Deep in the Heart of Texas


by Olivia Barker
@oliviabark


Y’all, I’m finally moving to a state that will appreciate my big hair! I’m so excited to be named the new Associate Director for Student Activities at Rice University and even more excited to move to Houston, TX in two very short weeks. I will be honest, I have spent the past few nights (read: two weeks) getting a little emotional (read: more than a little) and maybe cried a tear or two (read: cried, at tops, 10 tears). It is so amazing how comfortable you can get in a tinsy, tiny little town. I have been savoring every single walk with Macon, every single lighting bug, every single sunset and every single fox, bunny, deer or wild animal. This little town has grown on me. 


Like I said in my last post, the past few weeks have just been a whirlwind of trying to find an apartment, schedule movers and pack and plan to travel almost 1,000 miles from my life for the past three and a half years...the tears are warranted. Apartments in Houston are significantly more expensive than where I live now and I am signing a year lease site-unseen (please send positive thoughts my way), I have actually only been to Texas twice in my entire life and both were for job interviews within 3 weeks of each other (most of which my time was in a hotel, on campus or in an airport) and I only know MAYBE 2 people in Houston...I am scared. I have so many unknowns in Houston, but instead of being afraid, I am trying to let it fuel me. I have looked into the Junior Chamber, the Junior League and the Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae Association and I cannot wait to get involved in and fall in love with my new city.

When I started this job search, I said I wanted to live in a big city, work at a top tier institution (I was searching both public and private, but was itching to get into private) and take a step forward in my career. I was not budging on any of these requirements. Everything about Houston and Rice University felt right when I was there (you know, for 20 hours). After an amazing, extended dinner with some folks from Rice, I took a walk downtown and the stars were seriously big and bright. The streets were busy, the wind was blowing and I navigated the area easily...I truly felt at home. I loved the beautiful campus and enjoyed every minute of my interview the next day, from the car ride there all the way until I was dropped off at the door of the airport. When I got on my plane, I had a good feeling I would be back. I prayed for this position, for this university, for this feeling of confidence and assurance and now...I am moving to Houston. For anyone job searching, please please please know that these feelings will come, the right position will come and you will find your career soulmate. Yes, I know it is a little easier to job search when you are gainfully employed, but you do not want to miss out on the feelings of being at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.


I live for adventure and positive change and I thrive when I am being challenged. Everyone that knows me has said this is going to be such a positive move for me and I can’t wait to find out how right they all are. I still do not have a place to live and I keep hearing about this “traffic,” but I literally cannot wait for my new adventure in Texas.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. They are so lucky to have an amazing person like you joining their team. I'm so excited for you, keep me updated and you're going to have a blast!

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