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The University of Texas at Austin

Andrew Limmer

Name: Andrew Limmer

Hometown: Friendswood, TX

Major: Civil Engineering / Plan 2

Expected graduation: May 2008

Nothing Else Mattered

When we won the national championship early in 2006 everyone who was in town ran out of their houses and stormed the campus. People waved flags, honked horns, and cheered for the team. My roommates jumped in the fountain and we all paraded around campus for the rest of the evening. On that night nothing else mattered except that you were a Longhorn.

Buzzing with Activity

[I decided to become a Longhorn because] The University of Texas has a great balance of many different opportunities. First, the educational quality is outstanding, and there are so many options of classes and concentrations. Second, out of the classroom you will meet people from all over the world and be able to learn from their experiences and their opinions. Finally, the campus and Austin community is buzzing with activity. There is great outdoor recreation, live music, and opportunities to be involved in serving the community.

I have met more interesting people in four years at UT than in all the rest of my life before I came to Austin. Everyone has a different story, a different perspective, and a different vision of what the world should be. Being a member of the Texas Blazers has allowed me to interact with these individuals on a daily basis and learn about their cultures and beliefs. I never thought I would meet such a great group of dedicated men. They have become some of my best friends.

I pretty much grew up my whole life in Friendswood, Texas. My parents moved there from Chicago when I was four months old and had never been to Texas before that point. I’m sure they never imagined I would one day become a Longhorn but here I am today. I came to UT because the educational reputation was great and I really loved the Austin area. The contrast to my suburban upbringing has taught me many things out of the classroom. I wouldn’t take back my years at UT for anything.

Andrew’s advice about…

The weekend

In college I had to learn that just because it is Friday or Saturday doesn’t mean I have to go out at night. Sometimes a weekend night spent doing schoolwork can make the next week much better. Try it!

Studying

Always sit at the front of class. You will pay more attention, be more likely to go to class, and the professor will like you better.

Parking / transportation around campus

Don’t try and park near campus. You will most likely pay the price in tickets. If you must drive to get to campus park in the “C” lots near I-35 and walk the rest of the way. Get used to walking because you will do a lot of it. Use that time to catch up with people on the phone. In fact, I think that 80% of people walking are on their phones! Also, look at it as good exercise you wouldn’t get otherwise. On a side note, put a small umbrella in your backpack for unexpected showers.

Balancing studying / friends / work / family

Treat school as a 9-5 job. If you study during the day and don’t put things off until the last minute you will be less stressed and get better grades.

Living on campus

Live on campus your first couple of years until you have established your activities and learned your routine. After that, get away from all the traffic and congestion to somewhere cheaper. Since you already have established yourself you won’t turn into a hermit or risk losing your friends. Although driving to campus can be a challenge, you will save money and likely live somewhere nicer than you did before. Don’t be lured by locater services that try and sign you to expensive leases early. They will claim that apartments are running out and you won’t have a place to live. Remember these guys work on commission and get paid based on the lease you sign.

Building Things

I chose civil engineering [as my major] because I’ve always liked to build things. I know that sounds pretty simple but it’s true. In addition, engineering teaches you discipline and how to think through problems.

Plan 2 was my way of diversifying my educational experience. Pursuing a Plan 2 major has allowed me to take classes in many different departments on a variety of topics. Some days I’ll go from a class on steel design directly to a course on the modern Middle East.

The Plan 2 program has been a valuable addition to my coursework at UT. My classes are smaller and there is more discussion. We read interesting books, articles and papers in seminar classes we choose based on the topic. Instead of multiple choice tests we write papers for grades. Although it has taken me a year longer to graduate, I feel that I am more attractive to employers given that I am not strictly technical and can formulate opinions in the forms of papers and open discussion. Most engineers do not excel in this area.

Andrew’s…

Favorites

  • Class: Construction Materials
  • Study location on campus: PCL (the FAC has too many people on cell phones)
  • Place to eat on or near campus: Players…the best burgers within a short walk of the Six Pack*
  • Thing about Austin: Outdoor recreation…use it because being healthy leads to better grades

* Students call the six academic buildings lining the South Mall “The Six Pack.”

Random thought

I can’t ___________ without __________.

I can’t go to sleep without a clean room.

E-mail Andrew at alimmer@mail.utexas.edu.

Updated Tue, 2011-04-12 14:41 | Top

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