Ivy Tran, a sophomore in the School of Undergraduate Studies, was recently honored with the distinction of college scholar at the 69th annual Honors Day ceremony. Next fall, Tran will transfer into the Cockrell School of Engineering where she will pursue a degree in civil engineering.
What made you decide to come to The University of Texas at Austin?
I didn’t know I was even going to attend college, honestly. My high school teachers convinced me that I could do it, though, and they helped me find the scholarships that I needed. When my family and I moved closer to campus after years of living in north Austin, I took it as a sign that this was where I was meant to be.
What courses have interested you the most?
I came to UT to learn. I felt really ignorant about the world and I wanted to know more. I really liked my first biology class. I didn’t think I would do very well – I hadn’t taken biology since I was a freshman in high school. My professor was really encouraging, though. She reminded me that I could do it, and that I could re-learn the things I forgot.
I recently got into the Cockrell School and I’m going to study civil engineering this fall. I’ve only taken one class so far – it’s a hard class, but I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve always been interested in the environment, too. We only live in this one world and we need to be conscious of our impact. I want to combine my interest in engineering with my interests in the environment and helping people.
What inspires you to work hard?
My mom inspires me the most. She’s really proud and excited for me every time I get a good grade. She raised me and my siblings all on her own and she works so hard for our family. She’s the hardest worker I know, and yet she still has a happy smile on her face and a positive attitude.
Tell me about your time in UGS. What has been helpful?
Being a part of UGS has been a really interesting experience for me. As a UGS student I was able to explore a lot of different things, which I wouldn’t have been able to if I chose a major from the start. I’m in the Discovery Scholars Program, and I meet regularly with my DSP coach, Tivra. She’s been really friendly and helpful. I really feel like she’s there for me. I meet with a learning specialist from the Sanger Learning Center, too! Nisha studied biology in college and I love talking to her about my science classes. Whenever I visit her office, she’s always ready to help.
What advice do you have for a UGS student starting at UT?
I would remind students that it’s okay to struggle in your classes. If you’re not struggling, you’re not learning. If it’s too easy, you’re doing something wrong. There are so many resources in UGS to help you and you should take advantage of them!