First-Year Leaders

Ravi Knutson
Senior from Amarillo, Texas
Major: Sociology

Why did you decide to attend UT Dallas?
Originally I had my heart set on going to UT Austin. It was where all my friends were going, so I wanted to go too. After I visited their campus, I was really displeased. The people weren’t the least bit friendly, and the place didn’t seem as awesome as I thought it would be. Immediately after I visited UT Dallas, and I was amazed. The people were incredibly helpful and the campus was gorgeous. That’s when I made my decision to be a Comet.

What do you like about UT Dallas?

I love the fact that UTD is still a growing university. Because of this, I have so many opportunities to provide my input into the way the school develops. Most other colleges like A&M and UT Austin are so traditional that you can’t really make a difference. At UTD, you’re easily able to make some connections and get your voice heard.

List some clubs and organizations you are or have been involved in at UT Dallas.

First Year Leader (FYL), Orientation Team Mentor (OTM), Residential Housing Association (RHA), Campus Housing Advisory Committee (CHAC), Improvisation Nights with Onomatopoeia, Fencing Club

What has been your favorite/best experience at UT Dallas so far?

My best experience ever was finding out that FYLs would be teaching UNIV1010 on their own!! I’ve done this for the past two years, and previously it was a FYL and another faculty member teaching the class together. Needless to say, there were parts of the class the tended to be boring, and I little control in changing it. Now I can make the class the way I want to and make sure that my students will enjoy what they are learning.

What did you learn about college life that you didn’t know before?

There are so many things to do and so many ways to get involved! Even learning how to take care of yourself in your Res Hall/Apartment is an experience all on its own. I never expected to learn so much about being an adult. College not only teaches you your degree; it also teaches you how to live.

What do you like to do to unwind after class?

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of League of Legends with my roommate. I enjoy having Disney Movie nights with my friends. Whenever I have spare time I enjoy reading. As far as tv, it’s all about the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! *brohoof*

Why did you decide to become a First Year Leader (FYL)?

It all really started after my year as an OTM. I really enjoyed working with the incoming freshmen and teaching them all I knew about the university; but, just having them for the summer wasn’t as fulfilling. As a FYL, I am able to have my own group of freshmen for a whole semester! I get a lot more bonding time and get to teach them what I’ve learned since my freshman year.

Is there anything you wish you did during your freshman year that you didn’t?

I wish I had come to UTD undeclared. I started out as an Electrical Engineer because I was good at math and my parents wanted me to do it. After a year I found out that I absolutely hated it. I spent the following year exploring different majors and falling behind on my degree plan. If I had started undeclared and explored from the beginning, I would’ve graduated as planned.

What advice do you have for the incoming freshman class?

Don’t be in such a rush to graduate. I see people coming in with plans to get out of college in 3 or 3.5 years. It’s not worth it. Those people end up taking about 18-20 hours per semester, burn themselves out, and begin to dread their next semester. Take things slowly and get involved. College is going to be the best years of your life, so don’t be in such a rush to leave.


Updated: August 15, 2012