You’ll be back in Waco sooner than later

By Grace Fortier | Photographer

You’ve spent this entire semester developing relationships and community, and going home for break shouldn’t change what you’ve already built. Just because the semester is wrapping up doesn’t mean your newfound community gets wrapped up in that too.

Students choose to go out of state for college for a variety of reasons — the main ones being to explore a new area, meet new people and be surrounded by a different environment. With out-of-state enrollment at Baylor being 41.2%, nearly half of the student body is seeking this, and many end up being content here in Waco. Baylor has become a second home to many, making it hard to want to leave campus, especially over the holiday season.

With all of the Baylor traditions like homecoming, Dr Pepper Hour and Diadeloso, students are able to find deep connections on campus and within the Waco community. All of these traditions are enjoyable for many students and provide a reason to get more involved. Some of my favorite memories at Baylor have been going to the homecoming parade and football game or going to grab Dr Pepper floats after class freshman year. These traditions are seemingly small, but they have such an impact on the student body.

There are hundreds of organizations on campus that make up a wide variety of students. These organizations have enabled students to find people who share similar values, passions and backgrounds. Whether this is based on major, ethnicity or just a love for Spikeball, you will find others who are also interested in similar ideals. Many students are involved in Greek life, which provides friendships, events, leadership positions and more opportunities for students. The involvement that most students have makes it hard to want to go home and to have to leave the new communities they have found at Baylor.

Baylor is such a unique college campus because you can really get the best of both worlds. Waco is right in between two major Texas cities — Dallas and Austin — which allows students to explore a city for a day or weekend. Waco can get boring sometimes, so having quick access to other areas is something many students really appreciate.

One thing that stuck out to me — and to many other students — while touring Baylor is the Christian community and strong influence on campus. Baylor is obviously a private Christian college, but it welcomes students of all religions. Faith is so prevalent in many lives and is increasingly important among college students. More students search for a community when they move away from home for the first time and find this through churches, ministries and other faith-based organizations.

So, it’s OK if you are emotional to leave your friends, organizations and overall community here in Waco. Most students are in your same position and are counting down the days until classes start back up next semester. Enjoy spending time with your family over break, and know you will be back sooner than later.