The University of Texas at Austin
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Horacio Villarreal

Horacio Villarreal
Major: 
History and Government
Graduation: 
Spring 2014

Horacio is the 2013-2014 UT student body president. Originally interested in biology and medicine, Horacio spent two semesters exploring his options as a student in the School of Undergraduate Studies and is now double majoring in history and government.

“The School of Undergraduate Studies was an amazing opportunity for me to test out a few fields of study that I considered for a possible major.”

Exploring Majors
It was difficult to decide between pursuing a path toward medical school or law school. At a young age, it is easy to bounce around from idea to idea. I have always known that I want to help people in some facet, so deciding between two incredible options was tough. I was initially interested in studying biology and being pre-med. As an UGS student, I was excited to have the option to explore various fields of study. I was unsure what I wanted to devote my next three years to, so UGS gave me the opportunity to take a deep breath and test out a few options. I also was able to take an incredible First-Year Signature Course with Dr. Ramirez-Berg.

I thoroughly enjoy reading, writing, and speaking, so I wanted to find a major that encompassed all three of those characteristics. Being able to read and digest text, put it in writing, and ultimately speak to what I have learned is what I enjoy the most about my history and government coursework.

Studying History and Government
The opportunity to learn about the past is so interesting, because we get to analyze exactly what happened and the reasons behind it. Being able to learn and apply it to our present world is extremely valuable.

The most surprising thing about my history major is the amount of history that I have covered—almost anything in between European history, the history behind the integration of professional sports to Mexican-American history.

The most rewarding class I’ve taken is GOV 370K: Latino Politics taught by Jason Casellas. I’ve always liked politics and it was interesting to see how Latino politics have changed.

Favorite Study Spot: Life Sciences Library (in the Tower)

Student Organizations
I’m involved in Student Government and Sigma Phi Epsilon. Both organizations have allowed me to develop skills that I did not know that I had and have introduced me to incredible students from across campus.

Internships
I’ve interned for the Texas House of Representatives and the Hotze Runkle Law Firm. I worked as a marketing associate for BranchOut and worked in governmental relations for UT’s Office of the President.

Advice for UGS Students
The School of Undergraduate Studies was an amazing opportunity for me to test out a few fields of study that I considered for a possible major. My advice for UGS students is: do not stress! I recall being stressed because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. UGS and our university as a whole do a fantastic job at assisting students along the way.