As promised on one of my most recent entries, here’s finally a blog about Orange and White Ball, the unveiling of the Barbara Jordan statue, and although I didn’t promise it, a re-cap from my Sugarland concert outing.
April definitely came and went faster than I ever thought. At the beginning of the month, it felt like it was so long from there until the end of the semester, and too soon, it was over. But like I said in a recent entry, a lot happened that is going in my book of things to remember from my college experience. Ready for the re-cap? Here we go…
The first statue of a female on campus.
On April 24, after years of planning, the Barbara Jordan statue was unveiled on campus, at the corner of 24th Street and Whitis at Battle Oaks- giving this corner inspiration, pride, and history. Barbara Jordan’s statue marks history on campus as being the first female statue on the UT campus. I volunteered for a few hours in the morning for the unveiling ceremony events. People from across the country made it to campus this day to be a part of this day- which signifies the impact that Barbara Jordan had, across state lines, across race lines, making an incredible difference. Perhaps in a small way to some, but to see that, during my college years, was historical to me. Learn more about the Barbara Jordan statue project. Here are some pictures of the statue now:
Save the last dance for me: Orange and White Ball
Orange and White Ball is basically a university-wide formal, celebrating the senior class, but open to all students. This year was my first going to Orange and White and it was definitely a great first time. Gregory Gym is transformed to the point that you can’t tell it is the same gym where volleyball games are played. Walking in, definitely a beautiful atmosphere. It was by far, I have to admit, one of the very best times I’ve had at UT.
I think we all have stories about our high school senior prom- finding the perfect dress, the date, the perfect dinner, the hair, the make up. Before Orange and White I flashed back to those days and thought to myself, wow, I really went through all of that and how each detail was oh so special and so important. But perhaps at that point in time, that was part of that experience. Then getting ready for and going to Orange and White made me realize how much I have grown or perhaps matured- the perfect hair, the perfect make up, the perfect place to have dinner is scratched off the list, all the superficial, at the end of the day what really matters is… as cliche as it may sound: how much you enjoy it and how memorable it becomes. You can have the perfect dress, you can have the perfect hair, but if you don’t make it special in really enjoying it, what was all that really worth it? I think I’ve grown to realize that what matters is who you are surrounded by, maybe it’s who you are with, and it definitely is about just taking the time to just have a good time. Needless to say, this was definitely a special one.
Again, without sounding cliche, it was definitely one to remember. (I know what you are thinking. You probably said the same for high school senior prom…maybe, but maybe with each stage in our lives we have a different type of moment to remember, and it’s part of growing and realizing the things that matter, and the things that perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried about when you have the ones that really are important.) My purpose in making this connection? Maybe it is important to sit back and think about the things that really truly matter at the end of the day…take it beyond just the preparations for a formal like prom, or Orange and White.
Ending the month with a girls night out with Pearl: Sugarland Concert
We went from singing (or rather…screaming) our hearts out in our Jester Residence Hall rooms to “Stay” by Sugarland our sophomore year to sitting three rows away from them at the Frank Erwin Center last month. For one, I had never been so close to the stage at a concert, and I never had as much of a good time at one as I did that night with Pearl. Billy Currington opened the concert for them and then it was show time for Sugarland. It was literally a show, from bubbles coming down the ceiling, to lamps, to giving away one of their guitars, to seriously being great entertainers. Period. There was some dancing, there were some tears (I am a big cry baby and always cry with “Baby Girl”), and we yet again sang our hearts out with “Stay” this time, at least our voice didn’t echo in the room, and we didn’t have one of the Jester Resident Assistants peak into our room while we were doing it (although just for the record, she also sang along). Next August, I am also going from that same room and hallway where this happened to living at my first apartment with Pearl. So we’ve come a long way, in more than one way (definitely beyond a concert, beyond our neighbor living experience in Jester) and I can’t wait to open the door to our new home next year (Pearl already tested the waters for me this year by moving out first after sophomore year, I stayed back for another year in Jester, but now we’ll finally be reunited).
Lessons from this entry? What to take away?
#___: Don’t let something special, important, or historic pass you by! Wherever you decide to attend school or wherever you are currently at school, there will always always be something happening. That’s the beauty of being on a higher education institution. So much is always happening. I repeat, always, every single day. True, you can’t be a part of everything, but don’t let it pass you by, get involved, stop by, come out to it, and at least, if you can’t, catch up to it once it happens. It’s always so much better to be a part of it when it’s happening than hearing about it later! But beyond that, take advantage – there are so many unique opportunities to witness speakers, events, statue unveiling, inaugurations, you name it, that you may not get as often once you step off your college campus, so take advantage now!
#___: Look at the big picture, don’t let the really important tings in life pass you by. It took me a year (maybe my freshman year and part of my second year) to figure this one out but it is so important, learn the lesson early on. Yes- we are in school and school, getting that high G.P.A., succeeding academically is definitely and should be, our priority. But it being the priority doesn’t mean you have to forget about the big picture. Rather, that priority should be a part of your big picture as you go along. Lost yet? Part of the point is, don’t forget to reward yourself here and there, take a break, and do something you enjoy, and make time for others while you are at it, too. Sometimes we become so worried about our own success that we let so much pass us by, don’t let it be you! You don’t have to go big! Maybe that just means staying in watching a movie, going out to dinner, taking a walk, being by yourself, being with the ones you care, your choice. But make sure you make time for this. You’ll probably hear me repeat this one again before I finish blogging, but remember to look at the big picture, if you don’t, you may have all that comes with success, but you may miss a lot of important, sometimes the simplest things in life.
I’ll leave you to think about those two for now. In the meantime, while you reflect, hopefully…
…stay tuned for the last few entries of the year!