I still remember the day I moved in… Just a wide-eyed sixth grader with no friends, no knowledge of the area and no idea that Dripping Springs is where I would become the person I am becoming today.

Back then, my heart was set on becoming a player for the US Men’s National Soccer team. As I grew older, that dream faded into realism, where it shifted into a new goal: collegiate soccer. And it was on the high school practice field that I spent most of my hours on the field.

Drip was and is a lot of things to me… a bit bland for the life of a born city boy? Sure. A bit conservative and “old-fashioned” for someone who’s about to spend the next four years at a film school in LA? Perhaps.

But that is not what will protrude in my memories about Dripping Springs. Rather, the booming voice and intense passion that my seventh grade Texas history teacher Coach Paige had. The massive Hill-Country nights with every star as clear as they could possibly be. The wonderful people who borderline throw barbecue at you before home football games.

These are the things I will remember. Sure, Dripping Springs isn’t perfect. But nowhere is.

Austin’s got traffic. Los Angeles trades rain for traffic. New York City substitutes space and country for industry.

The important thing about Dripping Springs is the residual. It’s the majority. The people will rarely leave you with a poor taste, but instead they will go above and beyond to make your day. Sure, you have to drive 45 minutes to get downtown, but you’re going to realize that the scenery you’re passing in your car is hard to beat.

I am a city boy, through and through. There is no denying that. I grew up a five-minute bike ride from the downtown streets of Boise, Idaho. It was culture shock when I suddenly found myself living on a highway outside of this little town called Dripping. But looking back, I couldn’t possibly have it any other way.

Dripping gave me every opportunity I needed. From athletics to academics, to the arts and beyond, there is no other place I could have flourished the exact same way as I have.

But most importantly, I am thankful for the person this place has molded me into. I am happy with the way I am, and I am the way I am because of the people in this town with whom I lived every day.

We all have to move on at some point, but it’s nice to know I’ll always be welcome back home with open arms.

Jaxson Thronton