University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Student Highlights: Larisa Martirosova

me and sophieThe last four years at UT have been incredible. As I prepare to move into the next chapter of my life, I can’t help but to feel bittersweet about leaving a place I called home for the last few years. Even though first semester of freshman year was a bit rough for me, getting adjusted to a new life and a whole new way of studying, I knew I wasn’t alone. One of my very first memories at UT was actually meeting Dr. Bumphus during freshman orientation. Her charismatic persona and warm smile as she greeted me into the Gateway Program, made me feel welcome right away. Gateway offered me constant support through its ample academic resources, priority registration, mentorship, and much more. Iliana, my first yearmentor and now a very good friend, was always willing to offer advice and assist me in any way that she could. Because Iliana (right) was such an amazing mentor to me, she inspired me to become a mentor myself, and I have genuinely enjoyed every moment of it. It has been so rewarding to be able to share my experiences and all the Do’s and Don’ts of college with new freshmen in hopes Me and Ilianaof making their first year a little less challenging. I truly could not have asked for a better, more fulfilling, program to be involved in.

Sometimes, I reminisce back to those people who told me, “Don’t go to a huge university like UT, you will only be another number.” Well, you can choose to be just a number in the midst of fifty thousand students. Or, you can make your mark and join programs like Gateway, get to know your professors, pick a major that you enjoy, and surround yourself with people who will only make you better. I have chosen to do the latter, and that’s what made my experience here so amazing. I have truly fallen in love with UT and will work my hardest to be able to walk the grounds of this campus again in a year, as a law student. Thank you, UT and Gateway, for the unforgettable 4 years!

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