First-Year Leaders

Palak Patel
Senior from Morbi, Gujarat, India
Major: Biology

Why did you decide to attend UT Dallas?
The top two reasons I chose to come to UT Dallas are its small size, and the Academic Excellence Scholarship.

What do you like about UT Dallas?

What I love most about UT Dallas is the number of opportunities of personal growth it offers. It is a common misconception that the school does not offer a base for diverse interests due to its small size when compared to other state school. However, UTD has 200+ student organizations ranging from academic organizations like Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) to interest based organization like onomatopoeia. And, if none of these fit your interest, it is extremely easy to start one!

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

Helping Hands, Health Occupations students of America (HOSA), Peer Health Educator (PHEd) - Student Wellness Center, Sophomore Pre-health Academic, Residential Community (SPARC), Living Learning Community (LLC) , Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), Molding Doctors (MD)

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

Overall, my best experience at UT Dallas has been my freshmen year. I attended every possible campus event. Sometimes because of free food, other times because of free t-shirts. I came to UTD knowing no-one but soon my dorm room was brimming with friends. I was able to start a service organization, Helping Hands, and overcome one of my biggest weaknesses. Amongst this I managed to keep my grades in an excellent standing.

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

College is the time of exploration. It provides the environment to grow a network of friends and refine relationship with parents. The choices made here determine who you will be when you graduate.

What do you like to do to unwind after class?

I usually fill in the time between classes as study time and relax in the evening once I am done with all my classes for the day. I unwind by attending campus event or hanging out at my apartment watching my TV shows. I am currently fixated on How I met your Mother.

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

I grew to love UT Dallas because of my freshmen year experience and I want to pass that on.

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

I’ve always loved to paint but was too scared to give it a try. I wish I would have taken a painting class my freshmen year.

What advice do you have for the incoming freshman class?

Explore, learn, and grow. Whoosh!


Updated: August 15, 2012