Category Archives: Community

5 Things you (won’t!) be missing During virtual orientation

The University of Texas is holding freshman orientation online this year rather than on campus. So, if you’re an incoming freshman you may be wondering “what am I missing?” Well, I’m here to tell you 5 things you’re NOT missing from in-person orientation.

1. The Heat

Courtesy of: Giphy

Texas heat is absolutely brutal. In-person orientation is basically a sweat-athon of walking in 100-degree Austin weather.

2. Getting Lost

Courtesy of: Giphy and the NFL

There are three things that are certain in life: Death, taxes and getting lost at in-person UT orientation. Don’t worry about not getting lost on campus at orientation, though. You have plenty of time to do it during the rest of the school year.

3. The GPS Taking You the LONGEST Route Ever Created

Courtesy of: Giphy

Technology is great, right? Wrong! At least not during UT orientation. Without fail, your GPS will route you the way that not only takes the most time, but also makes absolutely no sense. Seriously, WHO decided the best way to get from Jester to Moody is Guadalupe Street? I just want to talk.

4. Cramped Elevators

Courtesy of: Giphy and Nickelodeon

During in-person orientation, everyone stays in the Jester dorms. That means everyone is trying to use the same elevators, usually all at the same time. Who needs personal space, right?

5. Being Told Not to Bring a Blanket (And Then Freezing to Death at Night)

Courtesy of: Giphy and Sesame Street

If you didn’t know, the in-person orientation packing list specifically tells you that blankets will be provided so you shouldn’t bother bringing one. What they don’t tell you though is this “blanket” provides about as much warmth as covering yourself with an H-E-B receipt.

No matter if you went to orientation in-person or online, you’re a Longhorn now! So, get your horns up and your burnt orange shirt on. This is going to be a great school year!

Dating Profile Dos and Don’ts For Guys to Get the Girl

With Hot Girl Summer— or rather, Hot Boy Summer— about to be in full swing, it’s time to get those dating profiles updated. This is the summer to get vaccinated and finally get out of the house to meet some new people and have some honest fun. I’m sure you’ve been swiping left and right all pandemic out of boredom, but it’s time to get rid of the fish pics and smile a little to get a girl to swipe right and start a conversation.

So, here are some dos and don’ts for the guys to make the ultimate Tinder profile and find true love (or whatever else you’re looking for, I don’t judge.)

1. DO Smile

Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

The amount of guys who glare back at me from mine and my friend’s Tinders is a little unnerving. Use the muscles on the side of your face and smile— just a little. It won’t hurt your masculinity, I promise, but it will make you look like you’re not dead inside, and will definitely increase your chances of getting a match.

2. DON’T Use The Fish Pic

We get it. You fish and hunt and think displaying dead animals is a sign of your machoness. But it’s really just a verified way to get the majority of girls swiping left. While some girls might be into hunting too, the majority are probably just going to be really upset that you killed Nemo, or Bambi and move on.

3. DO Fill Out Your Bio

The amount of men who post three photos and no bio and wonder why they never get a match is astonishing. If you have a cute face but nothing in your bio, it’s more likely to get a left swipe. Yeah, some girls will swipe right due to the initial attraction, but unless you’re both just looking for a hookup it’s more than likely you won’t be getting that match notification very often.

Use this place to put some interests, hobbies, work, school— anything that could spark a conversation. Maybe fun facts, or even just putting your intentions out there so when you get a match you both can start off on the same page.

4. DON’T Be Rude In Your Bio

Photo by AKirk on Getty Images

Saying things like “no fatties” is actually going to get you no one. If you have preferences that’s fine, use them when you are judging and swiping, but don’t list your perfect dream girl in your bio and tell specific girls not to swipe right. It looks rude and just keeps everyone away.

5. DO Get Those Good Angles

Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

While photos aren’t everything, they are the first thing girls see. And that first photo is going to decide whether she stays and checks you out, or swipes left. At the bare minimum, it should give off “High School Picture Day” vibes, framed with your head and shoulders in view. Good lighting is also a must so we can actually see what you look like. 

Don’t forget to use photos that show your whole self, not just your face. Add some goofy pics, photos with friends, or even pets! Just be sure to lead with one of just you, especially if you and your friends all look alike (I’m talking to you, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Alpha beta Sigma Phi boys).

6. DON’T Get Those Bad Angles

I’m not sure why so many guys think flipping off the camera is a cute photo to put on a dating app, but I can promise you it’s not. Don’t make every photo half your face, don’t use Snapchat filters in all of them, and definitely don’t put your middle finger up. It doesn’t look too good. I guess if you’re trying to be a “bad boy” it gets the message across, but I promise the majority of women are not looking for Mr. Bad Boy.

7. DO Post Several Photos

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels

The amount of times I have clicked for another photo to get a better look at a guy only to realize they only have one is extremely disappointing. I would recommend at the very least have three different angles in your photos, but try to go for five or six. This helps girls get a better idea of who they’re swiping right on, and most of the time if there’s only one photo girls will just swipe left.

8. DON’T Post The Photo With Your Ex

Photo by Pressmaster

Again, not sure what you guys are thinking here. Seeing a photo of you with your arms around another girl does not give off a great vibe on a dating app. And it just looks shallow to cross her face out with an X or put an emoji over it. Take some good photos on your own and with your friends. don’t rely on the pics with your ex.

9. DO Be Yourself

It might seem cliche or cheesy, but too many people overthink the dating game and try way too hard. More than anything, dating apps are a place to get to know people in hopes you will be spending time with them in real life (with any luck, more than once). It’s important to be yourself when you’re creating your profile instead of trying to come up with some persona you think will reel in the ladies. I promise, if they swipe right, they want to get to know you.

10. DON’T Be Arrogant

Photo by SIPhotography on Getty Images

The shirtless pictures and acknowledgment that you’re super cool actually isn’t cool at all. Don’t spend all your photos posing in front of a mirror flexing your muscles, and don’t write in your bio about how amazing you’d be. I promise we won’t think you’re amazing, and you will get a swift left swipe. If you just be yourself, there’s a much better chance girls will like you.

So, as summer starts and the CDC begins to loosen their COVID guidelines, go ahead and get those profiles polished and ready. I guarantee if you follow these tips it’ll help your dating game, and hopefully get you those matches you’re looking for. Happy swiping.

A Summer of Reinvention

There’s something unique about the happiness one feels in the summertime–it’s unobstructed and unconstrained. Don’t get me wrong, summer does have its downsides as well, like the all-consuming worry of missing out or the deep sadness one can feel after experiencing what you think as “once in a lifetime joy.” But in order to really take advantage of summer’s offerings, I think it’s important to make a list of goals you can reasonably accomplish to make this summer one of reinvention. Here’s a few ideas to guide you:

Julianne Hough and Nina Dobrev's Awesome Instagram Summer | Now and then  movie, Girl movies, Film aesthetic
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1. Be on your phone less – Limiting your social media usage by deleting certain apps or eliminating those apps’ screen time completely will dramatically help make this summer more carefree and fulfilling. Not having social media apps on your phone will increase your productivity because they are not easily accessible, therefore they won’t be able to distract you. Social media can take a heavy toll on one’s mental health, especially since people tend to only post the most glamorous parts of their life, so deleting these apps may help improve your mental state. If you’re interested in learning more about social media’s effect on mental health, check out this article.

2. Read more – Summer offers you so much free time and if you decide to stop using social media as much, you will have more time in between shifts, summer classes, hanging out with friends, etc. to really sit down and read. Finding the type of books that speak to you can be really exciting and offer you a whole world of enlightenment and connection with others that you may not have had.

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3. Take some classes – Sometimes, taking classes in the summer can contribute to your fear of missing out on summer fun with friends if you happen to get bogged down by schoolwork. But if you put in the work and are resilient, you will end up feeling grateful and proud of yourself for completing classes in the summer. 

4. Focus on you – I think that overall the most important thing to do this summer is to focus on yourself. Think of the mindset you wish to be in and figure out how to get there. Don’t chase after things this summer unless they are for your personal improvement. Listen to your body, pay attention to what you want to do or be and focus on that. 

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5. Get a fun, chill summer job – One thing you don’t want to do in a summer of reinvention is say “no” too much. A way to make sure you don’t have to say this is if you have the resources to say “yes.” Filling your schedule with a job and classes this summer may not sound appealing, but it would make your free time even more rewarding and enjoyable, especially if you have the means to spend your money on fun activities. Plus, your job could give you awesome work friends!

6. Learn a language – Whether you are in the process of learning a new language or have finished UT’s course requirements for your language credits, summer is a good time to keep practicing it so your new language skills don’t become rusty. With more and more vaccines being distributed, it’s possible more study abroad programs will open up in the fall, so learning a language will be extremely helpful if you plan on studying abroad!

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7. Keep a journal – I firmly believe that writing in a journal, logging your days, experiences and thoughts is a very important habit to keep up with. In general, it is very good for you, think of it as a form of self care. For me, writing helps relieve my feelings and makes me feel less chaotic as I am writing down all of my thoughts and complicated feelings onto a piece of paper, something external. Also, one day you may want to share experiences and stories with others and it would be nice to have a fresh account of it written down in your journal that you could refer back to. BookPeople has some very cute journals if you look hard enough.

8. Do things alone – It’s fun eating at a restaurant alone, dancing in your room alone, going to a park all by yourself. Don’t let your friends’ availability schedules hold you back, if you really want to go somewhere but your friend can’t come, I encourage you to go by yourself. I think doing stuff alone every now and then really helps you learn how to be more comfortable with yourself. 

alone... | Library photo shoot, Book photography, Photo
Courtesy of Pinterest.com

9. Pick up a new hobby – Summertime is your chance to pick up that hobby or skill you’ve always wanted to try. You could start making things out of clay, or get really into crocheting, running, climbing, painting, latte art, really anything that speaks to you. It will help occupy your newfound free time and limit your time spent decomposing in your bed watching TikToks (which is definitely fine to do sometimes).  

10. Try to go to new places – Making a summer bucket list with your closest friends will help cure summer boredom that often comes with having so much free time. In this bucket list you can make goals as big as traveling to a different state with your friends, to things as little as going to the pool everyday. Go to places you guys have never been before, maybe try finding a good crying spot where you guys can go when your summer fun turns to summer sadness. Explore the city in ways you never have before, there’s endless possibilities and exploring will help make your summer full of adventures.

Featured Image courtesy of Kara Fields

The best classes at ut: According to ut students

There are a LOT of classes at UT: History of Religion, Architecture and Society, Introduction to Geology, etc. So, how are Longhorns supposed to pick what to take this fall? How about recommendations from fellow students about the best classes they have ever taken at UT?

Without further ado, here are the best classes at UT Austin according to current UT students.

Disclaimer: Some submissions have been edited for length or clarity.

1. Life in the Universe (UGS303) – Ken Wisian

“Firstly, I enjoyed the main subject of the course itself. It is about the search for extraterrestrial life in the Universe and what is being done to progress this search. I was particularly fascinated by this topic. Secondly, I enjoyed how this course navigated this subject. The course dove into many different areas of study: astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, a little bit of rocket science, and even philosophy. I enjoyed how the professor encouraged discussion. He encouraged students to interrupt and pitch in. This made the class fun and engaging.”

– Computer Science Major, 1st Year

Note: This class can only be taken by 1st year students.

2. Strategic Learning for the 21st Century (EDP 304) – Taught by various doctorate students

“The class was centered around how people learn information and implementing new note-taking techniques. Learning these techniques has really enhanced my studying. It changed my mindset on “memorizing” information. I would recommend this class. It teaches you how to better study in the college setting. “

– Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, 2nd Year

3. Race/Cultural Intelligence in the Age of Trump (UGS303) – Leonard Moore

“I learned that communication is the only way we can truly learn about people’s identities. In the course, we learned about the struggles that Latinx people, white working-class individuals and Asian Americans endure. It was nice to gain cultural awareness in an educational setting. The teaching style is very relaxed and Dr. Moore was very approachable. There is so much room for growth and errors in this class.”

– Political Communications Studies, 2nd Year

Notes: This class is only available to 1st year students and changes when the current U.S. president does.

4. Professional/Career Development (LAH104H) – Tatem Oldham

“I wish everyone had the opportunity to take this class with Professor Oldham. It’s a development course that makes internships a lot more approachable.”

– Sustainability Studies and Geography, 2nd Year

Note: This course is restricted to students in the Liberal Arts Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts.

5. Intro to LGBTQ Studies (WGS303) – Ashley Coleman Taylor

“As a queer person, I found this class really rewarding to learn about the history of those that came before me, a history that is often overlooked and left out of mainstream narratives. I loved the intersectional approach Dr. Coleman Taylor took the course and how the material challenged me to reevaluate my perception of self as well as my own biases. I highly recommend taking any class offered by Dr. Coleman Taylor and the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies.”

– Human Development and Family Sciences, 2nd Year

6. Jewish Humor (UGS303) – Yitskhok Gottesman

“I enjoyed learning about Jewish culture and seeing how that culture translates in the comedy style of Jewish Americans from the 1950s to today. I enjoyed that the professor put in the effort to create a safe space for talking about modern comedy and addressing cultural differences in the context of comedy. I learned comedy is universal and is a way we can embrace our culture or connect with others no matter our cultural background.”

– Biology, 3rd Year

Note: This class can only be taken by 1st year students.

7. Reel Horror: The Holocaust in Film (UGS302) – Pascale Bos

“This class was super enlightening. We analyzed films made about the Holocaust, especially the American films made, and learned how censored they were. Hollywood films would often breeze over the brutality of the Holocaust and to make it seem less bad. The course was super interesting and it was eye-opening to learn about all the history.”

– Ratio-Television-Film (RTF), 2nd Year

Note: This class can only be taken by 1st year students.

8. Media Law (J350F) – Amy Sanders

“Media Law is an 8am class with dense reading materials so people think I’m crazy for loving it so much. However, I felt like I learned the most from this class and felt most engaged with professor Sanders. To be honest, law is really interesting! I loved using laws and cases that I had learned to structure an argument in this class. “

– Journalism and Chinese, 3rd Year

Note: You must have upper-division standing to take this course.

9. General Microbiology (BIO326R) – Peter King

“I really enjoyed this class because of my professor and the content. I especially liked it because of the circumstances we are in now. It’s really cool getting to have a better understanding of the “whys” of the ways certain things happen rather than just memorizing definitions. I enjoyed how Professor King’s lectures were almost like stories. It makes them more engaging.”

-Biology, 2nd Year

Note: In order to take this course, you must have credit with a grade of at least C- or registration for Biology 325 or 325H, and Chemistry 302 or 302H with a grade of at least C-.

10. Psychology of Advertising (ADV319) – Lee Ann Kahlor

“This class was super interesting and approachable even with no prior knowledge of psychology or advertising. I learned something in every lecture. There were no “buffer” or “filler” classes. Professor Kahlor is a great teacher. She’s funny, engaging, and cares deeply about her students and the subject.”

– Journalism, 2nd Year

A longhorn snow-day playlist

The entire state of Texas is under a Winter Storm Warning as parts of Austin are covered in up-to seven and a half inches of snow. Until the roads clear up and it’s safe for Longhorns to go out again, here is the ~ definitive ~ Snow-Day Playlist to keep spirits high even though the Fis low!

  1. “Baby It’s Cold Outside (duet with Michael Bublé)” – Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé

Come on, you knew this one had to be on here. I didn’t make the rules. Between Idina Menzel’s and Michael Bublé’s silky-smooth vocals and the temperature-based lyrics of the song, it demands being on every cold-weather playlist.

Snowiest Lyric: “Baby it’s cold outside.”

  1. “Sweater Weather” – The Neighbourhood

Is there a better song to play while cuddling with your SO on a cold day? Sweater Weather is super cute and temperature-relevant. Bonus points if you and your partner can get your hands on a set of matching sweaters.

Snowest Lyric: “‘Cause it’s too cold (woah) for you here and now. So let me hold (woah) both your hands in the holes of my sweater.”

3. “Let It Go” – “Frozen” Cast

Idina Menzel is iconic even to be on this playlist twice and I will NOT be accepting criticism on that matter at this time. This is the perfect song to play while you take a scenic walk around the snow-covered streets. P.S.: It is absolutely acceptable (and maybe even encouraged) to imagine your ice-cape blowing dramatically behind you as the song plays.

Snowiest Lyric: “The cold never bothered me anyway.”

4. “Oh Ms Believer ” – Twenty One Pilots

I’ll be honest, this song breaks my heart a little every time I hear it. The emotion is palpable and the lyrics are nothing short of poetic. I highly recommend listening to this one with a box of tissues and a lovely view of the snow to get the full experience.

Snowiest Lyric: “Your twisted mind is like snow on the road.”

5. “The A Team” – Ed Sheeran

Somehow this song just sounds like cold weather. The combination of acoustic guitar, melancholy lyrics, and the unique comforting feeling of Ed Sheeran’s voice bring every connotation of the cold, good and bad, to life.

Snowiest Lyric: “It’s too cold outside for angels to fly.”

6. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice

We’ve had some sad songs, now get ready for the exact opposite. Ice Ice Baby is a timeless, upbeat masterpiece that makes everyone want to dance. Just don’t slip on the snow!

Snowiest Lyric: “Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold.”

7. New Year’s Day – Taylor Swift

So, it’s a little past New Years’ but this song still gives out major “cozy on a cold day” vibes. It’s all about having someone who will go through the hard or just mundane parts of life with you instead of only being there for the highs. If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzy feelings to get you through the cold, I don’t know what will.

Snowiest Lyric: “I want your midnights but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”

8. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

Eating pancakes, sleeping in late, and staying in for the day? YES PLEASE! “Banana Pancakes” is a fantastic song to listen to while making breakfast, or breakfast for dinner, on a relaxed snow-day.

Snowiest Lyric: “There ain’t no need to go outside.”

9. If the World Was Ending – JP Saxe and Julia Michaels

The cold can stimulate the cuffing season for sure. This song works through feelings of wanting someone who you know isn’t right for you long term. It’s part wish-fulfillment, part love song, and all cold-weather vibes.

Snowiest Lyric: “The sky’d be falling and I’d hold you tight.”

10. I’m With You – Avril Lavigne

This song is bursting with nostalgia while still being an intriguing and unique piece of music. The lyrics mix messages of hope, anxiety, and feeling left out in the ~ cold ~.

Snowiest Lyric: “It’s a damn cold night. Trying to figure out this life.”