THE​ ​FIRST​ ​FEW​ ​MONTHS:​ ​REFLECTIONS​ ​OF​ ​A​ ​FIRST-YEAR

THE​ ​FIRST​ ​FEW​ ​MONTHS:​ ​REFLECTIONS​ ​OF​ ​A​ ​FIRST-YEAR

SHILPA RAJAGOPAL

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Here’s a simple truth: College is hard, and as a mere freshman trying to navigate through the complicated maze of classes and midterms while barely waking up for the 8am class, dealing with laundry struggles, and trying to make time for a social life, college seems more and more daunting. Below is a compilation of thoughts, ideas, and reflections from these past two months as a UT student.

THE FREEDOM: I was walking down Guad the other day, when the breadth of my collegiate freedom hit me: in between classes, I have the luxury to roam around campus, whether it be grabbing lunch at Littlefield with a few friends or catching some much-needed sleep on the SAC napping stairs. There’s always something going on around campus, and the city at large, making this new-found independence all the more exciting.

THE ACADEMICS: As a first-year CNS student, a good number of my introductory classes are held in large lecture rooms complete with swing-out desks that often leave me struggling to find the space to type responses into REEF while simultaneously writing quick notes in my course-pack. Yet, even with the seemingly never-ending stream of exams looming over the next few weeks, I’m grateful that my professors actively try to make their lectures engaging. Whether it be by igniting gases in chemistry, running a sample gel in genetics, or inviting guest speakers to present their research, my CNS professors are constantly finding ways to enliven their classes and help with the learning process.  

THE FOOD: The row of restaurants and vendors on  Guad are a true blessing, especially after eating for several weeks at the dining hall. I’ve tried only a few so far (Kerbey Lane, Verts, and Pizza Press), but to have so many food options at a walkable distance gives life a little flavor. :)

THE EXTRA-CURRICULARS: Coming to UT, I was acutely worried about finding my niche, but as I’ve found, the best way to make a 50,000-person campus feel smaller is through the 1300+ organizations. In the whirlwind of club flyers and email sign-ups known as Party on the Plaza, I ended up finding a few organizations I was genuinely interested in joining,  which included Natural Sciences Council and a dance team. The groups I’m a part of provide a balance to the academic side of college, helping me interact with people on a much closer and meaningful level.

So yes, college is hard. But it’s also overwhelmingly fun. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to and learn from some of the brightest minds in the nation, meet a host of talented, kind-hearted people, and accumulate more free t-shirts than I ever have within the span of two months.  
 

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