Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The False Texas State University Reputation

I haven't written a post in quite some time, and I wish I had something poetic to write about, but of course that's not the case. I am frustrated.

This afternoon, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came upon a link to an image that several of my college friends had liked. The caption posted with the link was "and this is why we will never be taken seriously as a university..." Of course I have to click on it. And this is what I see.


Courtesy of this imgur account.

This stupid joke of an invitation, in and of itself, is not enough to frustrate me. Yes, the whole thing is decidedly not funny and pretty lame. The font choice is less than favorable, the atrocious grammar (despite it being intentional, or perhaps because of it) hurts my soul, and don't even get me started on that frat boy's picture choice. But what really, really irritates me is how many times Texas State students and alum have shared this picture and thought nothing of it. What irritates me is that they find this hilarious and in doing so perpetuate the on-going rumor that Texas State University is a joke.

Before I was even a student there I was often asked what school I was going to in the fall. My answer would immediately illicit raised eyebrows and a sly smile, to which I always felt the need to respond with "No. I'm not going because it's a party school. EVERY COLLEGE IS A PARTY SCHOOL!" Of course I didn't know it's reputation until after I'd been accepted and had already made the decision to attend. I'm glad I wasn't aware of it's reputation back in high school because if I had been, I probably never would have applied and therefore never would have received the solid education I did or made the life long friends that I have.

Having now graduated from there, I can officially report that Texas State University is NOT a joke. I gained so much in the four and a half years that I lived, learned, and worked there. I studied harder for my classes there than I ever did in high school. I was challenged. I spent night after night working until I couldn't see straight on sculptures, paintings and communication design projects. I developed important skills that gave me a solid base for my graphic design career. I had thought-provoking lectures from intelligent and wise men and women that I never would have encountered otherwise and thanks to them and other people I met along the way, I grew as a human being. Does any of that sound like a joke?

I know that most of the time when Texas State students and alum joke about its party school reputation that they're kidding. Or at least partially kidding. Because yes, there were always plenty of parties to be had and cheap alcohol to be consumed on the square, but we also knew the serious side. Unfortunately, anyone on the outside doesn't know the rest of the story. They only know what they hear. So if you're a Texas State student or alum and you're reading this, realize the reputation that you're perpetuating when you laugh about it being a wild party school. Remember that it is so, so much more. Share your stories about late night library study groups and that crazy professor you had sophomore year that showed you the same picture of his dog every other class. Talk about that test you thought for sure you were going to fail, but passed with an A. Talk about the people you met and the lessons you learned. We all know you can go to Texas State University to party, just like you can to any other college or university in America. Share those amazing things that are uniquely Texas State University. Share the REAL Texas State University.

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