December 2nd, 8:54 p.m…
My dad texts me and says his phone had been hacked, his credit card information had been stolen, and that my TCU ID# was possibly in the hands of the hackers too.
December 18th, 11:16 a.m…
I receive a video with a blank green screen and a message from a mysterious phone number (THE HACKERS!!!!) saying “Hey girl! Made this little video for you, give it a watch ;)”
I immediately thought “Oh shoot! The hackers have gotten my number and are trying to hack my phone too! WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT OPEN THE VIDEO!!!!!”
December 18th, 12:57 p.m.
I receive another text message from the hackers. At this point they REALLY want me to watch this video.
But I had convinced myself UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I WATCH THIS VIDEO!!! My phone will NOT be hacked!!
December 18th, about 1:30 p.m…
I FaceTimed Claire O’Connor. We were just chitchatting about our Christmas breaks and our lives away from TCU in California and Nebraska (the best state in the country), and I randomly thought to ask her if she had heard anything about CR. She told me “No, I haven’t heard anything yet.” (Later, I found out she was both a LIAR and a great friend!)
December 18th, at about 2:30 p.m…
I get a call from the hackers! I don’t know what got into me, but I decided to answer their call.
Our conversation went something like this…
Hackers: Did you see the video I sent you?
Me: Ummm… who is this?
Hackers: It’s Brittany Harano!
Me: NO WAYYYY!!! I thought I was being hacked this entire time!!!!
Brittany: You should REALLY watch the video!
At this point, I knew why the “hacker,” CR Legend, and my Frogs First leader, Brittany Harano, wanted me to watch this video so badly. It was because I had been chosen to go on CR.
I finally decided to watch the video, and nothing could wipe the smile off of my face. This experience that I had only dreamed about going on had become a reality for me. CR was an experience that I heard about so many different times. When I visited TCU, I heard about the night train. Over the summer I watched the CR Instagram takeover. When I got to TCU, friends I had made that went on CR10 told me all about their memorable adventures. When I finally decided that I wanted to apply to go on CR, I heard even more about it at the Honors Abroad information session, and the Pecha Kucha presentations. CR was an experience that I knew would make my experience at TCU exceptional!
Right after I watched the video with Santa and Dr. P, I talked with my parents, made my reaction video, and called Dr. P.
Then, I FaceTimed Claire again and quickly found out that she knew the entire time I had talked with her earlier that she had been chosen for CR, but didn’t want to hurt my feelings in case I hadn’t been chosen too. What a great friend.
Since that day, I have been nothing but absolutely thrilled to take on this adventure of a lifetime. I keep saying CR is a NONEce-in-a-lifetime opportunity, since this experience is so unique. How CRazy is it that this group of 18 extraordinary human beings have the opportunity to travel together throughout Europe while growing individually and as a group! I am so ready and committed to being all in 24/7, and I am so excited to see how much we will all grow.
While traveling on CR, the goal I have set for myself is to learn how to make the memories I will be making last for a lifetime. This year, I have had so many crazy opportunities and experiences like being surprised on my 19th birthday, getting to job shadow in the Emergency Room, having dance parties with my closest friends, slip and sliding down the commons in a storm, and now going on Cultural Routes. All of these experiences don’t feel like real life to me no matter how many times I rewatch the videos of them happening to me. After I leave Europe from going on CR, I want my experiences to feel like real life. I want to reflect while I am in Europe in order to turn my experiences into concrete memories that feel like they actually happened to me and are not just part of some wild dream.
CR is real.
CR is happening to me and my familia.
CR starts tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. when I take off from my favorite city ever Omaha, NE.
Thank goodness I was not hacked!
Now, I need to go pack!
SEE YOU IN BERLIN!!!
Sending love from Omaha,
Lauren Klingemann 🙂