Thoughts, out loud, that probably should of been left inside my head....

Saturday, September 05, 2009

30's Goal No: 2 - Getting over it

Stop living with regrets. Put it in the past and move on. It's well past time.

I love college football season. I probably don't rant and rave about it like some for fear of being called out on something I don't know a ton about, but I love absolutely love it. But with every college football season comes a sense of dread for me.

My last entry had to do with getting over things in my 30's. And I have one huge regret that I live with every year, though the wound inevitably widens in the college football season and the scar just refuses to heal. Self-inflicted, I full admit, but a wound none-the-less.

What's this huge regret? It's that I regret not staying at Texas A&M. There. I said it. Out there for you to judge me. But it's true. And, admitting it and telling the true story may help me get over this part of my life. And Lord knows, Jeff is sick of hearing about it.

Texas A&M was the only college I thought about attending. So, it was the only college I applied to and I knew I'd get accepted considering I was in the top 10% of my graduating class. So with all the awkwardness of a small-town girl and someone who didn't really know anything about college, I took off in the Fall of 1998 for my freshman year. I was an Aggie. I was super proud of myself and I had made it.

People always tell me that I have no problem making friends, and that may somewhat of a true statement, but just like even the most introverted people, I have a lot of thoughts swimming around in my head when I meet new people and they almost solely have to do with the fact that this new person might not like me. I was a big fish (at least in my mind) from a very small pond. And I was joining other big fish from larger ponds and some of them brought their fish friends with them. I didn't bring any fish friends with me to college. All my close girlfriends went to other schools.

And so, meeting and making new friends was a new experience for me. Entirely. It was fun. But it was scary and I want to re-emphasize the awkwardness factor. As much as I loathe to admit it, I am somewhat a creature of habit. And I like my comfort zone. And this was entirely outside of that zone. Entirely.

Friends came, as everyone said they would and I formed a pretty close friendship with Meghan, whom is amongst my closest circle of friends to this day. One of the largest mistakes I made in my Freshman year was not joining groups/extra-curricular activity - not a one. (Okay, I played intramurals. I will admit that part, but it was with my girls dorm.) Why? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe I felt I had already exhausted myself with making friends in the dorm, having to do it in a social circle was just too much. Whatever held me back, was just evil. And stupid. So I went to class. And I came back to my dorm. And I hung out with another girl who never got involved in anything either and was seriously committed to her boyfriend and her long-distance relationship.

I tried things, going to Cut (for Bonfire), I even made overalls for Bonfire. But everything was done within the safety of my dorm. There was NO BRANCHING OUT. I could kick myself for that today.

After my first semester, grades came in. I will admit the following: I did horrible. HORRIBLE. Like nothing I have ever seen in my entire life horrible, I can't believe these grades came out of an honor roll, high HS GPA, academic team athlete horrible. But, I didn't fail out. Close, but no cigar. I got an ass-chewing like nothing I have ever seen that Christmas, and I came back the next semester determined to do better. And I did. Much better. Turns out college is nothing like HS? Who knew? Not me. Turns out you have to actually STUDY for class. New concept for me. Turns out Mom isn't there to wake you up to make it to class on time. New concept for me. Turns out you should probably take this pretty seriously as it can affect your career. New concept for me. So my second semester, I studied. And I got better grades. But I felt defeated. And did I mention poor?

Another pill for me to swallow. I am from a great family, let me first admit that, but we are not a wealthy family. We are your typical middle class American family. We have to work to make money and there wasn't a lot left over after the bills were paid. Particularly for frivolties such as tanning, pedicures/manicures and going out to eat with friends (oh, and let's not forget belly-button piercing). But, for a lot of girls in my dorm, it seemed like they could afford such luxuries. So I tried to keep up with the Jones' (if you will) but it put me in the poor house. And I refused to get a job even though my parents were 'nagging' me to get one. "Why should I have to work when other girls didn't?" "It's not fair" - Gah, what an idiot I was. And if I could go back in time to my 18 year old self, I'd slap her and tell her to get real. Texas A&M wasn't cheap. And living on campus with a meal plan to boot was even pricier. How could I even THINK I didn't need a job or to help my parents out?? Again - what an idiot.

So, after my Mom suggesting maybe I should come home and save up some money, I gave an honest thought to leaving A&M. For a year, maybe. So I went to UTSA for a year - and I talked to everyone about A&M. Everyone. I'm sure I made a 'ton' of friends there.... I'm sure I can't count the number of people who wanted to slap me and tell me to shut up.

And then, Bonfire collapsed. And I was devastated. One of the girls that was injured in the accident lived in my dorm. So I felt a relation, if only a weak one to the event. But I wasn't there. I wasn't there for my fellow Ags. I wasn't there to mourn with them or bond over or join the camaraderie. I wasn't there. I reapplied the following week to A&M for the Fall 2000 semester. I was accepted. It was awesome!

So who was at A&M that I could live with? You?'ve already made plans to live with other people? You? Oh, you've made plans too. No room at the inn for me? Nothing. I had to start from scratch all over again. And I was overly intimidated. This is the party of the story, where not only do I want to SLAP my 19-year-old self, I want to punch her. Tell her, get over it, and just go. Get out of your comfort zone, and maybe good things will happen. But my 29-year-old self never descended to punch me. I had some friends attending Southwest Texas State University. So I visited. And it was nice. They were involved. And looked to be having a great time. That's all I wanted. Instant friendships, not alot of effort. Sad, but true.

So in the Fall 2000, I transferred to Southwest Texas State University - and the rest is history so they say.

But my mind is always filled with the memory of what if. What if I would of gone back to A&M? There are pros and cons to both sides. Would Jeff and I have stayed together? Would my career path be better? Would I have any of the awesome friendships that I share today with girls I met at SWT? Would my cousin and I have gotten close?

I work/have worked with a ton of Aggies. Some of you will never understand how it feels for someone (particularly an Aggie) to look at you like you are crazy after you left the school. As if I didn't feel crazy enough? Now I have several others making me feel that way (not everyone, but some). Some will tell you because you never graduated from there you can't truly 'support' the school. Some will scoff at your SWT degree and tell you it was just a party school, a school that doesn't have the tradition and camaraderie of A&M or UT or Tech. I will always love A&M and I can root for them if I damn well please. So back off to the non-believers and the hardcores!

So there it is. Spelled out in full color. This has been a VERY tough pill for me to swallow over the past 11 years. Huge. And obviously, it's still not gone down. But, I am determined to let this go in my 30's. I spend way to much time holding on to this regret. I need to be proud that I have my college degree. Many people can't even say that. I need to move on and be satisfied. And stop living with this huge regret on my shoulders. I need to let you slide, A&M.

I wish at age 18, I had the confidence I have at age 29. Maybe things would have been different. But I can't help but think that the experiences I've had over the past 11 years have made me the person I am today. And I like that person.


Blogger EssentialEm said...

Wow, cuz, I never knew this was such a source of stress for you. And, I never knew that you got re-accepted to A&M.

Your explanation touched my heart. I, too, have thought about "What if...?" And I know your feelings of regret about not going back to something that was your original goal.

But, I love how you have ended this blog, and I think it should be the ultimate thing we focus on in life. What if you and Jeff wouldn't have stayed together? What if you didn't have all the wonderful girlfriends? What if you didn't have the things you cherish the most, because you traded them for another dream? Would that dream be worth the sacrifice of your cherished treasures?

This is what I think about sometimes...

Anyway, I'm honored that you've shared this with us, your loyal readers. :)

Three cheers for KCKoenig's prep-for-the-third-decade!! :)

September 05, 2009 6:34 PM  
Blogger Shumate said...

You know I'm a huge longhorn fan... I applied, was accepted (top 10% woohoo), recieved a scholarship ($2000/year not too shabby), my best friend was also going there... I had a lot of reasons to go, but I got a bigger scholarship to SWT and coming from a single parent household with a yearly income below 30K, free money makes a big difference. Do I regret not toughing it out financially? Sometimes, but God guides our lives the way they are supposed to go. I can look back and think man would I be in a better place if I would have gone to Texas? The answer is No. Different place, probably. Better place, definitely no.

As for supporting a football team of a school that you didn't go to... there's nothing wrong with that. I support your right to root for any team you want. Unless its OU... then we'll have to have a sit down and discuss a little thing called the red river and how nothing good ever comes from north of it and how Bob Stoops is the anti-Christ.

September 05, 2009 10:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I reget the same types of things sometimes-what if i would have gone to another school, what if i had started grad school right after college..what if what if...but bottom line when i really start to think about what i could of or should of done leads me to the same conclusion you came to=i wouldn't be the same person i am today and i wouldn't of had meet all the people i know today, so i have to stop looking back and let it go. (easier said than done!)

September 06, 2009 9:24 AM  
Blogger Joe Bob said...

Okay I HAVE to make a few comments:

First, you don't give yourself enough credit. I was there with that 18 year old and while I wished you would have come to some more parties with me, I got a worse 1st GPA than you! So you were obviously doing something a bit better than me. You were bold, brassy, and I really looked up to the loyalty you had towards your family and friends. Still do. That is a very hard quality to find. I am just glad that I found my way into your 'inner circle' :)

2) If you hadn't moved to SWT with us, crazy dance offs, wild parties with Viola, and Flying Viking parties. I couldn't imagine my college years without you - THANK GOD I only had to do it alone for one year! :)

3) Once an Aggie - Always an Aggie. Do what I did - go back for a graduate degree. Aren't they opening a campus in SA?

4) I totally agree with Schwenke - Bob Stoops is the Anti-Christ.

September 16, 2009 10:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home