The University of Texas at Austin wordmark
Small handwriting sample of C.J.'s First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page
Tom in his Longhorn Band uniform




Longhorn Band Banner




Detail of Tom's band uniform

10 October 2005

In a word, jubilee.

With sentiment, the burden of five years of losses to the University of Oklahoma had hung over the hopes of Texas football long enough. Cruising to a smooth 45-12 victory over the Sooners left title hopes intact for the Longhorns and lifted spirits for students. I can’t walk through campus on the next day without seeing multiple shirts with the score from the Red River Rivalry printed clearly on them.

It amazes me how the student body can really personify the attitude of a winning university, viewing all the burnt orange, hearing all the conversations about our teams and seeing the packed houses on game days. Sports here at the university give our students something to come together over, and gladly to the cheers of our fans do our teams continue to win.

But more than overcoming the iron fist that was Bob Stoops, it all fell on test week. For the last two weeks I was under the pressure of tests in all classes as well as assignment papers due for each. Coupled with my band schedule, time was hard to come across. It’s not that I didn’t find my way through or wasn’t able to pass the exams, but that everything became really crushed for time. There were the moments when I didn’t think I was going to make it through, but a general sense of ability and confidence kept me going. All turned out well and, alas, I made it to see the next week.

But I warn you there will be the times when everything happens at once as if to combat your abilities to continue school and all your wishes. That same week two weeks I was pledging to join an organization inside the Longhorn Band known as Beta Lambda Phi. Although the persistent conflicts and stress left me wondering if I should complete the pledge, I cannot tell you how great it is to be a part of something much like the Bunchers, as we are called.

The Bunch is an unofficial organization that gathers once a week to shoot the breeze and generally have a good time. Being able to get together with good friends like this is a highlight of the week. I am able to build strong lasting friendships with good guys who are involved in the same things I am and through it all there will be someone willing to help with any problems. I cannot begin to explain the importance of joining an organization. These are the greatest guys and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

As often as I see the members of the Longhorn Band or Bunch or even my close friends I generally am left to my own devices throughout the day. I didn’t nail down a roommate before coming to campus and so went “potluck” and had a roommate assigned. I am the only one of my friends living on campus. My roommate, although a good guy, shares none of my interests and we simply just do our own thing. I still eat my meals alone and walk to classes by myself. This does not, however, make me lonely because I am fortunate enough to be involved with many people at all other times of the day. Without that luxury I think I just might go mad though.

Of a class from my high school that sent seven students to this university I am never able to see them due to conflicts of schedule. This is the importance of joining an organization, of finding a group to belong in. It creates the friendships that we all need with people who are doing the same things as we are. And it’s simply fun, too.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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