10 Texan Things, Through the Eyes of an Out-Of-State Student
ISABELLA STORK When I arrived at UT to start my first semester of college, I stepped outside of the car from a ten-and-a-half hour drive — and almost choked. Austin in August with 90% humidity was no joke, like the tropical rainforest exhibit at the zoo.
I was a foreigner to my peers: an Albuquerqueian. I learned more from each Texas-native that I spoke to, however. For example, there are apparently only three places in this land: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
After a whole semester, I’d like to think that I have finally figured everything out. I now present to you, 10 things that all out-of-state students now know after coming to UT Austin.
1. Y’all is love, Y’all is life
I’m proud to say that I have not said y’all once during my time here at UT. People here take so much pride in the phrase, and have even created instructions on how to use it. I’ll be sticking with “you all.”
2. Kendra and James are everyone’s homies.
Who is this Kendra Scott and James Avery that we speak of? All of this “I am going to Kendra’s” and “James Avery is beautiful” had me really wanting to meet these people. But I then figured out that they are not the roomies next door, but instead, have control of the jewelry industry here in ATX. Now this is something that I’m all for… just bought two pairs of Kendra’s last week
3. Yes, I'm wearing pants.
On my first day of class I thought that I maybe missed a school-wide spirit day announcement or something… pants-less people everywhere! Girls wore oversized T-shirts made for body builders… they had to have pants on, right? Don’t worry guys; I get it now. I just don’t think I’ll jump on the bandwagon.
4. Squirrels, squirrels, everywhere; if you don’t like them, they don’t care.
SpongeBob never made more sense than after going to school at UT for a semester. There is a squirrel infestation! Why is Sandy from Texas? Because there are so many squirrels, of course! Albino squirrels, dark squirrels, light squirrels — I’ve never seen so many squirrels in my life!
5. Jesus, is that you?
What are these sandals, and why is everyone wearing them? I can’t say that I understand this trend. But I have accepted it. What goes better with that shirt and no pan ts? Tan, plastic sandals. Apparently, there are now pink and blue ones as well. Might as well just make them every color of the rainbow. There are enough Jesus sandals to color-coordinate with any outfit. Come on, guys… please put the jandals back on the shelf and walk away.
6. Matthew is alright, alright, alright.
Confession: when I first came to UT, I despised Matthew McConaughey. Even while walking over to my second home football game, I still hated him just as much. But when he appeared on the screen…something changed. As the girls were screaming with their arms stretched out toward his box, I found my arm slowly reach out as well. But what wrong with me? I even snapped a picture to remember the moment. The moment where I decided Matthew was alright due to his Texas alumni status.
7. Blue Bell: The Bad Boyfriend
Listeria in ice cream? No big deal for these Texan folks. The love that Texans have for Blue Bell isn’t healthy. I try to convince my friends here to leave him for someone better. But I know that no matter what I say, Texans won’t listen to me. Sorry Blue Bell, I’m taken.
8. College Station: He-who-must-not-be-named.
I have been told to never step foot in college station. How can two universities in the same state have such a rivalry? Everyone told me to not ask questions. I’m either in, or I’m out. I think the rivalry brings out the worst in people, yet it continues to drive UT Athletics to want to outperform each other. So if I dare say, I think we live in an almost mutualistic relationship. No? Okay, I’ll just never speak of them.
9. Don’t let the student cross the road!
Austin heat is not normal. It’s as if your backpack is a heating pad and the sun is trying to kill you. “Please, kind sir, let me cross the street before I pass out from heat exhaustion.” Arriving to class in sweat-stained shirts and large drops of sweat running down your face is completely normal.
10. UT: “Number one on the field, and number one in your hearts”
Although some days are difficult when I don’t have the option of going home during the weekend, or having lunch with my parents on a Saturday, I remember why I came here in the first place. The University of Texas at Austin: the number one public university in America. I thought that I had to leave the country to encounter unfamiliar cultures. But it turns out, that Texas has its very own pride and culture, and I am very lucky to be apart of it. One day, if you’re lucky, you may even hear me say y’all.