First-Year Leaders

Allison Nguyen
Junior from North Babylon, NY
Major: Biology

Why did you decide to attend UT Dallas?
The fact I had received a full ride to UTD was a major contributor. However, I am moving to TX and UTD is going to be close to my new home.

What do you like about UT Dallas?

I like how UTD gives the students a lot of free stuff. We can get t-shirts at pretty much any event on campus. In addition, I think the fact that UTD provides so many different clubs and organizations for the students is great. They accommodate the students’ likes and interests, trying to make it easier for students to make friends and get involved on campus.

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

Running Club, Intramural Sports (soccer, flag football, scooterboard hockey, dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, etc.), PLTL Leader, FYL

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

My best experience at UTD would have to be living in the LLC (Living Learning Community) freshman year in the Residence Hall. Grouping the Pre-Med students together on the same floor of the Residence Hall was a great idea in my opinion. It made it all the more easier for us freshman to make friends, with the same majors in particular. We had to volunteer together on several occasions, bringing us closer. After getting to know one another, we would form study groups in the common areas which helped all of us excel in academics. The LLC was where I made my first new friends in college and actually brings back some of my favorite memories I’ve collected thus far.

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

I learned the reality of living with roommates in college freshman year. I always thought that people who were roommates always got along and became best friends or the opposite scenario where they would disagree a lot. My freshman year made me learn to never underestimate who your roommates are, no matter how close you think you might be. Everybody has different lifestyles and cultures. You must learn to compromise with peoples’ differences and set boundaries from the gecko.

What do you like to do to unwind after class?

After my classes or even in between them, I usually go to the gym to relieve stress and relax. Getting a good workout and staying healthy are some of my top priorities which I find quite enjoyable. I work out at the gym on campus about 6 days a week for an hour and a half, as well as go to running club for an hour every other night. In doing so, I have made new friends to boot whom love to work out just like me.

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

I wanted to become a FYL because I think I could sincerely help those students coming into UTD alone. I’m from NY, a totally different world from Texas in my opinion. I came to UTD not knowing anyone, but I put in the effort to get involved and reach out to make friends through sports, something I love. I joined Intramural sports freshman year and met new people, whom to this day I still play with. I feel I am a good example of a freshman coming to college and feeling like an outcast. I can give freshman advice and overall aid them in their college career with my upper-classman knowledge. I decided to become a FYL because I thought the idea of teaching a freshman class was pretty neat as well. Overcoming stage fright and speaking in front of a crowd comfortably are some of my goals in being a FYL. It will be a learning experience for my students as well as for me.

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

I do wish I had joined more clubs/organizations my freshman year than I did. I did join a few, but I definitely could have done more. I had the time to spare too. I suppose that my freshman year, I didn’t realize how much leisure time I had. I should have taken advantage of it considering my academics were just going to get harder and harder as the years carried on.

What advice do you have for the incoming freshman class?

I advise the incoming freshman to get involved on campus freshman year by joining clubs/organizations that interest them most. They may think they could just do it the following semester, but time is essential and they don’t realize that freshman year may be their easiest in their college career. I also would advise the freshman to keep an open mind as other students in college come from diverse backgrounds and live different lifestyles. Not everyone has the same interests or opinions, especially here at UTD.


Updated: August 15, 2012