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

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October 4, 2022

Just say yes

Jane Hao

It can feel nerve-racking and overwhelming for college students to scope out opportunities, make friends, navigate newfound independence and fit in amongst the tens of thousands of individuals at their university. Adapting to a completely different environment, along with the pressures and expectations that accompany the transition into college, can be a scary but very exciting thing. 

Saying “yes” to UT’s extensive range of opportunities and resources can make your college experience feel abundantly easier and less overbearing.

As a transfer student, my first day attending classes on campus felt entirely foreign. As I walked on Speedway and took in unfamiliar surroundings, I struggled to grasp that although I had made it to UT, I didn’t know where it was going to take me. After only a few weeks attending this school, I had made some new friends, been introduced to resources and opportunities I had never been exposed to prior and branched out of my comfort zone.

Allie Robbins, a Career Education specialist at Texas Career Engagement, introduces students to opportunities both within their college and outside of their college. She encourages new students to take advantage of opportunities that come their way as they could open doors and help them get connected through Hornslink.

“I think (Hornslink) is a good way to start getting connected with people that have similar interests, and try to narrow down a giant University to these small pockets of people (to) really get fully plugged in,” Robbins said.

As I began to embrace my “just say yes” outlook, I decided to join a student organization that my friend introduced me to. After getting involved on campus through this organization, I began to realize that the word “yes,” as simple as it may portray itself to be, can allow us to discover aspects of life that we may have never known about. 

While opportunities may seem challenging to discover at times, they are presented to us even before classes begin. Kyle St. Nicholas, associate director for New Student Services, helps incoming UT students with acclimation through New Student Orientation.

“We have sort of optional programs where they can really pick their track or their fit or their interest and explore a little bit more,” St. Nicholas said. “That can be anything from athletics to student organizations, sorority and fraternity life, working on campus; there’s just a wide variety of things where they can sort of delve into more if they’re interested.” 

In January, I attended an optional career coaching session that built skills that allowed me to meet with a magazine editor. Having the opportunity to talk with someone who is currently in the position I hope to be in both inspired me to get there and made me feel like it was more imaginable than I had previously thought. 

“Say yes to everything,” said Brie Belmonte, a transfer student and English junior. “I think that’s a huge thing that helped me so much… Whatever opportunities there are, just do it and then eventually you’ll find your niche.”

Not all offers will be worthwhile or pay off, and not all should be taken. However, saying yes to opportunities that intrigue you will help alleviate some of the burden of an already taxing experience, and make the process easier to navigate. 

By taking risks and embracing the opportunities I discovered, I made connections and got comfortable with the idea of attending a new school. Not only did I feel exponentially more at ease, I felt like I had a support system to help me adjust to the transition. 

Attend career fairs. Go to those office hours. Study with a classmate. You never know where it could take you. 

Ismert is a Liberal Arts third year from Dallas, Texas.

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