Welcome to the Wild West!

FATIMAH AZEEM Editor-in-Chief


Dear incoming Comets,

Welcome to the Wild West! No, I’m not talking about the legendary era of cowboys and outlaws. I’m talking about navigating college life as a freshman.

As the Editor-in-Chief of UTD’s award-winning, student-led newspaper, I would like to congratulate you on taking the first step toward this exciting new adventure. Entering college can seem like venturing into the Old West — full of unknowns and uncharted territories. But like the pioneers who ventured out west, you have the courage, determination and grit to blaze your own trail and make the most of your college experience.

As you embark on this new chapter of your life, I know that you may be feeling a mix of excitement and uncertainty. You’ll be meeting new people, exploring new subjects and discovering new passions. It’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed, but remember that you are not alone. Your fellow students, professors and staff are here to support you and help you succeed.

Our staff and faculty are dedicated to providing you with the best possible education, so stay proactive in class and utilize resources like the Student Success Center for free tutoring. Our over 400 student organizations offer countless opportunities to get involved with different communities, meet new people and pursue your niches, and the Freshman Orientation Fair this summer will be the place to meet these groups. UTD is one of the most diverse colleges in Texas, and our students come from 104 different countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Make an effort to connect with your peers on campus — they bring with them unique perspectives and experiences, and there’s something to learn through those connections. Keep in mind that our school newspaper, The Mercury, is your go-to source for news and events happening on campus, as well as a platform for you to share your voice and ideas.

While the challenges of COVID-19 continue to affect us, UTD has implemented numerous safety measures to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community. We urge you to follow these guidelines and take care of yourself and those around you. But don’t let the challenges of the past year hold you back — college is your time interact with the world around you. We encourage you to take advantage of all that our campus and the surrounding community has to offer. Check the Comet Calendar regularly, attend events, join clubs and participate in activities that interest you. Step outside of your comfort zone and embrace the adventure.

But as yousettle into college life, remember that freshman year only comes by once. This is a time for exploration, but don’t lose sight of your primary mission at UTD – to learn. Attend lectures, ask questions and go to your professors’ office hours. Take advantage of the academic resources offered to students, like peer tutoring and supplemental instruction. Consider joining one of UTD’s many undergraduate research labs with a professor whose academic focus matches your interests. Visit the Career Center to plan out what life after college might look like; even if you’re not sure what that might entail, having a rough idea will save you from stress in the future. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether that’s academic help from UTD’s many tutoring resources or mental help from the Student Counseling Center or Wellness Center. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

We are thrilled to have you in our community and look forward to seeing all that you will achieve during your time here. Saddle up for the new adventure, and remember to make your mark and enjoy the ride!


Fatimah Azeem

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