Lubbock or leave it

By David Talley | Published Saturday, May 14, 2016

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After four years, I graduated from Texas Tech University in December with two degrees.

Two days after walking the stage, I sat down at my desk in the Messenger newsroom as a full-time employee. As the perennial intern, I’ve been in and out of the office during summer and winter breaks for nearly two years, but this is the longest period I’ve ever continuously been at my post.

David Talley

David Talley

It’s also the most time I’ve spent away from Lubbock since 2011.

Since I’ve moved, all of Lubbock’s common annoyances have turned into endearing quirks.

For instance:


False. It’s the perfect distance from home. I needed that space to grow into the person I am now. Being four-and-a-half hours from Decatur meant I made the most of every trip. When home, I made it a point to see as many family members and friends as I could. The drive was a time of reflection. Regardless of other pressing responsibilities, you can’t shorten 285 miles.


True story: Lubbock’s highest point is at Texas Tech’s Urbanovsky Park. It’s an 8-foot tall, man-made hill. It’s flat, but there’s something pretty about life in the desert. The sun shines a little brighter there. I’ve never seen nicer sunsets than I have on the high plains.


I’d always thought of Lubbock as the biggest small town in Texas. It had nice, well-stocked grocery stores and chain restaurants but also plenty of local eateries and low traffic. For instance, there were two Chipotle restaurants in town. I always had one within 10 minutes of me, no matter the time of day. Beat that.


I’d take it over humidity any day. Even when the dust blew from nearby fields and blotted out the sun, I’d accept that as a sign West Texas isn’t for the weak. Every weather phenomena was easily visible from a good distance, and I could watch clouds form and fall apart from my back door. There’s something about walking outside to check the morning weather, which will undoubtedly be drastically different by lunch. Plus, dodging tumbleweeds on the way to class is like real life Frogger.

So, for the soon-to-be high school graduates headed to Texas Tech (or Lubbock Christian University or South Plains Junior College), you’ve got a lot to look forward to. It’s an intimidating, beautiful place with a lot to offer an optimistic person.

David Talley is a Messenger reporter and proud Red Raider.

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