Close friendships provide permanent bonds

I tried really hard not to like TCU. During my college search process, I realized that as long as I could find flaws in TCU and prove that attending a lovely school in my home state would be better, I was going to be able to convince myself that this time the easy way out was the best way out. But sure enough, I was unable to. The campus was beautiful, the students were friendly and the faculty and staff were all people that I knew would challenge me. So I sent in the housing deposit, packed up my car and headed for Texas.

In those first few weeks, it became abundantly clear that coming to TCU was not the easy way out. I arrived with no friends, no clue of how to study for college courses and no purple dresses in my closet. Those first few weeks were a crash course in how to be a TCU student, and in all honesty those were some of the hardest weeks of my life.

On the first day of class, dressed in the shirt my brand new sorority had provided me with the evening before, I walked into my math class to find another girl dressed in the same shirt. Very shyly, I asked if I could sit with her. It turned out that her name was Callie Cox, a sophomore at the time, and from that day on I continued to sit with her. In the coming months and years we developed an amazing friendship, one that transformed me into the person I am today. Little did I know at the time, but Callie exemplified and modeled to me what I believe TCU is ultimately about.

TCU is a cluster of incredible individuals, each unique, intelligent and willing to be a part of a greater whole. I have come to believe that TCU is so successful and outstanding because each individual expects to personally invest in those around them. On every level, students, professors, staff and even the chancellor himself, view this community on an individual basis. People take an interest in us, invest in us and spend the time helping us first secure a distinct place in our community and then developing us into better people, and as a result, each of us graduates leaves TCU as a better person than when we arrived.

Callie spent time introducing me to campus, helping me fall in love with my new surroundings and encouraging the confidence I needed to be successful here. As a result, I have been honored to be a part of several incredible organizations and even been fortunate enough to serve them in leadership capacities. But I hope that my resume will not be my legacy here. Rather, I hope that my legacy is about relationships and personal investments, ones that are as sincere and meaningful as Callie’s has been to me.

Merillat Pittman is a senior political science major from Tulsa, Okla.