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The University of Texas at Austin

Photo of Stephanie Bernard

Embraced by Texas

Before I began school here, I knew exactly how my friends in the northeast felt about going to school in Texas. I was the only person from my high school to ever apply to Texas. The idea of me going to school at UT was imperceptible to all my friends and family because the culture and lifestyle of its people vary vastly from how I grew up. I’m happy to say that the moment I started my life in Texas I have been embraced by its people and its culture. I never once have ever felt like an outsider since I began school, and I can't imagine going to school anywhere else.

"Keep Austin Weird"

I would describe Austin as SoHo spread out over an entire city. The culture and people you will find are very similar. In addition, Austin is filled with people who are passionate, whether it is about outdoor activities, Texas football, or music. Austin is laid back, full of energy, and unique compared to the other major cities in Texas. Its motto, “Keep Austin Weird,” I think sums up the spirit of the city accurately.

Three Reasons Why I Chose UT

1. I wanted a big school and it doesn’t get any bigger than Texas. With the large number of people and over 900 organizations, there is something here for everyone.

2. I wanted to go to a school with school spirit. On campus, on any given day, four out of five students are wearing burnt orange, and that to me says a great deal about how much the students love Texas.

3. I wanted to be enrolled in an excellent communication school. Since I began school here, I have enjoyed every single communication class I have taken and feel like I have received an excellent education.

Stephanie with friends.

Stephanie's advice

Get involved

Get involved. The best way to meet new people is to join activities and clubs.

Living on or off campus

I lived in an off campus dorm my freshman year called University Towers. It's located in West Campus, which is where you can find a lot of upperclassmen living. I don’t think that living off campus has affected the amount of time I spend on campus. I still go to class, study, and hang out with my friends on campus, just as if I was living there. I would recommend living in an off campus dorm if you want to be guaranteed parking and are nervous about what type of dorm you’ll be placed in.

Sit in the first few rows

In large classrooms, such a Dr. Daly’s Interpersonal Communication, there are about 500 people! It can be a little intimidating, so I suggest sitting in the first few rows, that makes the class feel smaller than it is.

Don't bring a car

Don’t bring a car if you live on campus. Parking is tough to find.

Time management is key

Time management is key. You have to schedule time to do school work, see friends and even call home.

The Foundation of Daily Life

I chose my major because I am interested in the study of communication as it is the foundation for all exchanges of daily life. Whether someone is gossiping in the school cafeteria, selling a product, or promoting a politician, communication is the means by which we fashion and fine-tune messages and deliver those messages to a target audience.

Great Resources to Have

I have enjoyed the time that I have spent with the faculty and students here at UT. Professors are readily accessible to all their students. They hold office hours once a week and will even set up an appointment with you. I always go to my professor's office hours to ask questions, go over material I had trouble understanding, or to just chat. Professors are great resources to have.

Stephanie with friends and with friends of Alpha Epsilon Phi.

Creating a Small Community

Since I arrived on campus I have become involved in many different activities and organizations. I am a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, an active member of Communication Council, as well as a student ambassador to the University. All of these activities have allowed me to meet new people and have experiences I never thought I would have. Getting involved in organizations on campus allows you to create a smaller community in a large student population. Even when I am walking to class I see so many people from all of my organizations and classes, which make me feel at home.

More about Stephanie


  • Study locations on campus or off campus: Presidential Lounge in The Texas Union, The Texas Union patio, Book People
  • Places to eat on or near campus: Austin Java, Kerbey Lane Café, and Trudy’s
  • Classes: Interpersonal Communication and Lying and Deception
  • Books: Ordinary People and Frankenstein
  • Movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Juno, 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Things about Austin: Being able to wear shorts 2/3 of the school year, friendly people, and South Congress
  • Pastime / Recreational activites: Going to Zilker Park and Barton Springs, going to UT football games, and spending time with my friends

Biggest challenge

Learning how to do my laundry without ruining my clothes.

Best unexpected thing

How easily I was welcomed by the Texas community.

Updated Thu, 2013-11-14 10:43 | Top

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The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 8058
Austin, TX 78713-8058

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