Texas has a lot to offer for out-of-staters

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By Magdalayna Drivas | Reporter

I had never stepped foot in Texas in my entire life before coming to Baylor. Now I never want to leave.

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where we are taught that all Texans have thick country accents, wear cowboy boots with every outfit and love nothing more than Texas itself. I took a chance on the Lone Star State in hopes of finding warm weather and die-hard football fans, but ended up with so much more.

From Tex-Mex to barbecue and everything in between, the food in Texas is life-changing. Not only is the food incredible, but it’s also dirt cheap. There are taco trucks and burger joints on every corner offering generous portions of homemade meals for less than $10. When it comes to grocery shopping, H-E-B is like heaven on earth. Aisles of those yellow coupons on top of already low prices seem too good to be true. Texas originals like Whataburger and Blue Bell ice cream make me wonder why anyone would ever want to leave.

Texans are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Strangers will smile and strike up a conversation with me for no reason at all. People will compliment me out of the kindness of their hearts. Even a simple gesture such as having the door held open for you is a luxury you don’t find in most states. Southern hospitality is real, and I miss it the most when I go home to the cold-hearted Northeast.

As I write this in November, it’s sunny and 85 degrees in Waco. Meanwhile, my friends and family back in Pennsylvania are dealing with freezing fall temperatures. It’s hard not to be happy in a place where you never have to worry about ice storms and being snowed-in for days. The Texas summers can be brutally hot, but I’d take relaxing by the pool over huddling up by a fireplace any day.

Also, there is nothing quite like the energy of a football stadium in Texas on game day. High school, college and professional teams alike boast large and loyal fan bases. Football here is like a religion, and you feel an instant connection with someone who has a T-shirt or bumper sticker with your favorite team’s logo on it. The season never seems to last long enough, but that makes it that much more special.

There’s a reason more people moved to Texas than any other state last year, and why so many out-of-state students like me flock to Baylor. Texas may not be as perfect as Texans like to think it is, but it comes pretty darn close. No matter who you are, there’s something for you to love about Texas. As the saying goes, I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could, and I’m very, very glad that I did.

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