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Why Texas

Listening to: Just a Ride — Jem


Little known fact: I walked away from a full scholarship at the University of North Carolina to pay my way through UT.

Because I have been dealing with financial aid all week, this has been on my mind. Some days, I really have to wonder what I was thinking. Instead of graduating debt free, I’m compounding loan on top of loan. And the people who know me well keep asking me, “Why Texas?”

Why am I in Texas? It’s a funny story, really. I ended up in the state because of a computer game I bought when I was eleven and a baby shower. Seriously. You think that trivial decisions can’t change the course of your life? Think again.

The short version goes something like this. At eleven, I bought a game — The Sims — out of a school software order form, just because it looked like fun. I became completely hooked on the game and started spending time on the forums that EA games set up for it. Two years later, on that forum, I met Kelly, a lovely woman who had recently moved to Texas. Three years after that, when my family traveled through Texas, we stopped to see her. And ten months later, I insisted we go back so that I could be there for her baby shower. (This was made easier by the fact that my parents and I were full time RVers at the time.)

We made it to Austin for the baby shower. And we just never left.

We never intended to stay longer than a few months. But three years later, we’re still here. My parents bought land in Lockhart. I LOVE Austin. Kelly’s son, my mono, is three now. He has a six-month-old sister. I was here for that baby shower too — as far as we’re concerned, those kids are my nephew and niece.

When it came time to think about going to college, I realized that going back to North Carolina wasn’t the easy decision I thought it would be. I had ALWAYS wanted to be a Tar Heel. I grew up smack dab in the middle of Carolina country, obsessed with basketball and bleeding Carolina Blue. But UNC was a long way from Texas, and Texas was where I had built my life.

When the OCD required me to start therapy, I was exposed to a clinical social worker for the first time. Gradually, my career goals changed. I had planned to study journalism. Now I was looking at studying social work. And to do THAT, it made sense to go to UT — one of the top schools in the country for social work. The more I explored UT, the more I felt that it was the right place for me.

I never expected to be living in Texas. I never expected to want to be a Longhorn. And to be perfectly honest, when I watch UNC basketball, I still feel a pang of belonging for the school I almost attended. I look at my bank account and wonder if I made the right choice financially. But I love this school. Every time I walk into the social work building, I feel at home.

So… No regrets. Why Texas? Because, despite being born a Tar Heel, I grew into a Longhorn.


Christmas used to mean UNC stuff. Now the obligatory family shot has us all in Texas gear.

Christmas used to mean UNC stuff. Now the obligatory family shot has us all in Texas gear.

Until Next Time,


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March 12, 2010 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Bobbi