Katie Caruso finds place with the ‘odd ducks’

I remember coming to TCU my freshman year feeling frustrated and a bit antisocial. Looking back, I think it was a cover-up for my nerves and the fear that I wouldn’t be accepted or loved for who I was.

It’s funny how friendship finds you in the strangest places, though. Don’t worry, I won’t make up some fantastic story about how I met my best friends at Frog Camp and had the best time at Howdy Week, because I didn’t.

While I did meet some wonderful people at Frog Camp, we mostly never spoke after we came back to campus. I found my place with the other “odd ducks.”

I remember forging a few, very close friendships early in my college career. I am proud to say that I am just as close with those amazing individuals to this day. I’ll take sitting under the trees with a corset-clad Corinne Hodges over Howdy Week any day.

That’s not to say the planned “TCU Experience” is not valuable and, let’s not forget, an amazing logistical feat. It obviously serves its purpose for some. I do think, however, it is easy to get caught up in all of the scheduled fun and forget to discover campus on your own and for yourself.

For instance, I would have never found the TCU V-Day Campaign without the tip from my friend, and now I can’t imagine my life without that wonderful group of warriors.

It’s sad that my favorite trees on campus are now overshadowed by bulldozers and that finding a quiet place on campus is hard these days without your conversation being interrupted by jackhammers, but this isn’t my TCU anymore. It’s now your TCU, and it will be beautiful and exciting and wondrous for you.

I have my memories, and I’ll admit, it’s always a little fun to kick your feet up and reminisce about the “good ol’ days” with your graduating peers. Every graduating class has an idea of what its TCU should be like, and I think that’s great. It’s comforting to know our university is making leaps and bounds. We have to remember where we came from but look forward to the future.

Before I sign off, I want to say thanks in general. I have learned something from everyone I have come in contact with during my time here. My mom and I were talking the other day about this whole “college experience” thing, and she said it’s not necessarily about the degree you leave with but about the person you have become.

TCU is an exceptional and unique environment that has helped shape who I am today. I have never been in a place where I have felt more motivated to discover things and soak up every ounce of knowledge I could from my professors and classmates. I know that is something I will carry with me.

I am so grateful to have worked with the most dedicated staff I have ever met, especially the folks in Jarvis Hall. We have so many wonderful departmental staff members — if you don’t know them, go find them. They are waiting with bated breath, I promise.

Well, TCU, it was nice knowing you. It’s been real, and I wish you the best. To the folks still here, live it up. You will never be in this exact moment again, so breathe deeply and feel it happening around you. It‘s how you process these experiences now that will determine your future successes.

Katie Caruso is a senior theatre major from Hurst.