Student’s in Class

Created by Francessca Conde

Student B who took notes on her iPad

Student A – a TA who was usually working on her other assignments during class

Student D- sat in the very last row

Student F – the other TA– she would online shop during the class LOL

Student E – he always had a mask on so shoutout to him.

A professor who was very stylish.

Student G – She was super nice and always had something pink-colored on her body.

Student C – Who I only ever saw once

11 Moving Tips to Consider During Move-Out

As the academic school year is winding down and summer is fast approaching. That can only mean one thing; it’s the season for moving out! Getting to go back home is exciting, but the thought of having to transport all of your belongings within a certain time constraint can certainly be daunting. Students living on and off-campus will soon have to pack up all their belongings to make the journey back home. Here are some things you can consider before and during the packing process. 

  1. Start packing ahead of time. 

This might seem insignificant at first, but getting a head start can never do any harm. Many students think that moving out won’t take too much time, but there is definitely more work to be done than one might initially assume. It is easier to pack little by little instead of trying to cram everything in random boxes the day before moving out.

  1. Make a mental list of everything that you need to do.

 This is another step that might seem like a waste of time, but I can assure you; it is definitely important and worthwhile! Students are so used to seeing their room that they get desensitized to how much stuff they actually have. Think back to extra supplies, miscellaneous furniture/appliances, seasonal clothes, and other trinkets that you might have tucked away in drawers or closets out of sight. Do a scan of your space and re-familiarize yourself with all your possessions. 

  1. Learn to let go of items you aren’t/haven’t used. 

Throw away all the items you’ve been hoarding throughout the semester. Yes, this means you have to take out the trash that you’ve been too lazy to take out. Make sure to scan your room and get rid of anything that you don’t need to eliminate unnecessary items that take up space. You’ll be surprised at how much good a bit of decluttering can do to your mental state.

  1. Separate your things from your roommate’s belongings. 

Although not everyone has a roommate, it can be applied to everyone in different contexts. If you do have a roommate, it is important to talk to them to decide who will take previously shared appliances/goods. Even if you live alone, make sure to go around looking for objects that your friends might have forgotten in your space or items that you’ve previously borrowed and never given back. 

  1. Use big boxes separated into different categories so that it is easy to differentiate the items when reopening them back at home.

Not everyone has the resources to pack in big moving boxes, but sticking to containers with a solid structure is always recommended when making a big move. It’s easier to carry out in the short term, easier to manage and reduces the chances of damage during the transportation process.

  1. Make sure to have labels on everything after categorizing your belongings.

This might take some time in the beginning, but it will be useful in the end when you have to find something really quickly. Categorizing items also makes it easier to pack since everything has a given place it needs to be. It is really tempting to skimp on this step during the process, but naming boxes/containers will save you more time in the long run especially when you unpack. 

  1. Make use of towels, clothes, and other soft linen items to act like bubble wrap/packing peanuts. 

Anything that takes up less space is useful, and in this case, it can also save some money. Instead of investing in bubble wrap or foam to shelter the more fragile or glass items, substitute it for things you already have to pack: thick padded sweaters, fluffy towels, fuzzy socks, etc. 

  1. Roll up clothes, towels, blankets, and any other foldable item.

The biggest thing about packing to make a big move is to optimize space. Although everyone has their personal preferred style of folding clothing items, I highly recommend the rolling method during move-out. Rolling up clothing items tightly will save so much space, and the compact style makes it easier to move around. 

  1. Heavier items on the bottom, lighter items on the top.

This might seem like common sense, but it’s amazing how much we can forget when we are rushing in order to get the moving part over with. Unless you want to be dealing with bent or broken items, it is smart to always keep in mind that heavier things go on the bottom of the boxes. Yes– this means that you have to empty out the box and restart when you find something towards the end of packing that needs to be packed at the bottom. 

  1. Make use of school backpacks, duffel bags, etc.

Have all the essential items that you use the most in your backpack, like your laptop, phone, chargers, and earphones since things can get hectic and lost during the process of moving out. This also means that all your other bags can have a role too. Many students pack away unused bags into boxes, but why not make use of them? Bags are designed to store belongings in a contained space while also making them easier to transport. 

  1. Avoid being lazy and throwing everything in one box.

This might sound like something that is obvious, but moving can be mentally and physically draining. This also means that giving up is a temptation that will constantly nag you in the back of your mind. Definitely try to avoid shoving everything in boxes in an unorganized manner due to frustration. 

Everyone has been through the stressful process of moving, and sometimes it might feel like giving in to the anxiety is an easy fix. Worry not; take a deep breath and continue on slowly. Put on some relaxing music or a podcast you enjoy in the background while working, and it’s okay to take it step by step slowly. When starting, it might seem like there is no end to the monumental  task but remember, there is always a rewarding end waiting at the finish line for each journey!

Physical Signs of Stress

Stress levels are at an all-time high this time of year, especially with final exams right around the corner. Most people experience physical symptoms of stress but they don’t always know how to identify them or, more importantly, how to manage them. This article discusses common physical responses to stress, and some strategies for stress relief.

Trouble sleeping

When I’m overly stressed, one of my biggest indicators of that stress  is when I’m having trouble sleeping. I have found that limiting screen time half an hour before bed has been most effective in combating this. I also keep an emergency supply of melatonin gummies on my bedside table and wear a sleep mask at night. When you’re exhausted, your reactions to other stressful situations are  likely to be exacerbated , so getting enough sleep is crucial.

Headaches

Headaches are a common symptom of stress and can sometimes be the most debilitating symptom. Speaking from experience, I can hardly focus when I’m down with a bad headache, which ends up stressing me out even more. Advil is great for short-term relief, but there are other things you can do to prevent stress-related headaches from occurring in the first place. Drinking water, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy, balanced meals have proven really effective in combatting these headaches.

Rapid Heartbeat

Many people experience an elevated heart rate when they’re experiencing high-stress levels. This is mainly because our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline in response to stress. One of the most common remedies for this symptom is listening to relaxing music during stressful tasks. Other techniques include practicing breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga.

Most college students experience stress throughout the entire semester, but especially towards  its  end with the approaching deadlines, final grades, and semester exams. It can take a huge toll on your ability to function in day-to-day life, so it’s important to know when stress is  becoming a problem and learn how to manage it.

Bridgerton: Is It Representation or Aesthetics?

Dear readers, now that the latest season has come to a close, it is now time to analyze Bridgerton’s beautiful families beyond Lady Whistledown’s juicy gossip and sordid details. Ultimately, It is up to us to see whether the beloved Netflix show is true as representative as it claims to be. The Sharma family were the talk of the ton (forgive my puns), but they are not the first instance of Shonda Rhimes’ unique incorporation of representation in her period drama; for that, we have to go back to season one.

While the popular rom-com never truly addresses if there was an equitable society in the British Regency era where people of color (POCs) were Lords and Dukes, there is a brief mention of a darker past in the first season. Especially, when Lady Danbury speaks about the King’s love for the Queen, it seemingly ends all the racism and hatred of the past without any consequences. While it is a loose premise to build a fictional world on, one can forgive the show for this as it leads to more diverse casting. But, that brings us to the first issue with Bridgerton—race-baiting.

Race-Baiting

When the first promotional material for the show was released, it heavily emphasized that the show would address racial issues with its unique storytelling. However, aside from the singular conversation mentioned before, the show fails to even mention race let alone incorporate it into its storyline. Some fans of the show claim that it was good that the show was race-blind. Including that giving POC’s different storylines that address their racial heritage or past would negate the message that all races are equal. But, failing to address racial differences is not equal or fair. It is erasing the complexity and nuances of the world we live in, enabling us to tell good stories.

The first season of Bridgerton also failed to include any of its POC cast in important storylines, with the exception of the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page. When POC characters have significant screen times, their stories are often clouded or infiltrated by their low socioeconomic status. For instance, Marina Thompson, played by Ruby Barker, is desperately searching for a husband to cover up her out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Colin Bridgerton, played by Luke Newton, eventually falls for her and proposes but on finding out about the truth of her deceptions. Unfortunately, he leaves her high and dry, which brings me to the second issue with the popular Netflix drama, its problematic association of skin color with purity.

Value Calls

If we look at all the POC characters in the show, each of them has either engaged in conversation with a non-POC character where they have played the role of the corrupter or experienced friend. Whether it’s the Duke’s conversation with Daphne about self-pleasure or Marina begrudgingly answering Penelope’s questions about sex, it may seem insignificant. Still, the show’s repeated instances of associating purity of thought and spirit with only their non-POC characters perpetuate negative stereotypes that believe or not exist in society even today and strengthen people’s implicit biases.

A New Era

 Finally, let’s dissect season two. When I heard that season two of Bridgerton would have an Indian female lead, I was definitely wary of the idea, especially given India’s colonial past with the British and the period in which Bridgerton takes place. However, Miss Kate Sharma, played by the brilliant Simone Ashley, captured my heart along with those of audiences around the world. While her accent could do with some work, she could incorporate her Indian identity into her character without making her Indianness all that her character was. Edwina called Kate didi, the Haldi ceremony, and Kate’s snide remarks about British tea (which she is completely right about!) all pay homage to Indian culture without forcefully and awkwardly introducing it into the storyline.

Season two of Bridgerton does make up for some of the issues of the first season, for example, the lower socioeconomic association with POC characters. The Sharma family’s dire socioeconomic situation is unnecessary, and the season once again fails to mention any actual race issues or bring it up at all. That being said it is unnecessary for a show with a multi-racial cast to discuss race, but Bridgerton displays race-baiting because it promises to discuss race but fails to do the same. That being said, season two of this show does paint a more promising picture, and while people have complained that the Sharma’s are not truly Indian, I don’t particularly share their sentiment. The Sharma’s may not display every aspect of their Indian culture. Still, if they did, it would distract from the show’s storyline,  which isn’t really the positive representation anyone needs. Kathani Sharma may be slightly controversial, but her sarcastic, dry humor, wit, competitive spirit, and independence do embody the desi nature that I, as an Indian, am particularly proud of. So for this singular instance of representation, I will begrudgingly give Bridgerton my nod of approval.

Featured Image By Francessca Conde

SLAYC is Back: A Review of STAYC’s Comeback YOUNG-LUV.COM

The STAYC girls have marked their third comeback since debuting in November 2020 with the release of their new EP, YOUNG LUV.com last month. 

After their previous title tracks “ASAP” and “STEREOTYPE” gained popularity through TikTok, the group garnered more fans (including myself).his comeback was highly anticipated, as many fans were excited to see if the group would continue to release fun music.

YOUNG-LUV.COM has six songs, starting with the title track “RUN2U”. The music video currently has over thirty million views on YouTube. 

Simply put, “RUN2U” is a bop. The song starts with a bit of a darker sound compared to their previous songs but soon transitions into a lighter, pop-ier sound. The electronic-pop track is very catchy like previous title tracks, with the chorus going “So I’ll run to you / a little bit, little bit / a little bit, little bit.” The repeated phrase “a little bit, a little bit” will get stuck in your head quickly, but it’s also the part I look forward to the most when listening to the song. Sadly, the track missed their signature “STAYC girls, it’s going down!” that was featured in their earlier title tracks. Other than that, this is definitely the song you’d want to listen to if you need some pumping up, especially if you’re going out for a run. 

“SAME SAME” is a more simple track, contrasting the first track “RUN2U” with a lighter, calmer beat. I always get the image of a ballerina whenever I listen to this song, with light little jumps, and snappy movements. The song’s specialty is its lightness, despite its hard-hitting bass beats. It’s definitely a fun, cute track. The song is about two people sharing the same feelings for each other, but one is waiting for the other to act on it as the chorus says, “Same same / our feelings are the same / nothing between us will change / even though you try to drag the time/baby I don’t wanna waste my time.” The song ends with a neat little run and the anticipated “STAYC girls, it’s going down!”

“247” (pronounced as 24/7) has an R&B feel to it, and it’s about wanting to stay by a person’s side 24/7. The refrain, “Even as time passes / no matter where you are / I’ll always be by your side, with you.” is sung sweetly, adding to the cute lyrics. A romantic song, it holds true to the theme of the EP: young love. Overall, the song is groovy and would pair perfectly with a long drive during a sunset or sunrise. 

“YOUNG LUV” is not my favorite track, which is unfortunate considering it’s referenced in the mini album’s title. The song continues the trend of calmer songs and sounds like something you’d hear at the beginning of a coming-of-age movie. The opening lyrics, “My love’s so young / I’m young, a sweet age,” are reminiscent of youthful romances lacking structure and stability. The message is driven by later lyrics like, “You come to me awkwardly and pretend to be in love.”  There is no big drop in the song, but as the song progresses, the guitar and beats feel a little heavier. Overall, this is sort of a sadder yet slightly empowering song.

Second to last, “BUTTERFLY” is my favorite b-side from the EP. The beat resembles songs from K-R&B artists and is very smooth. The lyrics for this song are super cute, starting with “Butterfly / you who shines brighter than any star/butterfly / the small light that brightens my little love, it’s you.” This song is about loving a person who makes you feel better, existing as “the light in the dark universe.” With its sweet melody and lyrics, this is the perfect song to listen to when you just need to relax.

The last song on the EP is “I WANT U BABY” and reminds me of Ariana Grande’s “just like magic” because of its melodic parts. The song has a darker sound, and is about really wanting to be with someone: “I want you, baby, / a night of stars / I want you to pick out the stars for me.” This song ties together the running theme of a young love.

The STAYC girls live up to their nickname of SLAYC, and this comeback did not disappoint overall. Their vocals prove their talent, and I look forward to their future comebacks.

Featured Image By Francessca Conde

Your Guide to Longhorn Life