The Lone Star State. The Alamo. Cowboys and big trucks. If you've never actually been to Texas this is about all you know. At least before I moved to Texas in the middle of my sophomore year, that's about all I knew. After living there for two and a half years, Texas actually taught me a lot of lessons. Some great, some not so great.

So here it is Texas, my thank you, to you.

Thank you, Texas, for giving me my first 9-hour road trip by myself. The first time I ever saw you was after the painful 9 hour drive I had to endure as a 16-year-old from Alabama. With this, I gained so much responsibility, knowledge, and the importance of a really good playlist to listen to in the car.

Thank you, Texas, for showing me my favorite athlete in the world. Without your Dallas Mavericks playing the Golden State Warriors, I wouldn't have seen Stephen Curry (the greatest of all time, but that discussion is for a different article). Sitting in your American Airline Arena was probably one of the best times of my life. With that being said, I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you, Texas, for opening me up to the world of track and field. Without track, I would have never found a passion. Going to the state championship in Austin was a memory that will never fade. Getting a medal at every meet my senior year was an incredible feeling. Before moving, I really did believe volleyball was the only sport I would be good at. So thank you Texas, for allowing me to explore you.

Thank you, Texas, for your food. I enjoyed Tex-Mex so much, I even worked in a Tex-Mex restaurant. My mouth is watering just thinking about chimichangas and breakfast tacos. And nothing beats a good Texas steakhouse. Don't get me wrong, I love food from the south. Soul food, barbecue, you name it. But you, Texas, put a special flare on your food that makes it one-of-a-kind. And for that, I thank you

And finally, thank you, Texas, for giving me my very best friends in the entire world. You might be asking yourself, how can one call someone else "very best friends" if they'd only been there two years? Well, let me tell you. Never in my years had I met a group of people who would go so far out their way for me. People who actually miss you when you go out of town or call you daily. People who buy you food when you're sick. People who throw you a surprise graduation party, because they genuinely love you.

Thank you, Texas, for everlasting friendships