Titus Willard, Contributing Writer
It’s been almost a month now since my fellow freshmen and I stepped into the hot (emphasis on hot) and, for some of us, unfamiliar boundaries of Texas. For many, I’m sure the prospect was a mixture of both excitement and intimidation; not only was this the first time we were to be away from our families for a long while, but we were also beginning a new era in life.
Speaking of the intimidation, watch out for skunks on campus – they can pop up out of nowhere and, if you’re walking on the path that goes into the woods between Haggar and East side at night, be ready to run if you see a menacing black and white tail in the air.
Anyway, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Titus (no, I do not have any ancient Roman ancestry … that would be nice though. Maybe I should’ve put that down on the Common App somewhere.) I’m from a small town in northern Virginia about an hour away from Washington D.C., and I’m here at the University of Dallas because I thought it would be awesome to climb the tower every day. Too bad it’s always locked; I should’ve known that letting us go up in the Tower was a classic Odyssey Days’ ploy to get us prospies to choose UD. In any event, I can endure the high-quality academics and thriving campus life for four years even if I only get to fulfill my goal here for a couple weekends in October and November.
At this point, most of us freshmen have discovered the great and sometimes not-so-great, aspects of college life so far. For one, I don’t think anyone I’ve spoken to particularly loves the cafeteria food, although I don’t think we could ask for a more cheerful staff to serve it. And despite how much we may disagree with individual teaching methods, all my teachers, at least, are passionate about their work and helpful inside and outside of class. I learned the hard way several days ago that if you ask your teacher about something you didn’t really understand in the lecture, you’re not going anywhere until you do. Most UD professors, and almost anyone in the UD community, will go out of their way to help a student in need. That brings me to my main point: the people.
I had already experienced the University of Dallas community last November when I came here for Odyssey Days, and more than once heard about how great the people are. In general, everyone is patient – I know this because I forget people’s names about five or six times before my mind commits to remembering, and most people don’t mind reintroducing themselves. The people here are considerate – if you’ve ever gone down to the laundry room and found your clothes folded and put in a pile instead of just thrown on top of a dryer, you know this (and you probably don’t live in Greg). The upperclassmen, in particular, have been more than generous in helping us get situated, giving us tips and whatnot. Only at UD would I trust a senior’s advice to put pepper on my vanilla ice cream (I have yet to try it, so I’m not promoting it yet).
Now that most of us have gotten a feel for UD’s academics, how can we get more out of UD? My advice to my fellow freshmen: Get involved with campus clubs and organizations. Join the rugby club, try out swing dance, or start an intramural football team. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and try new things. If there’s anything I’ve learned about life at UD, it’s that you really do learn something new every day. I mean who’d have known that the library has scrolls from the tomb of Rameses VI…Surprised? Me too.