When I first visited ACU’s campus, I made my parents stop by Monk’s Coffee Shop so I could purchase a “Keep Abilene Boring” T-shirt. But at that time, I had no clue about the depths of Abilene’s boringness, or why in the world anyone would want to keep it that way.
Then, this summer, I had an internship in Austin, which is New York City compared to Abilene. There were millions of things to do at every hour of the day, and that’s no exaggeration. At first, I was amazed by food trucks and concerts and hipster shops galore. I was just racing to make it to each top spot in town before the summer ended. Yelp became my best friend and I was constantly looking to find the coolest place in town.
But then, something happened I never saw coming””I missed Abilene. I missed the simple act of just sitting down to have coffee with a friend. I missed conversations that were deep and about each other, instead of the new place we tried last week. Because there was always something to do, my friends and I never just stopped to catch up with one another. It was always go, go, go.
And then, one warm July night, while hanging out with a friend with everything to do within our reach in Austin, we instinctively found ourselves in a Walmart parking lot, talking in her truck for the next three hours. That’s when it all came together.
Abilene is boring. So much so, that most of the ACU student body can be found at Walmart late on a Saturday night, and many weekends are spent at home watching movies together. But that’s exactly the reason why I love it. Abilene’s lack of allure forced me to bond with my friends over swing sets at midnight and car rides for no reason. We were forced to create our own fun, no matter how stupid. And with that, I realized the true reason to keep Abilene boring.