Welcome Wire

“Ultimately, it’s up to you to shape your unknown into the college experience you desire.” Photo courtesy of Tyler Burkhardt

Dear incoming Comets,

It’s been a crazy year and a half.

But you already know that: you’ve had to navigate mass quarantines, virtual birthday parties, and Honorlock. And whether you loved or hated online school, returning to in-person education is sure to be an adjustment. Stack that on top of entering a new chapter of your life — one with more independence than ever before — and that means a lot of unknowns.

I’m right there with you. Like many of you, I graduated high school in an unceremonious fashion. This fall will be my first opportunity to experience the vibrancy of UTD’s fully-populated campus. And to be honest, I’m not quite sure what it will be like.

But daunting though it may be, the unknown is also a blessing. It represents the opportunity to find new passions, develop new relationships, and choose how to spend your time. Over your next year, you may decide to double-major, join some of UTD’s many student organizations, or even just catch up on sleep. Yes, there will be bumps along the way – but our missteps often teach us the most.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to shape your unknown into the college experience you desire. Take difficulties in stride, get to know your fellow students, and utilize the many resources this University has to offer. 

Your freshman experience is yours to decide. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make it a little easier along the way. In many ways, this year will be a throwback. Despite its novelty, the uncertainty of life as a college freshman can mirror that of your first year of high school — only amplified. So, we at The Mercury are proud to provide you with a retro-themed guide to life as a first-year Comet, complete with UTD lore, insider tips on local eateries, and so much more.

In 1918, on the heels of a century-defining pandemic, America exploded into a decade of cultural vitality: the Roaring Twenties. While freshman year of high school may only seem like a century ago, I firmly believe that everyone could use a bit of the Roaring 20s in their lives as we emerge from another pandemic of unprecedented proportions. 

So, as you enter your first semester at UTD and begin to find your niche in the Comet community, I hope this issue gives you a glimpse of what is to come – even if it is through some sepia-colored glasses. And thus, it is my pleasure to present to you UTD & All that Jazz.


Tyler Burkhardt