gives students an opportunity to make memories with their friends that involve experiences completely unrelated to school, which can be refreshing when school consumes your every day life.
Going to Baylor and living in Waco are both experiences unique to themselves. Each provides young adults with the opportunity to learn, grow and challenge themselves. Together, they help form lasting relationships and experiences that students carry with them forever. However, in order to take full advantage of living in Waco, from time to time, leave Waco.
Hunter Hewell is a senior journalism major from Seguin. He is a reporter for the Lariat.