A Reflection of My Time at UT
As I near graduation day, I wanted to reflect on the past few years of my life at UT as a Liberal Arts major. I started my journey as a transfer-student sophomore and the next three years really flew by. Having come from a relatively small private university, I was immediately amazed by all of the opportunities that UT had to offer. I quickly registered for classes that interested me and joined an organization related to my major. I found that a student organization was a great way to meet people outside of my classes with similar interests and get involved around campus.
My first semester, both the student organization I was in, and in my classes, I instantly realized how diverse the UT campus was, being surrounded by students and professors from all sorts of backgrounds and interests. Over the years, I came to have such a profound appreciation for this diversity, as I know it truly added value to my education by exposing me to many perspectives and the opportunity to learn from them. I found that this is especially relevant to students studying Liberal Arts, as our primary focus is on people and how they interact with each other and the world they live in. Through this, I learned that it is important to not only learn from your professors, but also from your peers.
With a strong desire to learn about other countries’ histories, cultures, and languages, I decided to study abroad in China the summer after my sophomore year through a UT-affiliated program. Most of us have heard that living in another country is the best way to learn that country’s language. I found this to be true and we can all benefit from immensely from this as Liberal Arts majors with a language requirement. In addition to that though, through studying abroad we can learn a lot about ourselves and question the ways that we see the world, so consider doing it!
Lastly, I would encourage students to take courses that push you out of your comfort zone. Whether that means taking a course on Islam when you’re a devout Christian or not religious at all, or a course on gay and lesbian history even if you’re neither of those things, taking courses in topics that push you to learn about things that you might not have otherwise, can broaden your views and create better understanding and relationships between you and the rest of the world.
As I move on to the next chapter of my life, I’m excited about the prospect of fulfilling the motto “what starts here changes the world,” and I encourage students to make the most of their time here at UT! –Jaci Foxworth