The Pursuit of Happiness (and student debt)

To sum up what I did during my entire four years of high school- run.

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Most of my friends I had met through track. I didn’t go to parties or anything like that because I was always training. I didn’t have time to get a job, or join any school clubs.

Running track was my full time job and working toward a college scholarship was almost always the only thing on my mind.

After a series of unfortunate events, most of those being injuries, I somehow was offered a scholarship to run in college- by some miracle. 65% of my school would be covered my athletic scholarship and the other 35% by academic. I remember that night I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of Qdoba when I got the call from the coach. It was an unbelievable feeling to be offered to have my education paid for in return for doing what I love- running.

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On March 24 of 2014, I signed my Letter of Intent and at the time I did intend to spend the next four years of my life as a Bobcat, but fate chose otherwise.

To put it in plain words, during my time at Texas State I was miserable. Somewhere between being one of the fastest 400m runners in the state of Texas during high school and then barely being able to walk without being in pain from injuries, the one thing that I never thought would happen, happened to me- I lost my passion for the sport.

I found myself simply going through the motions every day and doing things because I felt like I had to. On the outside, I would put a fake smile on and pretend to be living the dream of an NCAA D-1 college athlete, but on the inside I was slowly dying. I felt as if I was compromising my physical, mental, emotional health and time all for a $0 balance on my tuition bill and free Adidas gear.

On March 1st of 2015 I submitted my transfer application to the University of Texas at Austin. On March 10th I voluntarily signed an official cancelation of my athletic scholarship and by March 23 I was officially no longer a Bobcat athlete- four years of free college gone along with my career as a runner.

Honestly, before coming to UT I didn’t realize how expensive going to college was, because I had everything taken care of for me at Texas State. I had $0 of debt in my name and now I am quickly accumulating it from student loans and had to work two on-campus jobs this past semester to have extra money; I’m living a few miles away from UT (which easily turns into 30-60 minute drives to campus with Austin traffic) because I can’t afford to live on campus and am literally paying for my rent with student loans.

However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Being at UT has been the best experience of my life and the amount of pride I take in being a Longhorn and being a part of this amazing university is unreal. While I did lost my passion for running track, being at UT has helped me find my passion for journalism and I greatly look forward to having a career in something I love doing.

That is not to say that I don’t miss running.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss not having to worry about student debt, being a part of team, being given free Adidas gear and representing my university at every track meet, not just being a regular student, but being an athlete, and most of all- that feeling whenever I would cross the finish line, gasping for air and legs locked tight with lactic acid, and look up at the clock to finally see a new personal record time, after all the grueling weeks/months of working towards that.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss being a Texas State Lady Bobcat, but I sure do love being a Longhorn.

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  1. Brianna, thanks for opening up and sharing your experience. You have many talents, writing being one of them. Keep blogging and making your dreams come true.


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