Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Reflection on Austin

I'm almost halfway done with my college career, thus I've lived in Austin for almost two years. I have a love/hate relationship with this city. Mostly love, occasionally hate. 

One thing to love about Austin is that it is never boring. Sometimes when school is slow (though that doesn't happen often) I sit around thinking I'm bored. But then I think I'm crazy - I live in one of the most exciting places in the country, in the world maybe, so I should never be bored here. I can go outside and explore, go try food I wouldn't normally eat, shop and look around the eclectic stores, and of course, eat a lot of dessert. Austin is constantly moving from on thing to the next. There is always another festival, another show, another concert. There's no time to be bored.

^ Feeling on top of the world at Mt. Bonnell

^ Jacoby's Restaurant and Mercantile

The food in Austin is nothing short of incredible. Whether you want Mexican food or brunch, you will not be disappointed. Whenever I go home to Dallas for summer, I can't help but miss my favorite restaurants back in Austin (I'm looking at you, Homeslice). Shockingly, I haven't gained much weight since I've moved to Austin, thanks in part to all of the walking around campus. I constantly apologize to my family for the money I spend on food - forget clothes and shoes, food is the thing burning a hole in my pocket. The stories behind several of Austin restaurant's are almost as good as the food. 

One thing is for sure about Austin: It is a weird, weird place. People continue to "Keep Austin Weird" every single day. My world has grown immensely since moving here. Back home in my bubble of the town I grew up in, I felt safe and comfortable. Here in Austin, I may often feel uncomfortable and maybe even a little scared, but I have learned about other people and ways of life. It is a good kind of scared and lack of comfort that I feel. I will forever be thankful for all of the weird things I have witnessed in this city. It has shown me there is a world beyond the home I grew up in and people experiencing many different walks of life. I strongly believe everyone needs to move away from home to a place much different than the place they grew up in and experience life there. Though Austin may only be 350 miles from Dallas, it is much, much different - a different I know now I desperately needed. 

One of the biggest downsides of Austin is the traffic. It. is. horrible. If you have to drive somewhere 10 minutes away, you better leave at least half an hour earlier than planned if you'd like to be there even remotely on time. But if that's the only downside to Austin, I guess I can sit in traffic a little bit longer. 

The only other thing wrong with Austin? It's not where my family is. I miss my family and dogs every single day, and to be honest, I think about driving home quite often. As amazing as Austin is, it will never fill the hole that is my family.

I always loved playing outside when I was younger, but as I got older, I couldn't care less about spending time outside. But when I came to school here, I realized pretty quickly how wonderful being outdoors is in Austin. I often sit inside doing homework or relaxing and feel guilty that I'm wasting such a beautiful day away. I try and get out as much as possible, even if that means just putting a blanket on the front lawn and read a book. The trees and water and green grass and trails are meant to be enjoyed - I hope I spend much more time outside during my last two years of college. 

Austin is an incredible, beautiful place. As much as I'd like to say I came to UT because it is an amazing school, I wanted to go to UT so I could live in Austin. Here I am, two years in Austin, and I am so glad I picked this place to be my second home. Austin, keep on being weird. Weird is good.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In a Rut

^ I'm currently studying at the TOMS coffee shop on South Congress, trying to motivate myself with some coffee and cool vibes. 

I have been in such a rut lately. I don't know if it has to do with the somber weather in Austin or me waiting for this semester to end, but I can't seem to get out of it. Last week, I went home to surprise my mom for her birthday in the middle of the week. I was planning on being home for less than 24 hours, but after I got a fever, that 24 hour hour trip turned into a 4 day stay. I was so happy I was home when I was sick... I would not have made it in the quad pod in my bunk bed with a fever. Not to mention, I got to spend more time with the people I love most! I was unexpectedly so so so happy to be home. As soon as I got back to Austin, I was immediately home sick. And ever since then, I've been is this rut, as mentioned above. Any advice on how to get out it? I also feel so unmotivated to do any school work... Summer, it's time. It's time for you to get here!

I think I'm in desperate need of some sunshine and fun. The weather in Austin has been gloomy these past few days, and when the sun came out for a couple of hours, I was instantly a little bit happier. I also think I need my people around me, like John and my family. When I'm with them, my days are so much better. Thankfully, this weekend my mom and my grandma will be in town for Mom's Weekend. We plan on shopping, drinking a lot of margaritas and brunchin'. Maybe it's exactly what I need!

Sunday, April 3, 2016


GUYS, March was amazing!!!

So I turned 21 on March 22!!! It was one of the greatest birthdays ever. My friends were amazing and  did so much for me. I got my first margarita at Fuzzy's with my mom, John and Emily! It was so fun getting to say "One strawberry margarita please!" and whip out my ID. I made sure to tell the waitress it was my first time ordering a drink! She even threw in a free chips and queso for me :)

My sweet, sweet friends got me a cake and little happy birthday banner to take pictures in front of. I felt so special having friends around me celebrating me! Later we went to dinner and I may or may not have had a little too much to drink... that's the only way to turn 21, am I right? Thanks margaritas and tequila!

The best part of it all was that John got to come to Austin!!! He spent two full days here and it was the best two days. We walked around campus and he met a lot of my friends. I think they liked him :) He's such an important part of my life that it's always great to show him my life here in Austin. By the end of the week I was begging him to transfer here! It was nice having a boy around to carry my things to and from the car, hehe. I love him so much and felt so special that he came all the way to Austin for me! It was the greatest birthday gift. The day after my birthday, we even went to the Ben Rector concert together. Ben Rector is one of my faves and having John with me made it even more incredible. We danced and smiled all night - it was awesome. 

^ Just a couple of pics to show my love for Anna!!!

This weekend was Round Up here at UT. Round Up is definitely not my scene, but hey, I tried! After one day of Round Up, I was ready for a day of sleeping and rest. This past month was crazy. March is always the best month, but the busiest month. It's been a beautiful couple of weeks and I can't wait to see what April has in store.