Keeping Austin Weird
What it Feels Like to Go Here
You really can’t grasp the idea of Texas heat until you feel it. For the majority of the fall semester, it’s really hot. Like, triple digit, 100 percent humidity, ridiculous heat index hot. The few months of “winter” get pretty wet and cold (terrible combination, I know). With the unpredictable weather, you could start the morning with a sweater and rain boots and be drenched in sweat by the end of the day. Thus, students wear all kinds of outfits all year round. Pretty much anything goes. Girls show up to their 8 a.m. classes wearing pajamas, and hipsters rock their Doc Martens and jeans in the middle of August because #aesthetic. With the wide range of students and over 1,000 organizations, everyone finds something they love.
UT Austin has plenty of notable alumni. Michael S. Dell (yes, the founder of Dell) attended UT, as did news anchor Walter Cronkite and Lady Bird Johnson. Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant played one season of basketball at UT before going pro. Even actors Owen Wilson, who earned an English degree, and Matthew McConaughey, who shows his UT pride at many football games, repped burnt orange and white in their day.
Where We Hang
Students always find something to do no matter how they prefer procrastinating that calc homework. Late-night cramming sessions often happen at the Perry Castenada Library on campus because it’s open 24/7. You can also watch free movies and go bowling at the Student Union (who doesn’t love bowling?). If you want to hang out off campus, the opportunities are endless. Austin is the live music capital of the world, so artists host concerts all the time across the city, often for free. Everyone always makes it to town for Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, the two biggest music festivals of the year. Students’ fave restaurants close to campus include Torchy’s Tacos and Kerby Lane Cafe.
Q & A
1. How much are students partying?
“Students party a lot. I mean, it’s college. We are young, and we are getting a feel for life. As long as we aren’t putting our studies in jeopardy, why not kick back with friends on the weekends?” junior Mariadela Villegas said.
2. What is something you could get in trouble for at UT Austin?
“You supposedly can get arrested for being in the fountain, but I see thousands of pics with people in the fountain and none of them are arrested,” junior Karen Shang said.
3. How much sex are students having?
“From what I have seen, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that definitely not as much as they’d want to be having. But being a Longhorn automatically makes you a huge catch, so I doubt that the students in general have any trouble in that area,” junior Daniela Leonhard said.
4. What would you tell incoming freshmen about your school?
“Take advantage of all of your resources and enjoy the first year. However, don’t spread yourself out too thin,” junior Ashley Pham said.
5. What does a typical day at UT Austin look like?
“Sitting in class then grabbing lunch with your best friends. Then more class followed by an organization meeting and dinner with more friends. Then a study session with Torchy’s Tacos and hot Tiff’s Treats cookies delivered at midnight,” junior Emily Plaza said.
“My experience has been pretty great. I came to UT with a group of good friends from high school, so that served as a really strong support system. I’ve also met some amazing friends through my majors and various organizations.”– Ashley Chen, Business major, Class of 2017
“I consider myself extremely lucky to have the privilege to attend UT. Everyone is very creative. UT is the kind of campus where you can pick out a complete stranger and strike up a deep conversation with them. I’ve gone through some of my most formative moments here and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have learned my true motivation for learning as a result of the inspired faculty and the atmosphere of knowledge here.” — Emily Reissner, Philosophy major, Class of 2018
“My greatest challenge has been believing in myself. At times my major is very subjective and difficult, so it can be hard to tell myself I can do it. But overall, I feel that I have succeeded so far in my major and future career path.” – Courtney Regester, Music Performance major, Class of 2018
“Something I would want to tell incoming freshmen is not to take the student organizations for granted. I did my first year and I seriously missed out. There is a world of possibilities in there. I mean, who knows, one could find a hidden passion buried deep in the student organizations fair, so just go for it; go to a few meetings and get a feel for it.” –Mariadela Villegas, Government major, Class of 2018
“It surprised me how much I love this school and this city. There is so much opportunity and inspiration. Also, it is cool to be surrounded by so many people who are so different. It really gives an open environment to really be whomever you want because there is a place for everyone.” – Ashley Pham, Biochemistry major, Class of 2018.
Top 3 Majors
Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations
1. The Longhorn Marching Band never fails to get the crowds pumped at football games by playing “The Eyes of Texas” so the crowd can sing along. “LHB gave me a great group of friends, an immediate friend group with people of all different majors and backgrounds. In addition, I was able to be a part of one of the biggest, most influential organizations on campus,” junior Rachel Frock said. The LHB performs at every halftime show, and they even travel to away games.
2. The Texas Quidditch team isn’t just for major Potterheads. Team members are real athletes who take the sport seriously and play to win.“Being a part of Quidditch has definitely changed my life. Before joining, I expected it to be a pretty nerdy group, especially since the person who wanted me to join with her was interested for the Harry Potter aspect. However, I came to love the people and the competitive spirit in the organization,” junior Kris Lawton said. If you like Harry Potter and being super fit, check it out.
3. University Leadership Network has over a thousand members across campus, and members really benefit from the organization. “ULN has given me a satisfaction in volunteering and meeting new friends and creating circles of connection among UT students. Most of all, it’s given me confidence in wanting to reach my goals with a fierce grip and a sense of pride with being supported by all ULN faculty members,” junior Veronica Boccardo said. Members learn real-world skills like how to work in groups and how to be resilient while preparing for life after college. These skills are kind of important to have, unless you want to move back in with your parents after you graduate.
UT Austin is moderately selective with only about 40 percent acceptance. The school practices a holistic review of all incoming freshman applications, which means they consider all parts of your application. Class rank, GPA and SAT/ACT scores all matter. “One thing I was told was to make your entrance essay stand out. Don’t be cookie cutter; you have to be surprising and not just the typical, ‘I have wanted to go to UT my whole life.’ Learn what UT Austin is all about before you write it,” junior Bethany Lenz said. If you’re in the top seven percent of your graduating class, then congratulations, you’re (probably) automatically admitted. If not, then it’s important to be as well-rounded as possible while filling out your application.
Location: Austin, Texas
Tuition & Fees: $9,830
Total Cost on Campus: $26,346
Undergraduate Students Enrolled: 39,619
Graduate Students Enrolled: 11,331
Total Enrolled: 50,950
Acceptance Percentage: 39%
Percentage of Male Students: 49%
Percentage of Female Students: 51%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 63%
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 25%
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 38%