A Quality Education I Couldn't Pass Up
I chose UT because of the excellent honors programs. Being in the Business Honors Program and Plan II Honors Program gave me a mix of both business and liberal arts. Being born and raised in Texas, I originally really wanted to get out of Texas; however, after really considering everything, I couldn’t pass up such a quality education at in-state tuition costs.
Picking Exciting and Engaging Majors
To be honest, I kind of fell into my majors. I was already majoring in Business Honors and Plan II as an entering freshman, and I added Finance to become more specialized in a field of business. I was debating between whether to major in Accounting and Finance during my freshman and sophomore years. However, I ultimately chose finance over accounting because I felt finance was more exciting and engaging compared to accounting. Studying the markets, investments, and the financial statements is extremely fascinating. I get to use numbers and through analysis, make conclusions about the value or the future investment opportunities of a company.
Eric's advice on…
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! I know, it’s easy to say, but let me tell you, it is extremely liberating when you don’t have to stress at the last minute to finish something. Time management is important: I make lists and make myself aware of deadlines so I can plan in advanced. This way, I still have time to enjoy myself (like recreational reading) and can still hang out with my friends.
About 40 people from my high school graduating class came to UT, and I was determined to meet new people. During your freshman year, get involved in clubs and organizations where you can interact with and get to know others. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and use lunches and dinners as a chance to get to know others in your classes, organizations, and dorms. In general, everyone is pretty friendly here at UT, but you have to be proactive if you want to meet new people.
What to wear
Wear whatever is comfortable to you. You can never go wrong with burnt orange hoodies, jackets, t-shirts, and shorts. The Co-op has a lot of burnt orange gear, but you can usually catch a good deal on discounted products at the outlet or a local retail store in Austin.
How to be a successful student
Enjoy your time here at UT, make new friends, and gain leadership in various organizations, but don’t forget your purpose here in college. Academics should be your number one priority. Then from there, figure out what your other goals in college are and then shoot for them.
Balancing studying, friends, work and family
Call home and tell your family you love them. I’m constantly busy, but I find time to call my family when I’m walking between classes, grocery shopping, etc. Make lunch and dinner dates to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Stay organized and up to date in all your classes, and you’ll do well.
Finding Your Place at UT
I currently live off campus in an apartment in West Campus. I lived in the honors dorms my freshman and sophomore year and enjoyed it a lot. I met some of my best friends from living on campus. Now that I live off campus, I find that I’m only on campus when I have class or extracurricular activities. It’s more difficult to meet new people once you’re off campus, so I would recommend moving off campus only after your sophomore year when you’ve found your group of friends and your place at UT. However, being off campus is enjoyable and allows me to be more independent. Instead of being confined to dorm food, I can actually buy my own groceries and eat healthier. It is also nice to have your own bathroom and washer/dryer. However, living off campus means more responsibilities—utility and cable bills, dealing with a 12-month lease, furniture and kitchenware, etc.
Riding the Simulator
My favorite experience here at UT was the time I got to explore the Aerospace Engineering flight simulator. A friend and I had a Plan II biology discussion session in the Aerospace Engineering building and midway through the semester, we saw the flight simulators in a room and asked the equipment attendant if we could experience the moving simulator. He put us in touch with the flight simulator coordinator, and we arranged a date where my friend and I got to ride in the simulator. It was a lot more fun than Microsoft Flight Simulator and really a cool, random experience!
More about Eric
- Favorite Class: The History of the French Revolution and Napoleon with Professor Judith Coffin
- Study location on campus or off campus: On campus: McCombs School of Business atrium; Off campus: Lady Bird Lake
- Place to eat near campus: Clay Pit, Kerbey Lane, Chipotle
- Thing about Austin: all the outdoor activities!
- Pastime / Recreational activity: reading, jogging, working out, trying new restaurants
Best unexpected thing
Studying abroad in Hong Kong for an entire semester has been the most amazing and unexpected experience of my college career. Not only was I able to travel all over Asia and Southeast Asia, but I was also able to get credit towards my degree for the classes I took at the host university. My experiences traveling in so many foreign countries and the exposure of the different vibrant cultures have provided me with a learning experience beyond the classroom which I will cherish forever. I really recommend students study abroad if they have the opportunity. My experience has changed my view on the world and made me a better global citizen.
Plan II physics (which I’m still enrolled in, but I’ll overcome it)