Rhea Bhat: Taking on TikTok as @texasbrownie

We all know the “that girl” TikTok genre that showcases a day-in-the-life of “that girl” who seems to have her whole life together, broadcasted in all it’s perfection in a one-minute time frame. At first, the “that girl” genre was merely a highlight-reel, but now, moving into Fall 2021, it’s shifted to show a day in the life of “that girl” in a more realistic light. Someone who is taking on this trend is Rhea Bhat, also known as @texasbrownie on TikTok, a junior engineering major at The University of Texas at Austin.

During the fourth week of school, I caught up with Rhea over the phone to find out more about her experience as a TikToker.

@texasbrownie

This week was a record high of me feeling mentally drained @The Coldest Water #thecoldest

♬ Surrender – Natalie Taylor

Q: What made you start posting on TikTok, and why did you choose to begin making a-day-in-my-life themed posts?

A: When I was little, I had this dream to have a YouTube channel, which did not work out. So, I started posting on TikTok the summer before my freshman year of college because I was bored and wanted to be a more outgoing person. My friend at UT told me that the amount of work I did was crazy and that filming my college experience for 6k followers (at the time) might be fun. I had no expectations of anyone seeing my videos.

Q: I am sure you receive many comments asking how you juggle it all, but genuinely, what motivates you to accomplish your goals throughout your day?

A: While planners, calendars and a strict schedule got me through my day, it was something that my mom used to say to me that really motivated me. She told me that while I was young, I should work as hard as I could and that the harder I worked now, the more I would enjoy it when I am older. I don’t know why, but something about what she said just really resonated with my seven-year-old self.”

Q: Do you ever have off days when you do not feel like posting or are in a slump? How do you handle these type of days?

A: I usually have a list of TikTok ideas that I want to film on my phone’s note app. Whenever I have free time, I put a few minutes into filming and editing these videos that I draft and post during my busy days. For my vlogs, if I wake up feeling in a slump, I still record as a way to show everyone that not everything in my life is perfect.

Q: How do you respond to negative feedback when people say what you do in your day-to-day life is impossible?

A: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I knew what I was signing up for— not all of my comments are going to be positive. I try to explain any wrongful assumptions people make about me.  I also push the message that everyone is different and what works for me and my day might not work for everyone, and that’s okay. There are definitely people out there whose lives look nothing like mine, and they still perform at the same level as me, if not better.

Q: What is one thing you have learned from the productive lifestyle you live?

A: I have learned that if I have a task written down in my planner, I’m much more motivated to do it and feel more accomplished when I finish it.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to others that want to have more productive days but don’t know where to start?

A: One piece of advice I’d give is to wake up earlier! It sounds cliche but waking up early— especially in college— gives you more hours in a day to complete tasks with a fresh mind and without distractions. 

Q: How do you make it look so easy?

A: A few TikTok video edits here and there let me edit my whole day into 60 seconds of seamless events, but the true answer to how I make it look so easy is simple… I don’t! From all the fun I have with friends tomy stressful breakdowns, I try to capture everything because I don’t want people to think college is a perfect balance; sometimes, it gets hard, and that’s totally okay.”

Rhea started posting day-in-the-life-themed posts a year after she made her first TikTok.Her first day-in-the-life vlog followed her first day of her sophomore year at UT. Rhea continues to post day-in-the-life themed TikTok’s to spread positivity through her videos. You can find Rhea on TikTok @texasbrownie and on Instagram @rheebeee.

Featured image by Morgan Scruggs