Now more than ever, campus is teeming with the promise of new classes and opportunities.
This rang especially true for the sophomores who attended Thursday's SophoMORE Fest, sponsored by the Student Success Center.
The event, run by campus leaders and student volunteers like Demetria Flowers, junior in animal science, allowed many sophomores to see firsthand the resources offered to them on UT's campus.
"Many campus resources and organizations are represented here," Flowers said. "They are promoting their programs that will give students opportunities to learn what they want to do, but it will also allow them to make mistakes by trying things out and learning if it actually is not something they are interested in, so they will graduate with a better idea of their goals and interests."
Campus-wide organizations like VOLteach, Student Life and the Student Program Council allow students to gain hands-on experience as they take advantage of everything offered on campus and beyond.
For Rachael MacLean, the event was a welcome chance to take a break from classes and discover new opportunities.
"The first week back has gone well, but has been really busy," said MacLean, a junior studying English and history. "I learned about the SophoMORE fest and was excited to attend an event that was specific to what I'm interested in, especially studying abroad and how to get connected in undergraduate research."
For Kimberly Hymer, a sophomore transfer student studying theatre, the SophoMORE Fest helped with adjusting to a new campus, as well as exploring future possibilities.
“The study abroad office was a highlight for me, because they were really clear and honest about how it would be a frustrating process to do everything you would need to do, but that it's absolutely worth it," Hymer said. "They were very helpful, as they recommended scholarship programs to make studying abroad a reality. A lot of the resources were straight-forward about what we would need and how they could help, which I really appreciated.”
Stella Prince, assistant director of the Student Success Center, was pleased with the turnout.
“It's been wonderful, I’m really glad that the students are coming out and checking out all the resources and learning about different organizations and their resources," she said. "Hopefully, they can share what they have learned with other students.”
Prince emphasized the importance of focusing on students in their second year, when many undergraduates make crucial decisions regarding their studies and eventual occupations.
"We really focus on the freshman students, and this is a time to focus on the sophomores and give them what they will need," Prince said. "Equipping them with the tools they will need for where they are at is our goal. We wanted to have a good mix and have different colleges represented here and, at the end of the day, we want to give these sophomore students the keys to success."