Ivy spent her first two years in UGS exploring majors before discovering a European folklore class that changed everything. Now an anthropology major, Ivy will graduate this spring and begin her graduate studies in the fall.
“Everything felt open to me [in UGS] and it’s stayed that way even now. I now feel free to experiment with classes, and I don’t limit myself to classes in my major at all.”
Finding a Major
I started taking classes in whatever I was interested in, and one day I came across an anthropology class on European folklore and I was in love. I kept reading more than I had to because it was so cool. I realized that this was the first time I’ve ever put so much effort into a class, so I figured this must be my major. From there, I went to an Anthropology Society meeting and thought, “I love these people. This is for me.”
Road Bumps & Strategic Advising Support
The only road bumps I faced happened when I would take a class a quickly realize, “This is not going to be my major.” All of these classes would have interesting aspects, but I found I had other interests. My advisor, David Spight, was really positive and supportive, though. He would say, “If you want to do it, go for it. Just try it.”
Being an Anthropology Major
As an anthropology major, you get to have the weirdest conversations! When I came to my first Anthropology Society meeting, we ended up discussing cannibalism and I thought it was so cool that it was okay to have that discussion.
The biggest surprise about being an anthropology major was how much I had to know about monkeys. The sheer amount of monkey knowledge I had to retain for physical anthropology was overwhelming—everything from evolutionary charts to bone structures. I wasn’t prepared for that!
In addition to being co-president and treasurer of Anthropology Society, I am also a part of SURGE (Science Undergraduate Research Group) and the UT Steel Pan Ensemble, both of which have been wonderful experiences.
Post Graduation Plans
I have been accepted into graduate school and will be going to pursue my master’s degree in social anthropology this fall.
Advice for UGS Students
After getting into UT as a UGS student, I realized what a boon it was. I had time to experiment during my first two years.
My advice is trust your instincts. If you find yourself liking a class but can’t explain why, just keep looking into it. Trust yourself; your heart will know even if your heart doesn’t even fully realize it yet. Everything felt open to me [in UGS] and it’s stayed that way even now. I now feel free to experiment with classes, and I don’t limit myself to classes in my major at all. If I like the sound of a class, I will justify the relevance to myself in some way and take it.