This morning I received a disheartening email. After four stressful months of pleading my case to various departments and representatives, my request for a backdated withdrawal was denied. Blatantly mislead by the university's Student Business Services department to believe that my already accepted financial aid package would cover my tuition, and then left to find out that it was rescinded for no apparent reason in week three of the fall semester; three weeks after my withdrawal, I received a $700 bill.
Throughout this lengthy process of dispute, I've grown increasingly agitated with my alma mater, going as far as to wish their sports teams ill will. Once an avid fan of Red Raider football, I didn't watch a single game this season. And as the months of this dispute have drawn on, much of my old “double t” memorabilia has found the bottom of my trash bin. The stickers on my snowboard, the t shirts I used to wear on game days, all gone.
But today, as I strummed a tune on my roommates guitar, after reaching an agreement for a payment plan, I briefly slipped back to the living room of 3824 Erskine st Apt 74. The place where I learned to play guitar, the place where I made several lifelong friendships, this apartment, and two others were once called home.
For months I've cursed everything related to Texas Tech, loathing my decision to waste time and money, wishing I could somehow go back and do it different. But, as I picked those strings a rush of memories poured in.
That time we stormed the football field after an upset victory, those nights we spent roaming campus, the glory of it all covered in snow, the friendships, the heartbreaks, the relief of the grades, the last minute trips to the mountains, the freedom of the West Texas roads, the excitement I felt to begin that journey, the confidence I built to take on the world, the late night study sessions that ended in success, the intramural games that weren't always so, my first taste of independence, and the many perfect sunsets.
It can be easy to discount or even discourage the past. To look back and think you wasted time or money, to think you would have been better off doing something else. But, without the past there would be no present. My time at Texas Tech University has left me with student loan debt, and a degree I may never directly use, but more important than those things, I'm left with so many priceless memories and this wonderful present so lush with opportunity.