How many years have you been involved with the FIG Program and in what capacity?
Well, I was in a FIG my freshman year and absolutely loved it. So I decided to become a mentor and am now going into my third and final year as a mentor and my fourth FIG group! Super sad, but you always save the best for last right? I also organized the Haunted House Extravaganza, one of the biggest FIG program-wide events for the past two years, with fellow Alumni FIG mentor of awesome Aisha Fletcher. FIGsters, who purchased tickets from their mentor in advance, could attend a Halloween party in Gregory Gym with crazy decor and delicious food and then take the bus as groups up to Highland Mall to brave the walk through the House of Terror, a haunted house noted as one of the scariest haunted houses in the entire country!
Why is this program important to you?
I love this program because it does so much to help its students in every aspect of their college career and keep them from feeling completely overwhelmed when they first get to this huge university. FIGsters can get career help, degree and class advice, information on the thousands of resources the University offers, automated study groups (which leads to better grades), and great friends! The FIG program basically helps its students navigate the university and optimize their time here at UT. I can honestly say without this program, a student could go through her/his entire college career without knowing some of the services UT offers even exists! Also, if any of you are really introverted and find it difficult to get used to and make friends in new environments (like me), this program definitely is for you. A lot of my FIGsters started out this way, but by the end could not stop talking with all of there new FIGgy amigos.
How has it helped you or changed your life in any way?
This program has really helped me find my niche here at UT. When I first got here my freshman year, I was terrified. My classes were huge, I didnt know anybody, and campus just seemed like a big ol’ maze. Also I am a first generation college student, so I really felt like I was walking into college completely blind and had no one in my family to whom I could turn. But once I got to my FIG class, I completely loved it and helped me get so comfortable with the ins and outs of the university. Due to this, I just had to become a mentor and do what I could to help students who felt exactly like I did when I first got here. This whole experience makes me feel connected to the campus by helping me make friends and people in departments all over campus that create this amazing family atmosphere that you can find only here at UT.
Describe one of your most memorable FIG moments?
On the last day of classes with my first FIG, we had what I called FIG Finale, where we all had dinner together at Olive Garden and then went to the Union for bowling. I was sitting at the table and noticed that each of my FIGsters kept mysteriously disappearing to go to the bathroom until I was the only one left at the table thinking “Where the heck is everybody?” Then the whole group pops out with a bouquet of flowers and a handmade thank you card. Definitely cried a bit!
Describe the program in one word.