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From the College of Natural Sciences

Step Into the Arena

Dear Students, 

There is a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt. In his "Citizenship In a Republic" speech given in Paris in 1910, the former president paints a picture of a strong fighter in the ring, stumbling. Roosevelt says it's not the nitpicking critic, sitting outside the ring and pointing, who counts. Rather, the credit belongs to the person inside:
"who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.*
The middle of the semester is when the rubber meets the road and most students feel overwhelmed, but keep in mind: You're here at the University of Texas at Austin, and you belong here. It will undoubtedly be challenging at times, but you made it into UT, and you can make it out with a degree.

Keep stepping into the arena: in the classroom, in the lab, in leadership, in civic duties, in everything. 

Best,
Dr. Vanden Bout

* This quote was made more famous by UT Austin alum Brené Brown, who wrote the bestseller Daring Greatly.

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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

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