Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Finding your place takes time

Jane Hao

As I opened the application page on MyStatus, the word “accepted” beamed on my laptop. As a CAP student, I knew this moment was coming. I hadn’t stopped thinking about it since senior year when I had decided to complete my freshman year at UT-Arlington. Even after a long first year of college, my acceptance to UT-Austin was only the beginning of a lengthy journey to adjust to Austin. It’s a process that I’m just beginning to understand. 

Before coming to campus, I had almost exclusively considered the challenge of transferring colleges in an academic context. UT-Austin’s competitive and challenging environment made me nervous, but I reminded myself that I would be able to handle it if I stayed focused.  

While I’ve maintained my academic standing, I didn’t anticipate the difficulties I would face socially. As someone who has always been considered extroverted and enjoys meeting new people, I didn’t necessarily feel unprepared to enter a school full of people I didn’t know. 

I assumed that making new friends would be much easier with UT-Austin’s large student body. However, it was difficult launching myself into existing friend groups and awkward spending my time talking to freshmen. And although the people I already knew at UT had mentioned that student organizations were a great way to meet new people, the process of applying to these organizations was overwhelming.  

I started to feel like I hadn’t done enough to make new friends. As I wondered whether I was doing things right, I realized that maybe there was no “right” way to deal with my situation. 

We often place excessive pressure on ourselves as we attempt to reach a certain goal. While a lack of linear progress can be discouraging, it’s not uncommon. We are often our own worst critics, punishing ourselves for inevitable ups and downs which ultimately place a hefty but unnecessary burden of self-criticism on our shoulders. 

While it’s important to act on things that move us toward a goal, we must also forgive ourselves when things don’t work out exactly how we imagined. 

With a newfound appreciation for change, I’ve spent this fall semester focusing on what’s important to me and letting go of the expectation to adjust quickly and effortlessly to a new environment. I’ve even managed to meet new people through classes and activities, which has turned out to be a more enjoyable way of building connections than forcing friendships right away. 

My previous year on another campus was incredibly pivotal, and trying to erase its existence at UT-Austin feels disingenuous. In fact, the unique experiences we bring to UT-Austin are exactly what make this campus incredible. Let’s not be afraid to give ourselves the time to adjust — it’s a process unique to each of us.

Narwekar is a philosophy and economics sophomore from Coppell, Texas.

More to Discover