Name: Nancy Almanza
Hometown: Clint, TX
Expected Graduation: May 2008
Not Knowing What’s In Store
As a first generation college student it was hard to imagine what was in store for me in “college”. I had no one to ask for advice on what to buy, classes to take, or even to inform me about the city of Austin. It was very difficult to adjust to the college academic life. I always felt a step below my classmates, and I always felt like I was the only one “not getting it”. I felt like maybe I didn’t deserve to be at UT. Every day as I passed the tower I could not believe that I, Nancy Almanza, from little Clint, Texas was at THE University of Texas at Austin with 50,000 plus students. It was not until the end of my sophomore year when I realized that I too deserved to be here. I began to get involved first with the Latino Leadership Council and this gave me a sense of home away from home, a sense of belonging.
Mentors and Guidance Along the Way
Along the road I have had the privilege to encounter wonderful people who have helped me tremendously. As a first year I signed up for the Faculty/Staff Mentor Program offered through the Office of the Dean of Students. It is a program where you are paired with a faculty/staff member. My mentor was/is a biology advisor and I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful she has been. If any problem arises from personal to academic, she is always there for me. She is a caring and genuinely nice person who listens to me ramble about everything and anything.
Also during my time in the residence halls I had the luck to have a wonderful resident assistant who continuously encouraged me to explore the university and what it had to offer. Every Tuesday he would knock on my door to persuade me to attend Student Government meetings, and although I was not a big fan, his enthusiasm and energy drove me to those meetings. Now one year later I am a representative for the College of Natural Sciences in Student Government, and he continues to serve as my mentor and guidance whenever I need him.
My UT Family
Looking back, if someone told me I would become a sorority girl and even more the president of a sorority, I would never have believed it. However, pledging my sorority Sigma Delta Lambda has been the most important thing I have done in my college life. I have the privilege of being a part of a sisterhood that is unparalleled. These women, my sisters, have shown me the value of being there for each other. They have helped me develop a small family away from my family. Through my sorority I have volunteered in multiple places doing what I love, aiding underprivileged children as well as getting to know various people across campus and the city of Austin.
Perry-Castañeda Library 4th floor
Place to eat near campus
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowlings
Advice from Nancy
Don’t wait until the day before a test, start studying at least a week in advance.
As the years pile on you will no longer have to worry about your wardrobe as you will acquire months of free t-shirts. They are given everywhere for everything!
Don’t be shy, go for it.
Living on campus
Currently I live off campus, but I did live in the residence halls for two years (Jester West and East). I would definitely recommend living on campus at least your first year. It is a unique experience which allows you to closely interact with other students who are facing the same issues you are.
Also, don’t room with your best friend! It almost never works out.
Send Nancy an email at firstname.lastname@example.org