If you could re-do your time at UT Engineering, what would you do differently?
See what Eeshan, Elaine, Heather, and VJ from the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) have to say about staying in touch with friends!
Q: If you could re-do your time at UT Engineering, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t wait until later in my college career to join different orgs or other groups. I wish I had used my first few semesters to join more orgs, and built a wider, more diverse support group. With so many different organizations and social groups to join within UT Engineering, it’s really easy to find groups of people that share the same interests as you, or with the same goals as you.
If I could re-do my time at UT Engineering I would explore more diverse pool of activities. In my first 2 years at UT, I chose to engage in mostly BME-related activities and enjoyed my time in each and every one of them! However, I have since learned that finding community as well as yourself and your passions comes through experience and exploration. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying out organizations and classes outside of engineering would have been super cool and helpful in discovering my interests early on. In addition, it would have been a great way to surround myself with a more diverse community and learn from perspectives outside of those that I was already comfortable with. Although I would recommend more exploration, I also recommend choosing a few activities and truly engaging in them. Ultimately, it’s the coupling of preliminary exploration and subsequent engagement that truly makes the UT experience.
I don’t regret any of my decisions that I made or my time at UT Engineering in the past few years, but if I could go back and make adjustments I would try to make and maintain more friendships with other majors both in engineering and other schools. It is a little bit easier when you are in your first two years because you are in more general courses and can meet people of all different majors. At the outset of my college years I knew a variety of people from different schools/majors but as classes became more BME centric I found myself talking mostly to other BMEs. I find it beneficial to have the outside perspective of people studying humanities or other fields in STEM. Not only does it make you more well-rounded but I strongly believe it also gives you a huge advantage when you are trying to solve your own engineering challenges. In college we major in very specific fields and it is easy to get tunnel vision, forgetting that our fields all intersect at one point or another. There is always more to learn and the easiest way is to make friendships and have conversations with people who are passionate about fields that may be completely different from yours.
I don’t regret my time at UT at all and have learned valuable lessons along the way based on the decisions I made. But if I were to re-do my time at UT, I would do two things: continue to get to know more people every year and not overcommit. During my freshman year, I made it a point to get to know people in every one of my classes and keep in touch with them. However, once sophomore year hit, I became “comfortable” with the number of people I knew and ended up limiting my scope of friends. I do recognize that having a smaller group of people that you consider close friends is good. However, I would just advise to still get to know people in your classes so that you don’t feel lonely in your classes and have somebody to talk to in that class. As for the second point that I mentioned, I would suggest not overcommitting. This is something that I am still learning how to do and it is difficult because you don’t know that you are overcommitting to things until you are overwhelmed with the number of commitments that you have. Thus, I would suggest learning your limits and saying “No” if you know you can’t commit to something.
You can find BMES on social media here!
Facebook group: UT BMES
The Biomedical Engineering Society, or BMES, is both a professional and social organization for students interested in biomedical engineering. The organization strives to promote camaraderie and coherence between members of the biomedical engineering community, to increase awareness of the growing field of BME, and to open doors of opportunity to our members.
This column was written by (from left to right):
Eeshaan Rehani, Third Year BME, BMES Vice President of Relations
Elaine Lee, Third Year BME, BMES Vice President of Internal Affairs
Heather Ren, Fourth Year BME, BMES President
Sreshta (VJ) Margan, Third Year BME, BMES Vice President of External Affairs