I’m a driver. I commute over an hour to and from work each day, and spend the better part of the fall months driving around various U.S. cities. I like to drive, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m not the type of driver who gets flustered or nervous about navigating around new cities. I’m proud of my ability to quickly figure out the lights/wipers/radio/seat adjustor/cruise control on any rental car, and actually find it kind of exhilarating to drive in a new place.
My current driving conquest is Houston, TX. I’ve noticed something very distinctive about the experience of driving in Houston. There are highways–lots of them. Loops too. And those highways and loops have lanes–lots of them. Most highways I’ve experienced in other cities have 3 lanes, and it is understood that speeders use the left, slowpokes use the right and Goldilocks sticks to the middle. Other than that, the lane you choose means very little.
Not the case in Houston. Most of the highways I’ve driven this week have at least five lanes, and I learned the hard way that the lane you’re in is very important. A lane could veer off and put you on a different highway at any moment. The whole road could split in an instant, and if you haven’t chosen your lane wisely, you may find yourself on an unplanned detour or using one of Houston’s many handy u-turn lanes. You might find yourself shaking your head as your GPS tells you to “stay left, then stay right, then stay right, then stay left”. In Houston, it feels like you need to choose your lane before you put the car in gear. It’s enough to turn the experienced calm driver into a nervous and dangerous lane-changer.
There should be an “undeclared” lane for drivers who need more time to figure out where they’re going. At Holy Cross you can change lanes, and can even change back if you realize you picked the right one the first time. You can hog two lanes for awhile–or for the whole ride if you like. You can even drive right down the middle until you feel ready to make a choice. And if you suddenly find that the path has veered and you’re not on the road you thought you were on, there are always those handy u-turn lanes.
Holy Cross students have until the end of their sophomore year to declare their major. Many students enter Holy Cross undeclared, some pursue double majors, and many others will change their mind at some point. So get excited, get in gear and know that we have faith you’ll find your lane when you’re good and ready.
Houston’s highways could learn a thing or two from Holy Cross.
Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions