AUSTIN, Texas - Riccola Voigt, daughter of Pat and Hedy Voigt of Prairie City, spent the holidays at home after her first semester of classes at the University of Texas.
The freshman honor student is attending the university on a scholarship, and is planning on entering law school following graduation. Voigt said that during spring semester she planned to take mythology, nutrition, psychology and Spanish.
Voigt said the size of the university was initially intimidating after graduating from Grant Union High School.
The University of Texas has more than 54,000 students, making it the nation's largest institution of higher learning.
"It was a bit overwhelming at first," Voigt said. "One of the dormitories at the university houses more than 5,000 students, so that sort of puts things in perspective." Voigt added that she chose to live in a smaller private dorm where she has only one roommate.
Voigt said she marvels not only at the bigness of the University of Texas, but of everything in the state - the huge cities, the enormous number of mansion-like houses and the massive countryside.
"Everywhere I've been the people are very friendly and have made me feel welcome," she said. "I've spent some weekends and holidays in Pecan Plantation near Granbury, Texas, with the family of Georgia Risenhoover, my mother's college roommate. It's a neat, gated community in a bow of the Brazos River with more than 90,000 pecan trees, its own airpark, two golf courses, stables and a marina on Lake Granbury. Granbury was one of the towns featured on national television during the millennium celebration."
C.C. Risenhoover, an author based in Fort Worth, helped with the preparation of this article.