Hi! My name is Rachel and I attended a 3-week Summer Discovery program at the University of Texas last summer. I know this sounds cheesy, but it was truly an experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I trust that you’ll have the time of your life at a Summer Discovery program as well.
Now, for anyone who’s feeling nervous about attending, don’t be! As someone who felt like they were going into the program totally unprepared, here is some advice I know now that I wish I knew then:
Making friends was a big worry of mine when I started the program. Prior to going to Summer Discovery, I had never attended a program or summer camp where I knew nobody there, but once I realized that everyone else felt the same way, it made talking to people a lot easier! Most people attend the program solo, so they are just as willing to make friends as you are. I still remember walking into my room and feeling instantly welcomed by my roommates. We hit it off right away, and I spent the majority of my time at camp with them. There’s also a Facebook group that you can join a few weeks before camp starts. I messaged a few people on there in advance, and it was nice already knowing a few people before I moved in for the summer. Overall, I think the RC’s (Resident Counselors) do a really good job in helping everyone socialize and make friends.
2. Sign up for as many nightly activities as you can!
One of my favorite parts about camp was the nightly activities. They’re all included, and they’re great ways to meet new people and explore the city. In Austin, I got to go to Schlitterbahn (one of the best and biggest water parks I’ve ever been to), Six Flags, Barton Springs (a natural pool with an amazing view)- I even went on a bat cruise! There are so many different activities and events offered that there’ll be something for everyone.
3. Take advantage of the amenities available at the campus and dorms!
Every dorm is different, but at mine, they had a pool, a gym, study areas, a media lounge, a pool table, and more available at the building. On the campus, there was an even bigger gym and pool accessible to campers. These facilities came in handy on nights when I just wanted to stay on campus and relax with friends.
I hope you have a great camp experience this summer! It goes by faster than you’d expect, so make the most of the time you have there.