In my group of friends, we represent 10 different states and 3 different countries…none of which are Texas. As you can imagine, this affects our ability to go home regularly. For some of my friends, it’s years in between visits home. The crazy part is…This is normal at LeTourneau.
Now, before you get all sad and say, “I’m never going to that school because I’ll never get to go home again!”…Hear me out. Because even though I rarely get to go to my parent’s house, I have made my own home here. And for me, it’s just as close as the family I have back home.
One of the best ways to demonstrate our family dynamic is at an event we fondly call ‘Family Dinner.’ LeTourneau’s cafeteria isn’t open for regular meals on Sunday nights, so students normally go out to eat or cook their own food. We decided to cook our own food every week as a family.
Seeing as we represent such a vast grouping of locations, including New York, Georgia, California, Wisconsin, Kenya, Indonesia and a variety of other places, we thought it would be cool if every week we made something that was special to one person’s home area. This was one of the greatest things we ever decided. I can’t even name what we had because half of the international food I couldn’t pronounce even when I ate it. It was awesome to get to see my friends making stuff that was their food. Stuff that they grew up eating.
Family dinner became the highlight of our week. Literally. The entire weekend was planned around this event. And We even talked about what we should make throughout the week. From 4pm-11pm or later was our time to just chill. We didn’t do homework (very often) and we never scheduled meetings. It was the time we were just with our friends. We’d always have music blasting out the speakers and the windows and doors in the girls on campus apartment open to let in the fresh air. The guys would either be helping the girls cook, throwing around a football or baseball outside, or just randomly inside chilling. The girls would be doing about the same. After dinner and cleaning up the massively dirty kitchen (imagine all the dishes it takes to cook a full course meal for 15 people or so), we’d all just hang out around the apartment. We’d start brewing some coffee or heating the tea pot so everyone could have their hot drinks after dinner. We’d normally, either move everything outside and chat on the porch, or all clump together on the couches and the floors in front of a laptop to watch a movie.
Sometimes LeTourneau and all the schoolwork can make a person stressed. I know it does that to me. There were times that I was so tired, I was ready to quit. But then I saw a member of my ‘family.’ No matter what was going on, they brightened my day. They always offered a smile and a hug and a laugh. So even though my physical home is over 18 hours away, I was never without my family.
Senior, LeTourneau University