This question is often one of the most popular ones that students ask when considering UT Dallas.
Given that UTD did rank as number nine on Princeton’s “Universities With The Least Happy Students” list, many incoming freshmen and even current students question whether UT Dallas is the home for them. As a third-year on-campus resident, I can personally attest that there is a lot more to this young and growing university than what meets the eye.
With its relatively small student population, students can meet new people fairly easily. I have met friends from other cities like Austin, Amarillo, and San Antonio and also students who live in Arkansas, Nevada, New York, and California!
The friends that I have met are one of the best people that I have ever come across. From frisbee lessons to longboarding down the hill to the Plinth, and walking to Whataburger at three in the morning, the people I’ve met are always down to do something. These friends, although crazy and loud, are ones that I’ll be with for a long time.
However, some may argue that it can be difficult to find a friend group because some students may already know one another. A quick fix? Join clubs!
There are a variety of clubs for you to join that can help you meet new people and even gain leadership positions. Student organizations like Comet Life and SUAAB help students connect to not only the campus but also with other students.
Have an interest in dance? Join the Collective Movement or Filipino Student Association (FSA)! Before the pandemic, both organizations prepare members to compete in events like Isang Mahal and GoodPhil. What if you’re not a dancer but like sports? FSA also participates in sports competitions like basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
Interested in coding? Check out the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)! This organization not only helps students meet with other students with the same interest but also aids in helping students receive projects that can give individuals experience and skills. But if you can’t find the club for you……. well, make one!
Academics wise? UT Dallas is serious about their students succeeding. With a heavy focus on STEM classes, UT Dallas possesses a curriculum and faculty that prepares students to succeed. Hosted by the Student Success Center, there are abundant tutoring services on campus. Options such as PLTL, peer tutoring, and SI sessions cater to students that need extra help with certain classes. Additionally, there are teaching assistants that are open to helping students, just reach out to them. With that, don’t forget to reach out to your professors during office hours. Intimidating as it may be, there are a number of professors who would love to clarify any questions that you may have.
There are so many opportunities bustling on campus. UT Dallas always hosts events and information sessions that allow students to network with industry professionals and aid you in your career. Where do you find these? Handshake! You should also regularly check your emails from coordinators.
Research is another great opportunity that students can get from UT Dallas. Being a research assistant is a great way to earn experience and even letters of recommendation! Reach out to current RA’s and ask for advice. Network and gain a mentor.
There are also on-campus jobs and leadership positions. Be a student assistant for a department, hold a session as a PLTL Leader, sign up to be a Peer Advisor or a Freshman Mentor. UT Dallas is passionate about giving their students opportunities that can help prepare them for their future.
So yeah, UTD isn’t your typical big and spirited university. However, as cliche as this platitude may be, — your experience is what you make out of it.
How are you going to make it worth it?