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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Honeymoon is Fading

Honeymoon is Fading

Dear Students,

While I send my weekly emails to every student in the college, this week I wanted to send a particular message to the first year students in the Class of 2018.  So, for the rest of you: study, work, rest, enjoy, study, excel, learn, explore, achieve, and generally keep up the great work. 

Now for the Class of 2018: I have a few things to let you know.  It is getting to be the time of year where the honeymoon is fading.  For the first few weeks at UT everything is new and exhilarating.  You were thrilled to have a new place to live, and now you might be seeing its limitations.  What once seemed like a dizzying array of choices in the dining hall is now a bit repetitive (or worse).  The anticipation and excitement you had for your first classes has faded as things have become routine. 

And sometimes when that initial enthusiasm fades, that’s when the second-guessing begins.  Some of you may be questioning whether you belong at UT.  There is “that individual” in your biology course that seems to know it all already.  Maybe it is the CS major in your intro course that you are certain is running a small software company in their spare time.  You had calculus in high school but somehow it wasn’t the same calculus that the person sitting next to you must have had. 

All of this is very natural.  The person sitting next to you in class who you are certain “has it all together” may be thinking the exact same thing.  Don’t fall prey to the voices questioning whether you belong--even the ones in your own head. 

You need to move past the ideas trying to hold you back and start to utilize the tools that will allow you to move forward.  Success does not mean that everything will be easy along the way. Learning is a struggle.  There can be rough times.  We need to face them head on. The key to your success is determination and grit.  Take responsibility for your learning and make use of the resources around you. 

One of the best tools you have at your disposal is your CNS 101 cohort.  Talk with your peers.  Talk with your facilitator.  Best of all, talk with your mentor. I’m willing to bet that those upperclassmen that you see, the ones who seem to have it all under control, were in your shoes a few years ago.  Some of them were questioning whether they belonged and now they are leaders in the college.  So don’t be afraid to ask them for help.  I’m guessing that all they’ll want in return is for you to consider returning the favor and serving as a mentor for a future class of CNS freshman.  I look forward to seeing you in that role.

- Dr. Vanden Bout

P.S. Down the latest CNS Student Newsletter

P.P.S. Sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium Batman!

P.P.P.S.  As always, I’m looking for Twitter followers @StudentDeanCNS

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Friday, 27 January 2023

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