First of all, everything has happened so fast, and it's a bit of a blur. It seems like I was waiting tables at the good old Outback in Longview such a short time ago, but this is my sixth week working at UT Austin. I actually worked at Outback the day before I started work here. I waited tables, got "fired" via cake, and drove to Austin, moved everything that would fit in an Expedition into my new place, and slept on my brand new... air mattress.
Though my furniture situation was bleak, I could hardly sleep that first night for thinking about starting my new job as a Recruitment Account Manager at UT Austin. For those who don't know, I help employers form a strategy for best recruiting students from Red McCombs School of Business. I have already worked with Google, Facebook, Dell, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte Consulting, Intel, and Microsoft to name a few. The job is normally fast-paced, and I like my team and the work that we do. We also run the 43-room interview suite across the hall from our offices.
I have definitely hit the big leagues of career services... Princeton Review says we're number 1 in the nation, but I'm not one to brag. It's been a lot to learn, but I'm moving along rather quickly, and I'm starting to feel like a valuable part of the team.
Enough about work.
Since moving here, I have met a TON of people, reconnected with old friends, and even been on a few dates. Yes, you read that right! The permanently single guy is actually going to dinner and drinks on occasion. I guess there's just a bigger and (in some ways) better selection here. And there's no limit to the types of places that I can go to have these dinners and drinks. The culinary and alcoholic choices in this city leave very little to the imagination. Happy hours are ridiculous here. Even those ballin' on a budget can have a couple of good afternoons a week without breaking the bank. Then, of course there's the places where you just go and party hardy.
Also, bands and music abound. So many free and cheap performances, and then we have all the large performing venues that host the bigger, touring stars, too. I haven't been able to take advantage of this much, mostly because getting settled, creating a network, and getting into the scene takes time, but it's hard to get away from live music in this city.
Other free things here? I went hiking... Shut the front door, I know. It was actually a good time, and I plan on going again soon. No, I haven't turned into a hippie, but it's easy on my knee (which STILL has not recovered from my December marathon), and it keeps me active. Also, there's museums coming out of my ears, and sometimes just taking a stroll through downtown and seeing what there is to see provides ample entertainment. There's tons of parks and trails, movies in the park, various community theaters and orchestras/symphonies, and foreign film viewings in numerous locations. If you are bored in Austin, you're doing it wrong.
I'll give more updates as things go down, but for now, I leave you with this: it was one of my best decisions ever (right up there with deciding to coming out, choosing to spending a summer in Dallas with Southwest Airlines, and realizing it would be epic to join SAE) to move down here. I encourage you to figure out what you want, and go, and get it. Life is too short to make excuses. If you want it, you can find a way. Stop holding back and live your life the way you always thought you would. I'm not saying quit your job, move, and hope for the best, but make a plan and stick to it. I did it, and I'll never look back. Adventure: it's the only way to live.