Makeup artist, blogger, R+F Consultant, Account Manager at one of the largest Insurance Brokerages in the world… but one of my favorite (quasi) professional titles is UST Alumna! I didn’t always feel this way though, because my dream school was University of Texas in Austin. As a young girl growing up in Cypress, TX – a suburb of Houston – I wanted to explore a brand new city for 4 years! But God had other plans for me. And I’m so happy I had the opportunity to live, explore & study in one of the best cities in this country.

I could make this post about how Texas (and specifically Houston) is the best place to live, work, and study, but I pretty much summed that up in this post here. Instead, it’s about how many opportunities came from taking a chance on a small university right in my own backyard.

UST is an opportunity to “Be Your Bold Self” – a slogan that encompasses the core of what the University of St. Thomas has to offer. College is an experience where you find out more about yourself and uncovering who you’ve been all along! UST incorporates academics with other fundamental parts of learning like the arts, culture, diversity and even faith to develop on the skills you already have and the person you already are!

UST is an opportunity to explore one of the most diverse cities in the world – Located in the heart of Montrose, you are situated within minutes of anything you could think of. Downtown, Discovery Green, museums, parks, the largest and most renowned Medical Center in the world, shopping centers, restaurants (name a food, any food… you’re within 15 minutes of anything you want!), and bars!

UST is an opportunity to learn how to keep yourself accountable by working closely together with a small team – because when you enter the workforce, you’re not in a large auditorium with hundreds of your colleagues. You work closely with your peers and your boss to learn and collaborate. My largest class, except for one rare, auditorium style class I had Freshman year, was about 25 people. And that was a sophomore English class. Other than that, my classes averaged no more than about 10 students. It was like we were having meetings each class, which is going to prep you for the workforce better than a large auditorium style class where you hope your professor doesn’t realize you missed half the semester.

UST is an opportunity to learn how to live in a REAL working city – how many universities overtake the towns that they’re located in? College towns are friendly to college students… but that ain’t life honey! And I’m sorry to deliver this message, but you will not be a young, dumb college student forever. Majority of the students that attend UST commute (please don’t get me started on the availability and selection of student housing at UST, not all schools are perfect…), learning to sit in morning and evening rush hours is necessary and incredibly beneficial to know before the rude awakening of joining the workforce post graduation. Studying in Houston means you take your classes and focus on your subjects for that semester, but all the while, you get to observe and absorb what the next chapter will be like.

There’s so much more to life than the college that you attended. In a fast changing world, an education is VERY important, but your diploma doesn’t define your very being. I had some doubts in my first couple of semesters, if I made the right choice by going to and staying at the University of St. Thomas instead of transferring to my “dream school”. Sometimes (when I sit in traffic) I daydream about how different my life would’ve been, and then I think about how I would have never lived my life now any differently! I’m a University of St. Thomas alumni, but I’m also a hoUSTon alumni.

If you’re a hoUSTon alumni too, there are so many ways to give back to the school that has taught us so much. This year’s UST Rocks my Socks campaign brought us so much closer to the alumni participation goal and is a great way to give to the next wave of those wanting to become Celt Alumni! To find out more information on this campaign and other Alumni events to score some really cool Celt swag, visit the UST Alumni page (here!) or follow them on Instagram!

To learn more about the University of St. Thomas, click here!

xoxo
La Glam Greek

In the spirit of graduation season, I felt the need to pay a visit to my own alma mater. Luckily, it’s not far, and right in the heart of the city. A few weeks ago, Bae’s sister graduated nursing school from the University of St. Thomas – Houston, the same school I earned my own Bachelor of Arts degree. Being at the commencement ceremony, 5 years from having walked the stage myself, so many thoughts came to mind.

Shoes : Forever 21 (10 years ago!) || Dress : Lulus || Earrings : Sugar Fix, Bauble Bar for Target

This post is for anyone graduating from high school and staying in town for school, this is for anyone currently at university in their home town and wondering if they’ve made the right choice, this is for anyone who graduated from a great university but are unsure of what’s next and if staying in your home city was the best decision.

In hindsight, I LOVED UST!

As a senior in high school, your mind is pretty much on only a few things – “thank God I’m almost done”; Prom, Graduation, and “OMG – where am I going next year?!” The application process and trying to get into your dream school is incredibly stressful! And let’s not even mention NOT getting into your dream school… That’s still a bit of a sore subject for me. I chose not to leave Houston after not getting into the one school I wanted to get into SO. BAD. despite acceptance into a number of other really renowned universities. I was quite depressed for a while after school started – all my friends left town, I developed BAD hormonal, cystic, adult acne, and I was dealing with a toxic relationship and an even more toxic, bitter and dangerous post break-up. I commuted to school since I lived at home, and worked part-time while taking 15-18 hours a semester. I had my plate fairly full, which made the 4 years fly by.

I chose UST because of its location – museums and restaurants galore, close vicinity to many different shopping districts – it’s down the street from my place of worship, it’s in an area I grew up in thanks to the location of my place of worship, and it’s a private school – although I did worry that might’ve been a little more detrimental when it came to the post-college job search. My largest class throughout my college career was only 25 people, I only had ONE auditorium style class, which was held only on Fridays during the first semester of my freshman year that held the entire freshman portion of the student body, and my commencement ceremony included ALL schools, Bachelor of Arts AND Sciences, Masters degrees AND Ph.Ds. We are a small school, but we are mighty.

It’s a Barbie World

But it took me a long time to realize this.

I wanted to go out of town like the rest of my friends, I wanted to get out of the house, I wanted to live on my own in a city unknown to me! Little did I realize the PERKS of staying in SUCH an amazing city. Nine years after having graduated high school and 5 years after having graduated college, being at the 2017 University of St. Thomas commencement ceremony and seeing the multitude of different cultures of the family and friends that were in attendance to see their friend or kin receive their diploma gave me an excitement I can hardly describe.

REASONS WHY I’LL NEVER REGRET STAYING IN HOUSTON FOR SCHOOL

  • This city is amazing beyond words – it’s the 4th largest city in the United States. The larger the city, the more things to do
  • You get to learn the city – Buffalo Bayou, Museum District, Eado, Rice U; the list can go on and the city has grown SO much over the years, and I’m glad I’ve gotten to see it’s development
  • You learn to commute – Houston everywhere, anytime has traffic. If you need to get to the other side of town, be prepared for at least 45 minutes of traffic. Get to learn that, because it’s very beneficial for when you start working.
  • Build your network!! If you’re planning on working in Houston (which is OBVIOUSLY a great idea, we’re a “working/commercial” city) get a jump start on your career networking before you REALLY have to once graduation comes
  • “Travel” without leaving town – Houston is home to such a beautiful melange of people, making friends with people from all different races and cultures is an amazing way to expand your horizons, without even having to spend money on a plane ticket.

In front of Malloy Hall

The time I got to spend here in school, discovering my city between classes, I cherish more than anything. I’ve seen this city grow. And now that I’m working, I tend to be the liaison for when out-of-towners come and want to know where to go and where to eat to enjoy the gems of this city.

Lips : Anastasia Beverly Hills Party Pink & Baby Pink liquid lipsticks

Moral of the story – wherever you choose to attend for higher education is the right choice, because choosing to get your degree is always the right choice. But if you happen to stay in your home-town, and if your hometown is Houston, consider yourself very lucky.

 

xoxo
The Glam Greek