"You Have to Apply to Texas!"
I had always thought that I would attend a small private school in Southern California like my big sister. However, when I described to my high school counselor that I wanted a university with contagious school spirit, big sporting events and academic prestige, she immediately responded with, “You HAVE to apply to Texas!” I took her recommendation and when I was admitted, I eagerly came to visit. After walking around campus and meeting some students, I fell in love with the pride the students had for their school. I committed to UT Austin that night in my hotel room!
An Incredible University
When I was considering this university, I came to visit for Explore UT. There were thousands of people wandering around campus and lots of things going on. I loved how excited everyone was to see the campus and learn more about the university. Seeing how many people were here to visit the university made me realize how incredible UT Austin really is!
Living on campus
I would definitely recommend living on campus and using the UT Austin Roommate Profiler. My roommate ended up being my best friend, and we loved being so close to all of our classes. Don’t get too lazy though; having everything you need in one building can make things a little too convenient sometimes. Make sure you still explore all of the 40 Acres and discover areas outside of your residence hall.
Parking/transportation around campus
You definitely do not need to bring a car your freshman year. I didn’t bring one and loved walking around campus. I learned shortcuts to my classes and mastered the bus system. Students bike, walk and bus all the time, so a car is not necessary.
Balancing studying, friends, work & family
Time management is a skill I had to master when I first got to UT Austin. It took some time to figure out how to keep my grades up, have a social life, work and still remember to call my parents. It helps me to plan out my day the night before and designate what hours I am going to study beforehand. It also helps to remind myself that there are enough hours in the day for everything I want to do; I just need to make the time.
Life of a Journalist
Math and science were always kind of a struggle for me in high school, so I knew I was not going to go that route. The summer before my senior year in high school I interned at a local newspaper and fell in love with the life of a journalist and went on to choose journalism as my major.
A Longhorn Life
One of my favorite things about attending UT Austin happens to be something I did not expect at all. The summer after my first year at UT Austin I spent a large portion of it in Italy. While studying abroad, I was so surprised to see several people wearing Longhorn hats and t-shirts. It made me realize that I will be a Longhorn for life, and because of all the amazing things the university has done, I will have connections all over the world after graduation.
Proud to Call Myself a Longhorn
I was definitely worried about leaving my family and going to school out-of-state. However, all of my worries instantly vanished when I saw how much school spirit was on campus. Everyone here bleeds burnt orange and has such a love for the school. My family came to visit for a football game and now my dad has more burnt orange t-shirts than I do, and my mom makes sure there is a Longhorn flag outside of our house every game day. I am so proud to call myself a Longhorn, and I know my family has equally as much pride.
More about Jessica
- Study location on and off campus: On campus - Life Science Library (it is always freezing cold in there, so it is hard to doze off). Off campus – Lady Bird Lake and Café Medici.
- Place to eat near campus: Cuatros (get tacos and queso!) and Spicy Pickle.
- Classes: Difficult Dialogues: Immigration and Cultural Pluralism (Anthropology) and Fundamentals of Advertising
- Professor: Dr. Suzanne Seriff in the Department of Anthropology
- Books: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Little Bee by Chris Cleave
- Thing about Austin: All the delicious Tex-Mex food, live music, Barton Springs, and floating the river in the Texas Hill Country
So far, my favorite experience about being a UT Austin student was my first football game. I had heard that Longhorn football was crazy and the fans were energetic, but I had no idea what I was in for when I walked into my first game. After three hours of screaming, “TEXAS FIGHT!,” I left the game without a voice and a new love for college football.
One of my biggest challenges about being a college student has been learning to manage my time. It is easy to get distracted because there are constantly so many things going on in Austin and on campus. I am still learning how to ration my time so that I have enough hours in the day to complete my work, as well as do things that I want to do.
The one thing that my struggle with time management has taught me is how to ask for advice, whether it be from a teaching assistant or an upperclassman, there are always people on campus willing to help and offer advice if you just ask!
Plans after graduation
While I do not have a clue what I would like to do after graduation, I’m not worried. I know that UT Austin is equipping me with all the necessary skills I will need to excel after graduation. I do not know if I will start the hunt for a career or continue on to graduate school, but I am excited to find out!
Want to Contact Jessica?
Send Jessica an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.