Emre Oguzman has crisscrossed the country since graduating from Dallas International School just a few years ago. Now he's back home in Texas to attend his dream school: UT-Austin. We sat down with him to catch up on what he's been doing and what's in his future.
What has life been like post-DIS? What have you been up to?
I am currently attending the University of Texas at Austin, where I am working toward a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Sociology. I actually came to UT-Austin as a transfer student applying from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Since I am relatively new to UT-Austin, I am currently not participating in many activities. Back at Reed College, I volunteered at a social service organization called Potluck In the Park, I was on the school’s indoor intramural team and I was also a house DJ for a couple of social events. At UT, I am participating in one of the school’s many intramural soccer teams and I am also a DJ at the school’s student-run radio station, KVRX. As I get used to my course load, I am eventually hoping to join a Public Health club either at school or outside and secure regular volunteer experience.
How do you feel like Dallas International School prepared you for your college experience?
Obviously, taking classes in French and making friends from different cultures has proved its benefits, both while I was attending DIS and even now at university. But overall, I find that the French math courses I took in middle school and the English courses I took throughout high school have helped me tremendously. When it comes to math, having a rich understanding and previous applications of fundamental theorems has proved worthwhile in my upper level courses on Calculus. And with the myriad of 1500 word essays we wrote (plus the colossal, 4000 word extended essay that my peers and I completed within the IB), I was more than ready to tackle the length of some of my assignments during my first months at university. I also find it insane how we covered some topics within my IB Higher Level Chemistry class that I am now learning about in my organic chemistry course, which is usually considered one of the toughest courses for most pre-medical students.
What is the biggest difference between life at DIS and life at university?
The biggest difference (by far) between life at DIS and life at university is the amount of responsibilities that you receive while at university. In high school, we constantly had teachers and other faculty members remind us of deadlines and push us to be on top of things (shout out to IB conseil de classe). No one is there to pick up the slack at college. If you miss a deadline, you get a zero, and there is no way around it unless the professor somehow magically “extends” the due date for the assignment, which actually happened while I was in Portland because of a music festival that even the Professor was going to.
What do you miss most about DIS?
Overall, the relationships I had with my teachers and other faculty members at DIS were really enjoyable. I’m not even sure a single professor (or even TA) here actually knows that I exist. There was always (and probably still is) a great student-teacher dynamic at DIS that I believe does not really exist elsewhere.
If you could give a piece of advice to the students at DIS, what would it be?
I have had many alumni give me advice before when I was at DIS, and unfortunately it went into one ear and came out the other. But I guess that’s the point of being a high school student; listening attentively and having responsibilities becomes abundantly clear once you get to university. Ultimately, you only get to be a teenager for a short period of time, so have fun because after that you’ll only be an adult for the rest of your life.