Texas Tech University

Mailbag: What's Not to Love?

Allen Ramsey

May 5, 2023

Mailbag

A column in which we discuss a call with a friend.

Welcome back to the Mailbag. 

I got an interesting phone call a week or two ago. 

It was from a number I didn't recognize and, like always, I let that go to voicemail. 

When I checked it, I heard a voice from the past, an old friend who asked me to give them a holler. They heard I worked at Texas Tech University and were searching for a bit of information.  

Now, admittedly, I'm not the best about calling people back, but when the same number popped up on the phone a second time, knowing who it was, I picked up. 

After scolding me for the lack of a return call, my old friend got right down to business. 

“So, my kid is starting to look at colleges and somebody told me you were working at Texas Tech,” they said.

My first thought was confusion as to how somebody my age could have a child about to start college. After doing a little math in my head as to the age of myself and that of the normal college freshman, I came to the conclusion that my friends and I are, in fact, old. 

My second thought was that they were calling after all these years to find out about Texas Tech, and I was right about that one. 

One for two ain't bad. 

They wanted to know all about Lubbock and Texas Tech and how I thought their child would fit in out here. 

“Well, you've come to the right place,” I told them, and we proceeded to discuss this town and this school for a good half hour. 

I'll be honest, I may have exhausted them. There were times I know they thought I was overselling it but, in truth, I felt like I was barely scratching the surface.

They asked about the campus, and I told them how nice it was and about Arbor Day and the spring look. They asked about various programs their child might be interested in, and I gave them the information I had off the top of my head. They asked about the weather, and I told them it gets a little breezy from time to time (see, I told you I wasn't overselling it) but the wind was a small price to pay to miss out on the swampy humidity back home. 

Then they got down to brass tacks. As a parent they're worried about their child.

While the friend is back in our hometown, they explained to me that their family has bounced around a lot for work. They've gone to other states and countries and their child hasn't had the stability of being in one environment for more than a couple years. Fitting in has been an issue, and my friend was wondering if it would be an issue here. 

And that, my friends, is where I was more than ready to share my knowledge of Texas Tech. 

You see, I'm blessed to have the job I have. It allows me to meet people and build relationships. 

If you're wondering what actually makes this place special and you think it's our lovely campus, the facilities for classes, the great programs, the graduation rates and career opportunities, the support systems, the Goin' Band, the atmosphere at the United Supermarkets Arena or Jones AT&T Stadium, the rec center or the SUB… you can make your case and I won't argue it too much. 

In fact, if you ask me what I love about Texas Tech, my general response is, “What's not to love?”

But what truly makes this place special is the people.  

I told my friend that I just met a first-generation student from Rhode Island whose parents immigrated to New England from Guatemala. He has found a home at Texas Tech. I met another student with dreams of being a rock star who had to struggle before finding the right path in college. He found his place on this campus. 

I've done stories on everyone from an international student working on his doctorate in hopes of making vaccines more effective to a local kid who got a scholarship at Texas Tech through the Make-A-Wish program. I've written about inspiring people fixing to graduate and take on the world and those just getting started with their journey on campus. 

I've talked to alumni who have gone on to do great things. I've had the pleasure of meeting many of our deans, vice provosts, vice chancellors, department chairs, professors, associate professors and program directors. And I've gotten to work with some of the amazing staff members across campus who really keep this place ticking.

Through all of that, what I've come to understand and admire about this university is that there's a place here for everyone. You may not find it right away. On a campus this size it can be hard. But it's there. 

The more people I meet on this campus, the more sure I get of that fact, 

I can't say for sure if my friend will be sending us another student. I don't think any decisions have been made. But I do know if they come to Texas Tech, our campus community will make them feel right at home. 


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