That right there is a pretty accurate description of where I am right now, post-finals, writing this.
How is it that my first year at the University of Texas at Austin (boldface so it’s more epic when you read this in your head) is already over?! Alright, so first semester seemed to last forever once football season ended, and let me tell you this: when they say Turn Up DKR, they’re not kidding.
As a freshman, coming from a 5A public school in the big city of Houston, making the adjustment to classes with over 500 people and a student body of over 50,000 students wasn’t all that difficult. Given stats like that, you may be wondering how it’s even possible to make yourself noticeable, and to find a core friend group when there’s an almost inexhaustible amount of people around you daily.
That’s where my incredible friends come in. Started by a friendship I made during orientation, branching to signing up for football seats with a huge group in the student’s section, to starting a group text which grew larger and larger. That’s how I made some of the closest friends I’ve ever had, and they know who they are, and I love them to bits.
Freshman year also provided me with countless amounts of lessons. No, you will never get used to Quest. No, there’s no such thing as an “easy class.” Yes, you should carry an umbrella at all times. No, you will never get tired of coffee. No, nobody will notice if you use dry shampoo today. Yes, you will fall behind if you skip too many Friday lectures. Yes, Fireball is always a bad idea. Yes, you will spend all of next semester avoiding eye contact with the guy you made out with at a party.
But it also taught me about myself and the people who I surround myself with daily. Only when you’re comfortable with yourself is when you’re able to see the true colours of others. Freshman year was certainly a “weed out” year for some friendships, but most of all, it harvested numerous more. Can we just talk about how I met my best friend in a M 408K Facebook group the first weekend of school!? Friendships start in odd places, but give every single one of them a chance!
Another thing I learned, wear your orange, and be proud. Take part in any and every opportunity you get to wear burnt orange. It looks good on virtually every skin colour too (unlike certain, I don’t know, melancholy maroonish hues).
One thing I really enjoyed this semester was the Turtle pond. Yeah, okay, Turtle Tuesday may have been a thing last semester, but this semester it was all about spending time at the pond and really watching the turtles interact. It’s so calming when you step out of your world, take a step back from all the exams and studying, and take a look into their ecosystem.
Also, always carry carrots with you when you’re near the SAC. And don’t be scared to get close!
Another plus about Austin? The beautiful sunsets over the lake. An evening studying outside at Mozarts will provide you with the most beautiful sunset, so don’t miss it.
One thing I regret, somewhat, is not going to 6th Street all that often. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve had to turn down a sixth street invite this semester, I’d be able to pay for all my textbooks through grad school. This year I really focused on my GPA and gave my school work the priority. Next semester, I’m definitely planning on letting myself enjoy Austin and everything it has to offer. Plus, 6th is the birthplace of Keep Austin Weird, and when you go there, you’ll know why.
So as I bring this post to a close, just like my first year, I would like to thank everyone who was a part of my first year at UT. A special shout out to my sister, my one true bae and room mate, for always being there for me and giving me amazing advice (except for telling me to take GEO 303 which is so not an easy A, no matter what you try to tell me). I can’t imagine a summer without all of the friends I’ve made here at Texas, but God knows I can’t wait to be back in Houston and see all of my friends from home!
Thanks, and Hook Em Horns! P.S. only 68 weeks until Canvas, woo!