• Chantal Canales

I'll Always Love Baylor, But I Can't Wait To Get Out Of Waco

I need to get something off my chest and speak from the heart. I absolutely love going to school at Baylor University, but I can't stand living in Waco, Texas, where Baylor is located.

There. I said it.

To be very honest, Baylor was never my dream school. I was waitlisted to what I thought was my dream school only to found out they didn't have my program of choice. It turned out for the better because I could not imagine attending that school and becoming just a number. I have loved my time here at Baylor so far, and I can't wait to learn and accomplish more here over the next two years.

But Waco, Texas, is the actual bane of my existence.

For those of you who don't live here, Waco is a small town with about 135,000 people. Every person in the United States seems to know about Waco because of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their iconic Magnolia Silos. Any time I mention that I go to school in Waco, people ask me if I know them, and I'm tired of it.

Coming from a suburb of Dallas, Waco is nothing like where I grew up. Every week back home, there is some new restaurant or new shop to go to, as construction is a gift despite its inconvenience. I am the kind the person that thrives off city vibes, so the slow and small-town feel of Waco is bringing me down constantly.

In Waco, there is a limited amount of things to do until you have done everything there is to do. Yes, Cameron Park has endless trails and the downtown area has a few gems like the Waco Hippodrome, an old local theater revived into a dine-in movie, and Cafe Cappucino, a small brunch joint that has pancakes bigger than your face.

But now as a sophomore, I feel like I have done everything that Waco has to offer.

Especially as a journalism major, Waco lacks a certain energy that I thrive off of. The hometown feel may be great for some, but I need inspiration from an action-filled, energetic, and hectic city. I am the kind of person that does well under pressure, against a deadline, and in a rush. Time in Waco seems to stand still and move slow, and that doesn't do anything for me. There is a lack of opportunity for me here, and every time I think about what internships I can get here in Waco I cringe and focus on ones in Dallas or ones where I can intern remotely.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go to class in the middle of a big city like New York, taking the subway to class, eating a quick lunch on the side of the street and interviewing at big name companies. Sometimes I regret not applying to schools in big cities or a well-known name to boost my resume.

But then I think about all the friends I have made and all the memories I have here at Baylor. I wouldn't trade it for a second, because Baylor is my first step to my career, and I am so thankful that I go to school here.

Waco, I love you, but you are bringing me down. I will be back for Homecoming once in a while after graduation, but you won't be able to find me until then.