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How can I have a successful first semester/year?

See what Rebecca from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has to say about having a successful first year!


Q: How can I have a successful first semester/year?

A: Great question! You will most likely have a successful first semester/year if these are the kinds of questions you’re asking. The university wants to help you succeed; all you need to do is ask questions and participate, and you will be fine. There’s a lot of things that you can do to set yourself up for success during college during your first year. In college, one of the biggest things that you learn is how you, as a person, function. Do you prefer waking up in the morning and doing homework or are you the type of person who will sleep through anything so you need to stay up and finish everything the night before? Are you the type of person to conserve energy and focus on topics you know you enjoy or are you going to scattershot your activities for a large variety?

Events and Opportunities:

Experiencing different opportunities and events is one of the best ways you can learn more about yourself. Hornslink is a great way to look for student organizations of any kind that you might be interested in, whether it be a physical, cultural, or technical student organization. Look at the Austin calendars for events that you can go to around the city. Create a bucket list of what you want to do during your college years and schedule a bunch of events with people you vibe with. Newsletters (i.e. Women in Engineering, Equal Opportunity in Engineering, departmental newsletters, student organizations… anyone can join them for updates!) have updates on related projects or meetings that may interest you -- and they’re free to sign up for!

Organizations and Student Groups:

A large part of what many alumni say set them up for success in college had to do with getting to know other people and do cool projects come from being a part of student organizations at UT. Despite generally being “engineering organizations”, each student organization brings its own resources, opportunities, and culture to the table. By shopping around and showing that you would like to get to know a student organization more, the student organization(s) will do as much for you as you do for them. In addition, by testing your capacity to take on new obligations while maintaining your ideal academic record, you will learn about your ideal balance between work and life, an important aspect of post-college survival.

Academic Relationships:

Building academic relationships, if you would like to go into research, is also extremely important. Eureka is a great entryway to get started on finding research positions, but additionally, set time aside for your TA or professor’s office hours! Aside from teaching you integral engineering knowledge, they have hobbies and interests that may align with yours.

All of these opportunities can be used to find a healthy, balanced schedule that you derive the most amount of enjoyment from, which ultimately is my opinion of what success means when you’re in college.

Experiencing Life:

As a college student, you have so many opportunities to try new things and do whatever you want. There is nothing stopping you from saying "yes" to anything that comes your way. My biggest advice to first years is to literally try out everything. You don't have to stick with anything you don't like - but there are just so many opportunities and activities and new hobbies that are just waiting for you to try them out and fall in love with them. If you want to learn an instrument - then just go buy one and learn it. Want to start running? Do it. Interested in creative writing, or painting, or pottery? NOTHING is stopping you from pursuing ANYTHING you want and I think that's one of the best parts about college - all the new stuff you can try, new people you can meet, and things you can learn. The world is your oyster!


You can find ASME on social media here!

Facebook group: ASME Texas

Instagram: @ut.asme

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at The University of Texas at Austin is committed to aiding students in their personal and professional development, to building unity among students, and to contributing to the surrounding community. ASME at Texas provides members with opportunities to engage with professional engineers, enjoy fun social events with fellow members, and give back to the community.

This blog post was written by Rebecca Lin, a mechanical engineering junior and the Corporate Relations officer for ASME.

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