First-Year Leaders

Ebelechukwu (Ebele) Nduka
Senior from El Paso, Texas
Major: Neuroscience

Why did you decide to attend UT Dallas?
The success rate of students getting admitted into their first choice medical schools with the aid of the HPAC office was what appealed to me the most. The faculty seemed very competent and I got the impression that the professors had to be just as competent. In addition, I loved that I had to opportunity to live in apartments because at the time, I’d heard so much negativity about dorms (even though I know that Freshies won’t have this option soon).

What do you like about UT Dallas?

The thing I love most is that it’s not a mega school, i.e. so large you practically get lost in the crowd. For me, it’s small enough to feel comfortable and un-intimidating and it gives me more opportunity to get to know my professors while still being large enough to meet a new face every day. I also love that fact that I can pretty much walk everywhere and don’t have to have a bike to go from here to Timbuktu.

List some clubs and organizations you are or have been involved in at UT Dallas.

Eta Iota Chapter of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority (2009-present), Texas Nu Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-Professional Honor Society (AED) (2008-2010), UTD BBS Dean Scholar (2011), University of Texas at Dallas: Freshman Pre-health Living Learning Community (LLC) (2008-2009), Golden Key International Honor Society (2010-present), Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society (2011-present), UTD Black Student Alliance (BSA) (2008-2010), UTD Power Dancer (2008-09), African Student Union (2011-present)

What has been your favorite/best experience at UT Dallas so far?

My favorite part is definitely a combination between all of the people that I’ve met and the opportunities that have stemmed from those associations. For one, I found out about the UTSW Greenfellowship from my “big-sis” in my sorority and eventually got into the program with her help. Also, I met my best friend here and we both ended up joining our sorority together our freshman year. We both have held and currently hold officer positions in the organization and have grown so much as individuals.

What did you learn about college life that you didn’t know before?

Dorms really aren’t all bad…depending upon the school of course and which dorm you’re in. It can actually be loads of fun and a great experience. In addition, this is something that just came as a surprise to me; I always knew that with college came all sorts of freedom but I was so shocked when I came to campus and saw people freely smoking (cigarettes)! I know it’s allowed and not illegal but it was still such a shocker to me. And then there was just something about seeing your professors taking a smoke break that was interestingly amusing.

What do you like to do to unwind after class?

Either have hang out time with my friends somewhere on campus (a couple of them play in a band here so many times we all sit together talking and listening to them practice.) Also, dancing is always a de-stressor for me and if I don’t have the energy for all of that, then I’m all over Criminal Minds on T.V.

Why did you decide to become a First Year Leader (FYL)?

Though I’ve held various officer positions in the past, I felt as though everything that I did was behind-the-scenes-type work. This entire college experience has been one centered around continual growth and I felt that becoming a FYL would be a wonderful way for me to grow as an individual and attain leadership experience all while giving back to the school that has really given so much to me.

Is there anything you wish you did during your freshman year that you didn’t?

The only thing I wish I would have done differently would have been to have found help on Chemistry earlier. I was great at the subject while in high school but somehow lost it once I came to the university. Other than that though, I came in to college a clueless, unconfident freshman but learned to much as I went along. Every experience, both good and bad, taught me a lot about myself, life, and success both in the school and the professional world

What advice do you have for the incoming freshman class?

Allow yourself to make mistakes here and there, because inevitably they’re going to happen. But don’t make the mistake of not learning from your mistakes or from the mistakes of those around you. Your undergraduate experience is supposed to be a fabulous one, but it can only reach that peak of splendor if you put forth the effort to make it so. No one has the power to make a phenomenal college experience happen for you, except you. Lastly, have a little fun. You are here to get an education no doubt about it, but you’ve got to give yourself a break sometimes. That’s something I had to teach myself as I went on in my college career. :)


Updated: August 15, 2012