April 2024

Work in Progress: Trials, Tribulations, and Traffic teaser image

Work in Progress: Trials, Tribulations, and Traffic

By Delaney Couri

College Station construction is ubiquitous.

The only thing more predictable than the train causing horrendous traffic on Wellborn is the sight of a crane blocking half of the sky. When I moved to College Station in 2015, Century Square was non-existent… as was Zachary, ILCB, the Student Services building, and about 100 more buildings and roads that I’ve seen pop up in the past 9 years.

I’ve written before about the ups and downs of living in a transient town. While old buildings get torn down and new buildings get built every other day, so too do the students and other members of the Bryan-College Station community. Just as soon as someone moves in, someone else moves out. I have had hosts of best friends throughout my undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees because each time I get close to someone, they inevitably leave to pursue job opportunities elsewhere. I’ve had friends-who-feel-like-siblings head up to Fort Worth, college roommates disperse across Texas, and football buddies relocate to other places in the Deep South. The one common characteristic of all these comings and goings is this — I have never been the one to leave, always the one who is left.

Until now.

Well, not like, ~right now~, but soon. As of the date of writing, I am around 13 months away from finishing my time at Texas A&M and receiving my doctorate. By the time I go, I will have spent a decade of my life in College Station. I have written before about what it is like to have spent my formative years here. To have experienced so many milestones in my personal and professional life, including my fair share of both love and heartbreak.

But something feels different now that I am going to become the “leaver.” It dawned on me the other day that one day soon, a new construction project will start on a road around where I live, and I won’t be here to see it completed. Just as I move on, this city will also keep running. Like an ex who starts seeing someone new the second you walk out the door, College Station will break my heart with its indifference. Because at the end of the day, it does not matter if I am here or not, the construction project will continue. The train will still back up traffic. The football team will still run out on the field after Reveille, just with one less fan in attendance.

Thinking forward to that moment when I leave, I can’t help but wonder who will come after me. What wide eyed freshman will set foot on this campus, unsure about their degree and their prospects moving forward. What (un)lucky soul will find themself in my shoes, spending a decade in this tiny Texas town, planting roots that they never expected? Whoever it is, I hope they are ready to have their life changed. I hope they open themselves up to every experience. Good, bad, and otherwise.

But most of all, I hope they notice the construction projects. When they start, when they’re in process, and when they end. Because if they do, they may just notice, time spent in College Station follows the same pattern. A rocky start, a messy middle, and eventually, a finished project… until one day they leave and the project stays forever in progress in their mind.

That’s the pattern of my life. A forever work in progress.

About the Author

image of author Delaney Couri

Delaney Couri

Delaney is a second-year doctoral student studying equity, social justice, religion, music, higher education, and the LGBTQ+ community. They also have an interest in interdisciplinary fields. Delaney has been in College Station since 2015, receiving both their undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas A&M. Delaney enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, painting, attending church, and walking. They find the most joy in community and are very close with family, friends, and their cat.

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