The Harbinger Online

Blog: An Agnostic Kansan at Texas Christian University

I don’t put much stock in religion, I’m thoroughly liberal and the mere thought of living in the American red-state south scares the living crap out of me. But if you ask me what my favorite college in America is, I’ll give you an answer that seems to suggest otherwise.

I love Texas Christian University.

To explain why such a progressive student would be enamoured with a private university in the middle of one of the most conservative states in the country, one might point to my strong connections there. My mom went there. My dad went there. My aunt went there. My grandmother went there. My stepsister goes there now. Every year, several East students go there.

So yes, my connections to TCU are strong, indeed. But to suggest that I would (at this point) want to go spend four years at a college simply because I’ve been exposed to it is to sell me short. I’m wiser than that. I can’t just base my college decision on the college I know best. To do so would, in part, deny me one of college’s greatest and most essential components: experiencing the unknown and unfamiliar.

So I don’t love TCU because I know it (although I really do know it). I love this school because its name is misleading.

You see, Texas Christian University isn’t in Texas. How could it be, when Texas is known across the country for its stubborn, conservative thinking, and intolerance? That’s not TCU. TCU is open-minded. TCU is progressive. TCU is innovative. TCU is everything I’d expect from an American university and nothing that I’d expect from a Texan university.

Additionally, Texas Christian University is not Christian. Not really, from my point of view. Yes, many of its students are Christians. Yes, all students are required to take a class in religion. But that class doesn’t have to be about Christianity. And those students are good Christians, the kind that are tolerant and empathetic. They’re generally the type of Christians that I have absolutely nothing against. They’re the Christians that I really enjoy being around. In fact, the Christianity aspect of the university helps to recruit kids that are known for being friendly and accepting.

So it’s the attitude of the students that I love about this mid-sized, private liberal arts university. That, plus the Frog football team. But only so much knowledge can be obtained secondhand about the students of a school. The things I love about TCU must be experienced.

With that in mind, I leave for Dallas-Fort Worth today. The visit is the first of several that I will make to TCU between now and my college decision. The visit will only last two and a half days, but I will keep a blog to update readers this weekend about my visit.

My goal with this trip is to head to TCU with an open mind, or perhaps even a skeptical one. Let the university and its people impress me, not what I’ve heard about it. Stay posted, and have a wonderful weekend here in KC!

***

Ok, so it’s around 9 p.m. right now, and I’m sitting in my sister’s room in the Colby dormitory. It’s still early in the night, but already I’ve seen a lot to like from this school.

First off, let me address the topic of college girls: regardless of what college you go to, they’re going to be hot. It just happens that at TCU, they’re really hot. I’ve never seen so many attractive girls in one place at once. And coming from a Lancer, that’s saying something.

So it pretty much goes without saying that I’m impressed. As a teenage guy, the attractiveness of the student body ranks pretty high on the list of things that matter to me when it comes to college. So you can go ahead and give some points to TCU there.

Second, the weather here is incredible! For those suckers still in Kansas, it’s like around 70 degrees and clear skies here at night. Kind of beats mid 50s in KC. I could really get used to this. Ten points to TCU!

I suppose one of the few negatives I’ve found about TCU so far is that the only guy I met was a bit of a d-bag. I mean, he was so bad that I couldn’t stand him, but from the half hour I hung around him I got the sense that he was a typical, rich, elitist type of dude. With that type of attitude, you’d think he might hail from the hallowed halls of our very own Shawnee Mission East. But no, he’s a Rockhurst Hawklet, so while you should take a point from TCU, you can give a few to East there.

About to go back out, hopefully to a concert if I can get in, I’ll repost tomorrow morning before the Homecoming game. So long SMEasters!

***

Okay, so I said that I would update this yesterday morning, but I was tailga — er, researching the college experience then, so I ended up having no time to write anything. My day was a typical Saturday afternoon at TCU: a tailgate, a crushing blowout win for the Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium and an afternoon spent preparing for the night festivities.

First off, I wasn’t a big fan of the tailgating. Not because it wasn’t fun, but because a good amount of the students spent almost the entire first half still in the parking lot eating and socializing. If I went to a school with such a good football team, I’d like to think that I’d actually watch the games. I was disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm from the underclassmen for their team.

But then I watched the game. I hadn’t seen a blowout until I watched what the Frogs did to those hapless Lobos. 69-0? Are you kidding me, New Mexico? This isn’t even one of our good years, and we made you look like the computer on rookie in Madden! Pathetic and sad. I spent more time pitying the Lobos than I did cheering for the Frogs. After watching that beat-down, I could understand why no one wanted to go to the game.

I’ll skip a lot of the middle section of the day, because it deals with a common theme of the weekend for me: sorority girls spending hours getting ready to go out. As a guy who spends about ten to twenty minutes getting ready to go out on most days, all the time I spent around these girls before events was enlightening, but just so boring. So glad that I’m not a girl.

For dinner, my parents took my sister, her friends and me to a newly renovated section of downtown Fort Worth. The food was good, and the area showed signs of interesting and fun nightlife that you hope to see located around your school. Much of downtown Fort Worth has just been renovated, as a result of the economic boom caused by the natural gas development nearby, and the mid-sized city has a great youthful feel to it. It’s definitely the type of area I’d like to live in during college. If only there weren’t so many damn Texans.

After dinner, my sister and her friends took me to a frat party. I’m not a big party goer myself, so the party was a bit of a shock for me. As soon as I got used to my crowded, booming, alcohol soaked surroundings, I started to assimilate into the scene. After two days of hanging around sorority girls, I finally got to meet some guys. Now granted, they were mostly drunk and incoherent guys, but I still got to talk to them. With the exception of the belligerent a-hole who assaulted me in an attempt to fight me (helpful hint: If a drunk college guy starts yelling at you to leave, take him at his word. If you think he’s joking, don’t just laugh, because he may come at you), they were all pretty nice guys.

While the party wasn’t all too crazy, I got a feel for the famous college party scene that I’d always heard about. I ended up having a pretty good time with the people there, and I saw first-hand what much of college would be like for me. I also experienced the college schedule first-hand, and I’ve gotta tell you, I took about a five hour nap today to recover.

Overall, I had a pretty good trip at TCU. There was not a mention of religion during my stay there and the people were very accepting and kind to me. But I realized during this trip that I’m so far away from my final verdict that I can’t possibly determine anything about TCU or any other college just yet. I didn’t even know what college was like, and I was already trying to compare colleges. For now, I suppose the most I can say about college is that I want to go there. And I suppose that’s just the first step.

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