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Alexandra Adams

Alexandra Adams
Chemical Engineering Honors
Business Foundations Program
Forensic Science Certificate
Graduation Year:
Spring 2019
"I love that the Sanger Learning Center promotes 'learning how to learn' more than 'cramming for the exam.'"

What has been the most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Center?
The most rewarding part has been seeing students grow throughout the semester. It’s such an amazing feeling to have a student come back for a final exam review, and see them no longer struggling with material that they couldn’t understand on their first exam! I love that the Sanger Learning Center promotes “learning how to learn” more than “cramming for the exam.”

What has been the most surprising aspect of your job?
The variety of students I get to interact with! I love being able to work with students of all majors, whether they are my tutees or my colleagues. It’s so interesting to see how different students approach the same concepts so differently, and I have definitely broadened my understanding of math and chemistry since becoming a tutor!

Tell us about a time you worked with a student (or a group of students) and were particularly proud of the outcome. What happened? Why was it special?
One of my favorite students was a girl I tutored in 408D last semester. She had dropped the class the semester before, and I could tell when I first met her at the beginning of the semester that she wasn’t feeling confident about calculus. She came in almost every week to go over material with me, and although she struggled at the beginning, by the end she was doing awesome! Near the end of the semester, she would only have a couple of small questions on her homework or class material, and honestly we would spend some of the session talking about things that weren’t exactly calculus-related. It was great that she not only felt comfortable enough to come back every week, but also that she ended up doing so well in a class she had lost hope in! I having recurring students that end up feeling like friends by the end of the semester.

What do you think is the biggest myth about learning/studying in college?
I think the biggest myth is how classes are so different from high school and that it will be impossible to do well in them. Yes, classes are different, and the professors might not be like your high school teachers, but that definitely does not mean it is impossible to succeed. In my opinion, the hardest part for new college students is to balance their new responsibilities (laundry, meals, work) with studying, which they may not have done a lot of in high school. As long as you can find a balance and devote time to studying, everyone has the potential to do well!

Tell us about an academic challenge you encountered when you got to UT. How did you handle it? What advice would you give to someone in that same situation?
I came in with a lot of UT credit so for my first year, instead of trying to get ahead on my classes, I took it really easy. As a result I had a ton of free time, joined lots of clubs, and spent a lot of my time watching The Office. I figured I’d be okay taking a few more difficult classes by the time sophomore year rolled around. Maybe I would have been okay if I wasn’t trying to balance clubs, friends, work, research, and studying all at the same time! My advice to anyone like me who realizes that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew is to realize it’s ok to admit that you’re overwhelmed. It’s ok to ask for help. And it’s definitely ok to not be doing everything all at the same time. Balance is the key to a happy life!