Name: Keshav Rajagopalan
Hometown: Houston, Texas
High school: St. John’s School
Expected graduation: May 2010
Getting Out of My Bubble
I went to the same small private school for 12 years so I wanted to see a change—get out of my bubble. I wanted to go to a place where I could meet new people, experience new and different things, and in a sense, get out of my comfort zone—grow as an individual. [This is why I chose to come to The University of Texas at Austin.]
Plan II – A Diverse, Broad-Based Education
I did not know what I specifically wanted to study or what I want to do later in life—I still don’t know. So, Plan II offered me the ability to have a diverse, broad-based education that taught me how to think.
But because Plan II is so broad-based, I did want to pick up a second major that was more focused. I started in economics and realized that was not for me. So, after my freshmen year, I applied to the Moody College of Communication and became a political communication major. Politics is something that really interests me, specifically, rhetoric and how to communicate ideas.
Study everyday! Don’t let it pile up. If you do the reading and go over your notes, class will be enjoyable because you will actually understand and connect with what is going on.
On making friends
Meet people! Don’t be afraid. Talk to people in your classes, where you live, or in your student organization. You might just meet someone who will change your life.
On parking/transportation around campus
Walk! Enjoy the 40 Acres and get exercise! The bus system is a great resource, but you will miss so much if you do not explore the campus.
On how to be a successful student
Meet your professors! They want to talk to you and learn about you.
On balancing studying, friends, work and family
Be sure to do it all. Studies are important. Having fun is important. Family and friends are important. Balance is key—prioritize and use time efficiently. Sleep!
Growing as a Leader
Being elected student body president has been the biggest honor and the most humbling experience. It has allowed me to meet amazing people and serve others and this university—a place I have fallen in love with. It has helped me grow as a leader and as an individual. At this university, they really teach you how to make a positive impact so that when you graduate, you are benefiting society and making a difference in the world.
Community Partnership and Shared Bonds
We truly are at a remarkable place—a place that really is a community, and once you enter it, you are forever a part of it. Being a student leader on campus allows you to be a stakeholder in the university’s future. We, the students, are the backbone of this university. We take pride in that and help make a difference for those who follow. As student body president, I have had some unique opportunities to interact with administrators, faculty, staff, and students. It is really humbling to see all this place has to offer and how dynamic it is. But, perhaps the most amazing thing is the partnership and bond shared between everyone.
- Class: US Foreign Policy with Admiral Bobby Inman
- Study location on campus: Life Science Library in the Tower
- Place to eat near campus: Whole Foods
- Book: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Movie: Remember the Titans
- Thing about Austin: outdoor stuff - Barton Springs, Lady Bird Lake, the Greenbelt
- Recreational activities: playing & watching sports, hanging out with friends, & being outdoors
I am an Asian American, Hindu, first-generation American. My older brother graduated from UT Austin and is now in medical school at UT Southwestern in Dallas. My younger brother is a junior in high school at St. John’s in Houston.
Time management – I think it is one of the things students don’t really think about. You have to juggle school, your social life, your extracurricular activities, and one thing we took for granted when we lived at home—doing your laundry, cleaning, cooking food, grocery shopping, etc.
My favorite experience at UT thus far has been part of the Texas tradition and living school spirit. I am a Texas Cowboy, and as a member of the cannon crew, we have the honor of firing the cannon at football games after every Longhorn score. The Spring Jamboree was our first time to be down on the field, and it was such an awe-inspiring moment to be a part of something. At a football game, you realize and see something bigger than the self—you have to go see one!
Send Keshav an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org