When I was growing up, there was a very common theme within my wardrobe. I could have worn an Oregon State T shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket every day for two weeks without wearing the same thing twice. With parents who had both attended Oregon State University, I was surrounded by OSU (Not Oklahoma State University) gear. My room was painted the OSU colors, I had OSU posters all over my room, and if we watched college sports it was because OSU was playing; to me, it was as if no other university existed. It wasn’t until the summer before my freshman year of high school, when my sister left for college at Cornell University, that my eyes were opened to the vast number of different universities around the country.
In High School, I was extremely active in FFA and spent many days on the Oregon State campus for various contests, leadership camps, and state convention. Although I had always been a huge Oregon State fan, when my senior year started to roll around, I chose to apply to many different universities, Oregon State included, in order to give myself options for schooling after high school. It was after I was accepted to various different universities that the decision of where to attend college became very difficult.
I recognized the many advantages to staying within the state and attending Oregon State University. I knew that if I stayed within Oregon I would be able to get home to my family’s cattle ranch within an hour, and that I would be able to see my high school friends fairly often. There were a vast number of benefits to staying in Oregon and going to school at Oregon State, however I ended up choosing a college with similar academics, similar success in sports, and cost me almost the same amount as Oregon State: I chose to attend Texas Tech University.
Although I have often missed my friends and family back home, I have never regretted my decision to attend Texas Tech. I recognized that the benefit of meeting some great and truly different people outweighed the benefits of staying home, where I may have ended up limiting my horizons. By going to Texas Tech I have made many great friends, and have still kept all my friends from home. In Lubbock I have also become educated in different agriculture industries that I knew nothing about… such as the cotton industry! In my opinion, my studying at Texas Tech has almost been like a prolonged study abroad opportunity. Life in Lubbock is vastly different from the life I was used to at home in Oregon, however I look forward to returning to Lubbock each fall to start the new school year.
Read more about Nolan Smith here.