The UTD Survival Guide is a personalized student guide containing everything a student would want to know about how to survive and thrive at UTD. It acts as a knowledge base and reference for various of aspects of student life, like how to perform well academically, how to find friends and get involved socially, and how to get an internship or other career opportunity, all in one easily-accessible place.
For some students, college life comes easily. For other students, like first-generation students those from non-traditional backgrounds, like student veterans or those going through undergrad after joining the workforce, going to university can be a dizzying or confusing experience. The Guide is an attempt to make their lives easier while consolidating information that's accessible to and digestible by all students.
Willie Chalmers III, then a rising sophomore at UTD in summer 2020, wanted to share his knowledge about campus to help incoming students through their freshman years. He was inspired by Veda Tsai, a peer advisor he had during the 2019 Clark Summer Research Program and her "How-to Class" presentation that discuseed tips and tricks for getting through college. He was also inspired by the Nickelodeon TV show Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide and wanted to provide a quick reference to answer commonly asked questions on the unofficial UT Dallas subreddit (r/utdallas).
He really wanted to build this to answer questions on the UT Dallas subreddit. A lot.
In summer 2020, the first draft of content for the Guide was started independently from other groups. In summer 2021, it became a part of Project Nebula and in fall 2021, it gained a dedicated project lead.
The first iteration of the UTD Survival Guide is due to release in spring 2022.
A Wide Variety of Information on Student Life
It seems like there are dozens of places to get information but that they're scattered throughout university websites, isolated in external websites like Rate My Professors, and hidden in online forums like r/utdallas. The Guide contains academic, personal, and career information for students of all majors in one place.
Have you ever been asked "What is a "Tobor"?" or "Who is Enarc?"? Have you ever wondered how to balance working part time with being a full-time student? How about how to survive on a budget? The Guide helps you answer all of those questions.
A Personalized Guide Experience (Coming soon!)
Let's say you're a pre-med student majoring in computer science (whoosh). It's already difficult being a computer science major, but how do you balance that with the needs of medical school admissions? Based on your academic and career interests, Guide will collect and suggest material tailored to your needs. Additionally, it will give you clear milestones so you can check off what really matters during your time in college.
Intuitive and Useful Search (Coming soon!)
Ever need to find that one bit of information or that one fact about that one thing you were sure you knew? The Guide will let you search for everything from university resources to notable people, places, or groups at UTD.
We're always looking for people to help build features and maintain Project Nebula's apps. For the Guide, we are especially interested in content creators, editors, or casual contributors. Additionally, we're always willing to accept contributions on GitHub from more engineering-oriented folks.
If have questions on this or other Nebula Labs tools, contact us at email@example.com!