As this semester comes to a close, there are a few reflections I’d like to make on the past school year. There is no doubt that UTSA had a budding and bright future. There is plenty to be excited about as we continue our pursuit of attaining a Tier 1 status. For starters, we’re on the verge of having our first football season, which has the school and city buzzing with excitement.

Taking a stroll around the Sombrilla Plaza at lunch time, you’ll see bustling and lively groups of student organizations raising money and advertising to prospective members. There’s a certain buzz that continues to gain momentum as we head into the 2011-2012 school year.

UTSA, in the past, has been seen as a commuter campus with little school pride or spirit. When I first came to UTSA a few years ago, I must admit that I had little excitement or school pride for my future education. I figured that the schools in Texas worth being proud of were bigger schools like UT Austin, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor since those schools always garnered more attention than UTSA.

However after three years here at UTSA, I’ve started to see a major overhaul of the attitude of UTSA students including myself. Perhaps the commuter-lifestyle reputation of the campus is finally starting to come to an end as many people start to feel proud that UTSA is their university. I’ve never seen so many UTSA shirts on campus, and I think the number of “other” university supporters is starting to fade away.

This summer many people will be engaging in summer jobs, internships while others will hibernate. There will be many students apologizing to their parents for the financial and educational mistakes that they’ve made this school year. Some people will be studying abroad and exploring new places and ideas for themselves. Perhaps you will even get to go on a family vacation and enjoy some relaxation, or read a book for pleasure for the first time this year (or ever).

No matter what you do this summer, be sure to remember that you are a student at UTSA. Don’t be afraid to tell somebody with pride that you’re a Roadrunner. Tell them that your school is the largest campus in South Texas. Tell them that you may not have life figured out, but the professors and classes at UTSA are helping you to develop ideas and life skills that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Tell them that you had to change majors because you figured out that you weren’t exactly interested in that subject in the first place.

Whatever you tell your friends and family, be sure to remember that college is supposed to be a learning experience and the time of your life. Failure is one of the best things that can happen to you because failure is the greatest teacher of life. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Paisano this fall and tell all the new students about it. Whether you loved us or hated us, we’ve always written to serve you.

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