If you were to ask a Longhorn, Land Thieve, or even a Sick Bear, Lubbock is a sparse town where nothing grows, has weird smells, and everyone goes who couldn't get into a "good" college. But for anyone who spent any time in Lubbock and went to Texas Tech knows that our connection goes beyond any of that. Yes, not a whole lot grows out in West Texas... except cotton and grapes for good wine. Yes it has some weird smells at certain times of the year due to all of the agriculture and ranches that surround the Hub City. However, most of the students who go to Texas Tech have an intense connection to the city, the people and the university from the very first moment they laid eyes on it and it really doesn't matter where else they were accepted. There was no homesickness my freshman year because Tech was home. There was no rushing back to my hometown to see all of my high school friends, because everyone I wanted to spend time with were my new friends at Tech.
TEXAS TECH IS...
It's the feeling of walking on campus on a spring day, the smell of coffee being brewed in the SUB during finals week. or picking your favorite chair to sit down and look through the Daily Toreador. It's seeing the football practice field lights on they day after a game with our team hard at work preparing for the next opponent. It's the Jones at night. It's having a different group of friends for every class, because you always need a study group. It's getting in free to every athletic event... all you have to do is show up. It's getting on the loop just to take a drive. It's driving down Quaker for all of the restaurants and to go to the mall. It's hitting up Texas Roadhouse's happy hour for $0.99 margaritas when your classes end early. It's hitting up Whataburger at 2am when you're buzzed and hungry. It's being an upperclassmen and going to La Diosa for some good sangria. It's grabbing One Guys on University for lunch. It's driving out to the drive-in to take in a movie. And it's especially hitting up Wal-Mart at 1am, because you don't like crowds.
We all have our memories of what the university has meant to each and every student, but regardless of what our memories are, they are forever with us. No Longhorn, Land Thieve, or Sick Bear could ever understand the greatness of Texas Tech, because it takes a certain kind of person to be a Red Raider. It takes some romanticism, a joyful heart, a strong will and most importantly, an incredible sense of individuality to thrive in West Texas. Yet another reason Texas Tech and Lubbock are so special.
FEARLESS CHAMPIONS LIVE HERE...
No one outside of Texas Tech understands that phrase. When talking with other alumni from other universities, they always ask about our "championships" or "lack thereof", and wonder why we call ourselves, "Fearless Champions"?
For us Red Raiders, the term doesn't refer to our National Championships in Women's Basketball, or Individual Track and Field, or even our numerous Big 12 Championships, it refers to our unconquerable spirit. That we never take the easy path, we always embrace the challenge and give it our all with no fear of failure. Our sports teams embody the spirit of the student body. It's what makes our teams so dangerous and most teams dread playing the Red Raiders. We've won championships, we've had our share of athletes turn pro, but none of that can describe what it means to be a Fearless Champion.
STRIVING FOR HONOR...
Our fearless nature means that we are not concerned with the opinions of Longhorns, Land Thieves, or anyone else. It means that we above all strive for honor in our class work, career, friendships and relationships. It's something no Texas Tech graduate forgets when they receive their degree. Knowing that our actions reflect on the university, all who have come before us and all who will come after. When we have our Tech emblem on the back of our truck or car, a flag outside the house or the apparel we have for every day of the week, we bear the banners of Texas Tech far and wide.
I know that from my experience of being a military brat and not growing up in Texas, Texas Tech was never on my radar. My first college exposure was Notre Dame and my second experience was the aforementioned land thieves in the mid-90s. But when I arrived in Lubbock for the first time, it felt like home. Everything felt familiar and I knew that is where I wanted to go to school. It's one of the most important relationships I have in my life, as it is for many Red Raiders and that will never change.
We owe so much to our Alma mater. She's granted so many opportunities to so many and will hopefully continue to do so for a long time to come. Keep showing the world that everyday, we are Red Raiders.
Happy 93rd Birthday Texas Tech!