How Baylor helped me appreciate my home state more

By Olivia Martin | Social Media Editor

“What made you come to Texas?”

This is a question that I am asked quite frequently, and sometimes I’m even the one asking myself this. I have lived in the same house my whole life in Northern California and I can’t say enough good things about my home state. I love the people, the beautiful scenery, the beach, the mountains, the weather… the list goes on. However, I wasn’t always this “obsessed” with my state, and I have Texas to thank for my newfound hometown appreciation.

Deciding to go to Baylor was a huge decision for me, as I have no connection to Texas whatsoever. I remember my sweet parents being slightly confused as to how their youngest child was wanting to go to a school that was approximately 1,492 miles away from home. My initial love for Baylor after my first visit mixed with my love for travel and being in new places, is ultimately what resulted in me attending Baylor, a choice in which I am extremely content.

Freshman year was full of culture shock, to say the least. I actually thoroughly enjoyed the reaction I would get from people when I told them I had never tried one of the seemingly countless barbeque restaurants. I will never forget buying my first pair of boots to go to a country event and feeling ridiculous wearing them, or when I learned what a “mum” was and had to explain that we do not use those in California. (I still don’t understand the point of them.)

I am now going on my third year of living in Texas during the school year, and can confirm that my knowledge of southern culture has expanded immensely, and hardly ever do I get those freshman year reactions from people anymore. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed about myself since being in Texas, is not only how highly I talk about California, but how much I appreciate where I was born and raised my whole life. Although a part of me has grown to love certain aspects of Texas, I find myself often talking to my friends about my home state and raving about all the things I love about it.

During my freshman-year summer, one of my best friends from Baylor came to visit me for a week, and it was her first time ever in California. This experience really opened my eyes to how much love I have for my state as I got to share my favorite places with my friend and act as a tour guide.

I can confidently say that going to an out-of-state school has made me appreciate my home state way more than ever before. I am very passionate about getting out of your comfort zone and going to new places, and I would encourage anyone thinking about going to an out-of-state school to do it! From my experience, not only will you get to be a part of a new culture and meet people with different backgrounds, but you will also realize how much you appreciate your home state or even hometown and all the things that make it home to you.