A Campus that Embraces Diversity
I come from a small town where the population is about 98.5 percent Hispanic, so coming to UT Austin was a shock but opened my eyes to a whole other atmosphere. I remember the first day of class; I couldn't stop staring at people. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I was observing people’s behaviors and mannerisms. A friend of mine, who was a lot older than me said, “This is UT, trust me you’ll never see anything like it.” I didn’t know if he meant the facility itself or the fact that there were so many people from different ethnicities mingling and going back and forth from class to class. Either way, being a part of a campus that embraces diversity is amazing.
Find a place to study that is best for YOU! Just because your friends want to study on the fifth floor of the Perry Castañeda Library doesn’t mean you have to.
How to be a successful student
Get to know your professors. This is very important to the success of any student, regardless of major. By taking the initiative to talk to your professors, you put yourself in a position to stand out, and sometimes it’s nice when a professor calls you by your first name in a class of 300 students.
Join organizations! It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
Balancing studing, friends, work & family
Prioritize! Think about what is important at a given time. Sometimes you’ll have a pretty rough week, and you know studying is more important than going out to the movies with your friends. Take it week by week and only do what you can handle.
Living on campus
I live off campus, and I enjoy it. As a freshman, it was definitely convenient living on campus. I wasn’t familiar with the campus, so it made it easier for me to learn all of the “hot spots” on campus as a freshman. Now that I am a senior, I require specific living requirements that only apartments can offer.
I’ve always had good interactions with faculty and staff, but I would say the most beneficial interaction I have had has been with students. I have a strong personality, and it’s amazing how many people at this university have just as strong, if not stronger, personalities than I do. So working with people who are similar to me, and who aren’t, has allowed me to mature in terms of how I interact with other people. I feel as if I listen better and critically to feedback and concerns, especially with group assignments.
Skills Needed to Succeed
For the sake of making a good grade in any class, you are forced to think at a capacity far beyond what you are used to. The skill sets required to succeed here are needed to succeed in the work force. As an incoming freshman, there are expectations and standards that need to be met, but as the years continue, with the help of faculty and your fellow peers, you refine and polish these skills to not only help you get by in the work force, but rather to help you change it.
With every second of every day, I am growing and learning academically. Being at this institution forces you to grow up and pushes you to want to pursue goals that you would have never pursued otherwise.
More about Alyssa
My biggest challenge, by far, was leaving home. During this time, my father was very ill, and we were suffering financially. I felt selfish and sort of guilty for coming to a place I knew was beyond incredible, while my parents were back at home suffering. I expressed this concern to my mother, and she reassured me that I belonged here. I knew at that point that so many people were sacrificing for me to be here, and I knew it was my obligation to do well not only for myself, but for my family. Things are better now, but I never forget why I am here.
Want to Contact Alyssa?
Send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.