Name: Poonam Dubal
Hometown: Irving, TX
Favorite study location on campus: Perry-Castañeda Library
You Can Find Your Niche
I really wanted to attend the Plan II Honors Program here and I just love the idea of a big school where you can find your own little niche among the thousands of people that are affiliated with the school. I also really love interacting with other students in Plan II. Some of my closest friends, including my roommate, are in Plan II and it is just fantastic having partners in crime (or confusion) while you’re going through the rigors of academics. I decided to double-major in Asian Studies just because I love learning about my country and culture and that of the countries surrounding India since they’re all intertwined.
Unscathed and Stronger Than Before
The fall semester of my sophomore year was really tough. I was practicing three to four hours a day for a solo dance performance (a culmination of 10 years training in Indian Classical Dance). Along with that huge constraint on my time, I was also dealing with unexpectedly hard classes, a new job at the Career Exploration Center (which I really love), and a new relationship. I had to learn about time management, prioritization, and commitment all within a three-month span. It was very tough and a really big growing experience for me, but I made it out unscathed and stronger than before.
Advisors Enrich My UT Experience
Talking to the advisors for Plan II and Asian Studies has been really comforting. I feel like they take a genuine interest in me and what’s going on in my life; I usually end up talking to them about a lot more than just the classes I need to take next semester. Since they take such an interest in me, they suggest a lot of things that I can apply for or participate in so that I can enrich my experience here at UT.
Poonam's advice on...
Balancing work, studying, and friends
Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day and make sure you prioritize. You’re going to make mistakes as far as finding the right balance for all that you do, but learn from them and don’t let them get you down. Most importantly, get a planner.
Meeting new people
Be open to meeting new people. The first few days of classes are great because no one knows anyone and everyone’s willing to talk and be friendly. Joining clubs and organizations is a very easy way to meet people. Also, meet your neighbors; whether you live in a dorm room or an apartment, it’s just nice to have a little community to come home to regardless of who or where you are.
Tools for college success
You have to utilize the resources that UT offers. There are so many programs and offices that are there solely for your benefit. If you take advantage of them it makes your whole experience at college a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. The UT Learning Center, the Career Exploration Center, the advising offices—all these plus hundreds more are really great tools for students to use.
More about Poonam
Why Austin is great
It caters to so many different interests. Also, I love the Drag (Guadalupe Street): it’s artsy, it has boutiques, food, and plenty to look at and to do.
Checking out different organizations by going to their meetings has been really beneficial in that it helped me gauge what sort of things I was really interested in doing and how I wanted to spend my time.
- Classes: History of Indian Dance; Shakespeare and Leadership
- Book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- Cafe: JP's Java
- Fill in the blank: I can't ______ without ________.
Answer: I can’t live without Cadbury’s Royal Dark Chocolate Bar (it’s been there for me through many a long night of studying).
Send Poonam an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org