For the past 6 years of my life I have never had to put my foot on the gas, turn the ignition, or slam on the brakes. I could walk to class, bike to work, run to dinner, take public transportation to a show, take a cab (uber, lyft, etc.) to the airport, take a train to another city, a plane to another country, you get the picture. I had the opportunity to live in Chicago, New York City, and Rome, Italy. Now that I live on campus as a graduate student at Texas A&M here in College Station; I must drive to the grocery store, to dinner, to Bryan for a night out, to a friend’s house off campus, or even to another city like Dallas. Making the decision to get into my car is not easy for me. I had been programmed the past 6 years to get around cities in alternative ways thus making driving my biggest challenge coming to graduate school at Texas A&M in a city like College Station and a state as large and vast as Texas is. Now I would like to preface the fact that I am extremely privileged and fortunate enough to have my own vehicle as well as the ability to drive both physically and mentally.
This past Friday, March 31st
I decided to drive to Dallas to see a friend of mine who was visiting for a wedding. I had not seen him since we worked together in Rome, Italy at the Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center. As I said before, I am not used to driving so there was an ongoing battle in my head talking myself into going. What resulted is an incredible time spent with a friend, as well as exploring a world class city while witnessing some history too.
On a whim, I attended the NCAA Women’s Final Four games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and let me tell you that second game was a doozy. For anyone that says women’s sports are not entertaining, has either not attended a women’s event or is lying straight to your face. I became a Mississippi State fan alongside 14,000 or so other fans in attendance who wanted to see the University of Connecticut’s first loss in 112 games, that meant the UCONN women had won 111 games in a row prior to their heartbreaking, buzzer beater loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs. I lost my voice at the game, just as I do yelling for the Aggies every football game.
Anyways, the moral of the story is, get outta town every once in a while! Remember there is a whole lotta Texas out there, a whole lotta the USA out there, and whole lotta of the world out there. Take a day, weekend, or week to explore, ask friends to go with you, or even take a solo trip. I promise you will not regret it.
Taking suggestions for which city, park, or place to visit within driving distance; this Minnesotan is still trying to figure out Texas.
Steven Metzmaker | Educational Administration and Human Resources Development
is a first-year Masters student in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) program within the College of Education and Human Development.