Local Atmosphere

Waco, TX
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Waco has become a student friendly city in the last decade.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The locals hate Baylor students to say the least. Most of them think of the students as entitled. Waco is also a poor area to begin with so the local atmosphere can reflect that.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Recently Waco has been in the midst of a revival. With the addition of upscale bars and restaurants downtown, the nightlife is slowly becoming more attractive. There are no professional sports teams in at least 100 miles. Cameron Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Texas and brings many people to Waco every weekend.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: some shining stars but pretty boring overall

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is not much to do


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Teni Odunsi
San Antonio, TX
Environmental Studies
View all previous student authors

The thing about Baylor, and especially Waco, is that if you don’t get involved in something, you will die of boredom. Waco does a fantastic job of accommodating the school. Most of the businesses cater in some way to students by giving discounts with school IDs or hosting special events. The school itself has tons of events throughout the year such as campus athletic events, club sponsored events and concerts at the local coffeehouse and town halls that are free to students, and many community service opportunities.

The biggest drawback is that, just like the motto says, everything is bigger in Texas, which also means more spread out. If you go without a car, you better start making friends fast, because otherwise, it’s tough to get anywhere. A lot of events are held on or near campus, but to get to movie theaters, grocery stores, Wal-Mart, shopping, and nightlife, it’s all a little too far to walk. The city does have a trolley service and city buses, but few Baylor students actually take advantage of them. Even the Holy Grail of Texas, the football stadium, is off campus. If you’re not the social scene type, and would rather spend your evenings playing computer games, the school’s bandwidth is taken up constantly by online gaming, and the telecom department hosts Halo tournaments all the time. Most students combat boredom by taking trips to Austin or Dallas.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Western Settlement brought the Chisholm Trail through Waco when it was nicknamed "Six-shooter Junction."
  2. Just outside of town is the site of the now-famous Branch Davidian Conflict, involving the loss of many lives in a cult led by David Koresh and a sting held by Janet Reno.
  3. Cameron Park's 450-plus acres of forest include many different climates and elevations as well as more than ten miles of trails, fishing, boating, disc golf, a water park for children. They are used as a gathering site for students to shoot films, exercise, or just relax.
  4. In the movie Where the Heart Is, the scene where Natalie Portman's character approaches Forney while he's at school was filmed right here on Baylor's campus outside the English building.
  5. The Dr Pepper Museum stands as a monument to free-enterprise, and of course, Dr Pepper. The drink is Baylor's, and Waco's drink of choice, all the way to the school hosting "Dr Pepper Hour" every Tuesday where students get together to enjoy free Dr Pepper ice-cream floats. At the museum, you can still buy Dr Pepper in its original glass bottle.
Notable Natives
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt
  • Steve Martin
Local Slang
  • Baylor Bubble: The idealism and naivety Baylor fosters
  • Coke: Any type of soda (Typical conversation: "Want a coke?" "Yeah, grab me a Dr Pepper.")
  • Cowboy Cadillac: An enormous truck decked out with all the bells and whistles
  • MCC: McLennan Community College
  • TSTC: Texas State Technical College
Points of Interest
  • Cameron Park
  • Cameron Park Zoo
  • Dr Pepper Museum
  • Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village
  • Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center
  • Heart of Texas Rodeo
  • Hippodrome Theater
  • Lake Waco
  • Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
  • Texas Sports Hall of Fame
  • Waco Suspension Bridge
  • Westfest Czechoslovakian festival
Shopping Centers
  • Central Texas Market Place
  • Richland Mall
Movie Theaters
Hollywood - Jewel 16
Hwy. 84 & Texas Central Pkwy.
(254) 399-9500
Movie Theaters
Starplex Super Saver 6
410 N. Valley Mills Dr.
(254) 772-1511
Movie Theaters
Starplex Waco Galaxy 16
333 S. Valley Mills Dr.
(254) 772-5333
Major Sports Teams
  • Dallas Cowboys: football
  • Dallas Mavericks: basketball
  • Dallas Stars: hockey
  • Houston Astros: baseball
  • Houston Texans: football
  • San Antonio Spurs: basketball
  • Texas Rangers: baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Austin: TX: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Dallas: TX: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 144 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 144 responses

  • 12% Painfully remote.
  • 31% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 28% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 27% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 2% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 144 responses

  • 26% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 41% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 33% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 145 responses

  • 52% No way.
  • 45% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 3% Totally.



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