Being a Longhorn was an amazing experience for me. I loved every second of it and the fact that the UT and Austin communities were so welcoming made it all the more enjoyable. Perhaps the fact that it differed so much from being in the Ivy League also played a part in making it more memorable. For once I considered the athletics side of things to be just as important to me as the scholarship side (rather than less important). Lucky for me, the atmosphere at Texas was a bit more focused on athletics as you might imagine, and it showed in every way imaginable; from the type and amount of equipment we received to treatments and even hotel accommodations. I appreciated that fact.
The best was expected of us in the athletics sphere and the school and athletics department did the absolute best it could to make sure we could deliver. While I don’t believe Harvard or other Ivy League schools shortchange their athletes by any means, I didn’t (and don’t) see them going above and beyond as was the case for me at Texas and in the Big 12.
Finally, from a competition standpoint competing for Texas and in the Big 12 wasn’t necessarily any fiercer than in the Ivy League since you certainly know how big a deal Heps is. That said, from a performance standpoint, the level of competition at the conference meet and other meets on our schedule was a bit higher. For me personally it meant that each meet we went to was a “big” meet and I loved it.
This story was written by Laine in 2010 as part of a larger story on Wandering Ivies.