First-Year Students RISE to the Occasion

Samagra Jain

On Friday, New Student Services and the Senate of College Councils co-hosted RISE, a day-long summit for first-year and transfer students to learn strategies for being successful at UT.

RISE, which stands for ‘Reflect, Inspire, Surpass and Emerge,’ was held in the Student Activity Center and featured speeches and workshops for students to learn about the resources the University offers. The event had representatives from several campus departments, who presented tips for student success. 

Patti Moran Micks, director of the First Year Experience Office, presented ‘Transfer-mational Skills: Leveraging Transfer Student Resilience,’ an information session specifically for transfer students aimed to help ease their transition to UT.

“Transfer students want the same level of support and the same resources freshman students get,” Micks said. “There are tons of programs for freshman students that include, for example, peer mentors. Recently, the University has pushed for several initiatives to make these resources available to transfers.”

During her presentation, Micks discussed how UGS classes are available for transfer students and freshmen. She also discussed the Texas Transfers Program, which aims to alleviate some of the issues new students face, such as making friends.

“I’m glad that I attended because I learned about the resources available to students like me,” said mechanical engineering sophomore Jie Fang. “Now I know where to go this semester if I need help.” 

Some of the workshops were also designed to prepare freshmen for the rigor of college-level coursework. Another information session called ‘Transitioning from High School Level Writing to College Level Writing’ was presented by representatives from the University Writing Center and focused on strategies and resources to tackle difficult reading and writing assignments.

Psychology freshman Delyssa De La Cerda said she found the writing workshop very helpful and feels more confident going into the spring semester. 

“I think it’s cool that the University provides so many ways to help you improve your work,” De La Cerda said. “I’m not as worried about writing a paper now, and I’ll be visiting the writing center for sure.”

As Micks concluded her session, she said students should take advantage of the programs the University offers. 

“UT-Austin can be as big or as small as you want it to be,” Micks said. “It’s on you to find opportunities and use the resources available to be successful at this school.”