Tag Archives: Austin

The UT Colleges as Adele songs

The season of Fall is synonymous with perfectly winged eyeliner, classic black silhouettes, and ballads that make you want to pour your heart out; that’s right, it’s Adele season. In preparation for this period of heartbreak and deep interpersonal questioning, soothe your troubled soul and enjoy this light take on the UT colleges as Adele songs based on the majors within them.

Moody College of Communication- Hello

Moody School of Communication; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Hello is possibly one of the most well-known Adele songs of all time. The exhilarating song focuses on the failure of communication between two lovers. Moody intends on changing the world by rectifying miscommunication and enhancing current communication. The song embodies what Moody is trying to rectify in the world– miscommunication.

School of Architecture- Skyfall

School of Architecture; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

The uplifting tune, the drama, and the intrigue of mystery that surround Bond movies; these elements all paint a picture of artistry depicted in the tallest skyscrapers you can imagine. Bringing creativity to life and building the impossible are two traits that the School of Architecture and this Adele song have in common.

College of Liberal Arts – Chasing Pavements

Robert L. Patton Building; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

From governance to psychology, the College of Liberal Arts focuses on the pursuit of excellence through taking risks emphasized by its competitive majors. Chasing Pavements is a song about a woman taking a risk by confessing her feelings despite knowing how unlikely her chances for happiness are within that relationship. CoLA encourages its majors to hope and take risks within the humanities to discover the one true truth about what it is to be human within society at large.

College of Fine Arts- Sweetest Devotion

In order to have a successful career in the arts, one must be dedicated to the point where they are devoted to their craft. This Adele song harps on the triumphs and failures of giving all of your heart and soul in the form of purest devotion, something that is personified by the College of Fine Arts.

College of Natural Sciences- Set Fire to the Rain

College of Natural Sciences; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Only the College of Natural Sciences could set fire to the rain with their intellect and ingenuity. Students within the college are able to achieve the impossible and indeed give meaning to a mad genius and in that making, this metaphor come true.

College of Education- First Love

First love ,with its idyllic and nursery rhyme elements, reminds one of happier days on the school playground. The cheerful tune is similar to the genuine and kind nature that is a hallmark of the College of Education.

McCombs School of Business- Send my Love to your New Lover

McCombs School of Business; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

It’s common knowledge that McCombs’ students enjoy the thrill of the chase and rarely pursue stability. It’s that attitude which ensures success in business. As a result, they harbor no ill intent to those they have woed in the past and are more than willing to send their love to your new lover after they have ended things with you.

Steve Hicks School of Social Work- Make you feel my love

Showcasing your loving nature and social work go hand in hand and so does this college and Adele song.

Cockrell School of Engineering- Easy on Me

Cockerell School of Engineering; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

It’s not easy being a Cockrell major, as they will let you know, and I can say with utmost confidence they would greatly appreciate it if their professors and the world at large took it easy on them. This new song by Adele not only allows them to drown their misery, but also fulfills their pleas with artistry and grace.

School of Information- Rumour has it

Rumors are the basis of all human interaction and this school looks to facilitate and enhance that interaction. They focus on user experience and design which rumor has it will be the most useful tool in the future of technology.

College of Pharmacy- Remedy

College of Pharmacy; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Remedy is a song about healing and overcoming difficulties, something which we all accomplish with the help of our friends at the School of Pharmacy.

School of Nursing- Tired

Both the majors in this school and Adele find their true state in this song as they like to remind us after excessive all-nighters that they are, indeed, tired.

Jackson School of Geosciences- Rolling in the Deep

Jackson School of Geosciences; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Rolling in  the deep is a song that not only references the hard work that students of this school have to put in, but also vaguely reminds you of a boulder rolling down a hill. Something which is not only poetic about the song but is similar to the plight of many of the majors in this school.

Featured image by Nicholas Muniz

Is It A Rip-Off?: 2nd Street Edition

Second St. District is known in Austin for its vibrant boutiques, countless dining options and stunningly lit-up trees. It’s full of unique things to do and see — but half of them are complete rip-offs. So I’m here to tell you what’s best and what’s a mess. This week’s subject: Second Street.

1. Milk + Honey Spa

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: Let me get this started by saying, I’m all for treating yourself to a relaxing day and spas can be a great way to do that. However, paying $40 for a basic manicure or $80 for a simple haircut seems like the opposite of relaxing to me.

2. Toy Joy

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: Toy Joy is your childhood dream come to life. From one-of-a-kind toys to adorable trinkets to classic board games, everything you need for a fun day is here. It’s a blast for kids and adults alike. 

3. Violet Crown Cinema 

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: This is your chance to see awesome movies and support your local community at the same time. The Violet Crown partners with local businesses and nonprofits. So you can feel good about stopping by to watch a wide array of movies, from newly emerging cinema to beloved classics. 

4. Austin Rocks

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: This place is the textbook definition of a tourist trap. It’s full of overpriced souvenirs like $30 graphic t-shirts and $65 beach chairs. Trust me, your money is better spent elsewhere on Second Street.

5. Yummi Joy

Verdict: Rip-Off AND Worth It!

Why: This place, while arguably overpriced, is full of so many unique treats. From dill pickle soda to homemade chocolate pecan caramel fudge to grand truffles, Yummi Joy really does have something for everyone. Your wallet may be empty when you walk out of here but your stomach and heart will be full. 

Now go forward and stride down Second Street with truffles in one hand and Violet Crown tickets in the other. You’re ready for this! You won’t be scammed today. 

6 Places to walk around UT Campus

With midterm season in full swing, life can get pretty stressful, but it’s important to take some time to prioritize yourself and your well-being. Taking a walk is a great way to boost your energy and improve your mood when you need a break from classes and endless studying. Lucky for us, the UT campus is full of peaceful environments where students can walk around and explore new parts of the 40 Acres. Here’s a list of some places around campus to walk around and take a break from the stresses of being a college student.   

Speedway

We may not be in the Land of Oz, but we can still take a walk down the yellow brick road at UT. If you’re looking for a convenient place to walk on campus, Speedway is the way to go. Located in what seems like the middle of campus, Speedway is great for when you need to regroup between classes and don’t want to venture far from your next class. My only advice? Watch out for cyclists.  

The Drag

If you’re in the mood for some window shopping while you walk, the Drag is perfect for you. The Drag is a portion of Guadalupe Street across the street from the UT campus with stores, restaurants and other places to check out. While you may have to resist the urge to spend money at Chipotle or Urban Outfitters, the Drag is a great place to walk and take in Austin life.  

Pease Park

Located near the UT campus, Pease Park is a great place to walk and admire nature. Exploring a park can help you take your mind off school because being surrounded by school-related buildings 24/7 is not ideal — I know from experience. Put on your walking shoes and take a trip to Pease Park, where you can forget about Canvas and immerse yourself in nature for a few hours. 

Clark Field

Take a trip to the Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field, which has a recreational jogging track where you can run or walk. Clark Field is located near many residence halls, such as Jester East and West and San Jacinto Hall, making it a convenient place for students to walk after a long day of classes. Plus, while you walk, you can show your support for the Texas lacrosse teams! 

Waller Creek

Waller Creek is a stream and ecosystem that bisects UT and makes for a peaceful walk. The creek extends through different parts of campus, passing by interesting places to explore along the way. From the School of Nursing to the edge of UT’s main campus, walking along Waller Creek will help you destress and familiarize yourself with the campus. Check out this self-guided walking tour of Waller Creek!

South Mall

Depending on the direction, walking up the South Mall can be tiring. The uphill is not ideal, but the view makes up for the burning calves. Who wouldn’t want to look up and see overarching trees and a glimpse of the UT Tower on their walk? If you get tired on the walk — like I usually do — there are benches located along the path, or you could sit on the South Mall Lawn, which is always relaxing. 

The UT campus is full of great places to take a walk and unwind, regardless of the time of day. While school is important, our health is too, so I encourage everyone to put on their walking shoes and go outside!

Why You Should Watch HBO’s Succession

In the words of Keep It podcast host, Ira Madison III, HBO’s Succession is “white excellence.”

Succession follows billionaire Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the head of a fictional global media and entertainment conglomerate called Waystar RoyCo, whose children are fighting for control of the company. His children include Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Sioban aka Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin).

The show also features characters outside the Roy family, including longtime legal advisor Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron), Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), a distant family member later employed by the company and Shiv’s husband, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), who becomes a Waystar executive.

A friend of mine recommended Succession to me during the summer, and I became unexpectedly obsessed. In honor of season three starting earlier this month, I compiled a list of reasons to start watching and following this dysfunctional family known as the Roys.

Uniquely Timely

Ever since I started watching the first season, I felt like Succession was the type of television show that matches the current state of the world. Whether or not that is a good thing about the world we live in remains unanswered.

Succession is a story about power, specifically who deserves to wield such power, and who struggles to hold onto it. It is also about loyalty and respect, as well as the consequences of power moves made by characters.

Something else that caught my attention early on was the various businesses at Waystar Royco, including media outlets, entertainment, parks/cruises and resorts. The company also has a fictional, conservative-leaning news network called ATN, which might draw on the Murdoch family and their public battles over the years. While the show isn’t necessarily political, its fictional world and characters are inspired by real-life prominent families and their problems.

Chaotic, Satirical and Comedic

In a scene from the second season, Logan tests the loyalty of some executives and family members in a humiliating mind game called “Boar on the Floor”. In the sadistic game, Logan orders three employees to oink like piggies and fight for sausages. He also leads the other employees and family members to chant “boar on the floor.”

It is a hilarious but demeaning game without any rules except Logan’s demands. However, it is also an example of the media mogul’s insidious ways to wield power against those below him.

In another scene from the second season, Cousin Greg and Tom are locked in a safe room (actually just a small random office) after a gunshot goes off in the building. Trapped and waiting to be released, Greg confesses to Tom that he no longer wants to work at ATN, suggesting they have a “business open relationship” instead.

However, this conversation does not go over well, as Braun explained with GQ Magazine, “Greg has failed to do this conversation correctly… so he now has to try and backpedal.” In a fit of anger, Tom pelts water bottles at him. While Greg attempts to dodge his attacks and call a security guard for help, Tom stops him by shouting, “This is executive-level business.”

Its messy, chaotic energy makes this scene a personal favorite. Tom doesn’t want to lose Greg and feels a sense of protectiveness over him. However, Greg admits he’s not very happy working in a workplace environment like ATN. It is just a pure mess, and I love it.

Opening Theme and Background Music

I always love when a television show has an opening theme that hits incredibly hard, and Succession is a perfect example. With its soothing sound reminiscent of falling coins, its richness matches the show perfectly.

I will never press the “skip intro” button when watching an episode of Succession. It is just too good to not hear and enjoy.

Just like the opening theme, the background music during episodes is also top quality. Music often sets the tone of a scene and composer Nicholas Britell who wrote the soundtrack for the show nails this. Britell has also scored Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” earning him nominations for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards.

Best Swearing and Insults

In its two seasons, Succession has become known as a gold mine for iconic quotes and brutal insults. From addiction problems to childhood trauma, nothing is off-limits and nobody is safe from a cruel put-down. Typically, you will hear Logan call out his children by shouting, “F*ck off.”

In the second episode of the first season, the Roy siblings argue over who should run the company while Logan is unfit. Though Kendall is the presumed successor, he often struggles to prove his worth to his father, partially due to his substance abuse and difficulty maintaining a relationship with his estranged wife and two children.

The siblings feud back and forth throughout the episode. At one point, Roman crosses the line after he tells Kendall, “I think [Logan] meant to say he wished mom gave birth to a can opener, because at least then it would be useful.”

In the first season, Kendall works with a college friend, Stewy (Arian Moayed) to organize a hostile takeover of the company. In the end, Kendall backs out of the takeover, and Stewy is fueled by rage. When they see each other for the first time in the second season, Stewy snaps at his old friend saying, “F**k you, you pusillanimous piece of f**king fool’s gold. F**king, silver spoon a**hole.” It is such a beautiful, angry and unstated intelligent line.

The Worst Family in America

Often when a television show or film has an unlikeable character who is in the lead cast, I find it difficult to root for them. This is not the case for Succession. While these characters are terrible, you will love to hate them.

Ultra-rich people who love to shove their wealth down everyone else’s throat are obnoxious and annoying, which the Roys are especially known for doing. On the other hand, there is something so entertaining about watching a dysfunctional corporate family be such a mess all the time.

Credit: @nocontextroyco on Twitter

Not even a weekend-long family therapy session at Connor’s ranch in New Mexico can salvage a tiny bit of the Roys. Once again, it is a pure mess, and I enjoy every second of it.

An Amazing Cast

Besides its compelling characters and sharp dialogue, Succession is full of talented performers. At the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, the dysfunctional media dynasty drama scored 18 nominations including individual nominations for a majority of the main cast.

Jeremy Strong won for outstanding performance in a drama series last year but after the first episode of season three, I am already on board for his 2022 Emmy campaign. I still love my Emmy losers, Sarah Snook and Nicholas Braun, I am also rooting for them to win.

As a fan of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, watching the cast all together (well, minus Jeremy) get interviewed by him was a major serotonin boost. I am not being dramatic, it has some wonderful moments that I just love. 

For instance, Sarah says she’d like to play Roman if only she could play him as good as Kieran, to which he tells her to f**k off because he can’t take a compliment. He acts so much like his character, which makes the moment better. To top it off, Brian and J. Smith-Cameron attack him to accept the compliment.

Final Thoughts

HBO’s Succession has become the type of television show I didn’t know I needed. Now caught up on both seasons, I have so much excitement for season three and what the Roys will bring me next. If you need something new to watch and have a subscription to HBOMax, consider giving Succession a watch!

Credit: @nocontextroyco on Twitter

The first two seasons of Succession are available to stream on HBO Max. New episodes air Sunday at 9/8c p.m. on HBO Max.

Featured image courtesy of HBO

feeling sophomore slumped? you’re not alone

I threw up the day I had to leave campus and return home at the end of my freshmen year. I didn’t want to leave my college bubble and had actually avoided going home that entire year. I left freshman year feeling accomplished both academically and socially. Once I returned to Austin for year two, I figured this feeling of excitement and community would return. I’d be ready to work harder, make more connections and more memories. 

The minute I returned to campus something felt off. I felt drained before the year even began, but blamed it on the nerves of beginning a new school year in person. Weeks of classes went by yet something still felt wrong. I wasn’t motivated, deadlines passed without submission, talks of the wonderful internships I could soon apply for filled me with dread, I withdrew from friends, and walks to my beloved turtle pond didn’t excite me as they used to. I started longing to go back home. Even the tower, which was once a landmark representing success and anticipation to me, became just another building. I didn’t know why I felt this way until I came across the phenomenon known as “the sophomore slump.”

Though it has many components, and everyone feels it differently, the sophomore slump is a period of disconnection from college life for second-year students. The excitement of independence and “firsts” from freshman year has worn off and you’re left feeling dejected. Students find it hard to maintain their college enthusiasm and live up to the academic and social successes of year one. They may feel emotionally detached from their college towns, pressured to declare a major and make big career decisions, or confused on what they want out of the ‘college experience’ overall. 

Second year journalism student Ileana Fernandez agreed that there’s a “slump in the air”.

“My school work has been piling on and it seems I can never catch a break,” Fernandez said. “A two-day weekend is barely enough time to catch my breath. Balancing my job and academics while still attempting to have somewhat of a social life drains me. To be honest I’m just trying to make it through the week, every week, again and again.”

Especially after the pandemic hindered the normalcy of freshman year for the class of 2024, many students came into sophomore year without social groups or familiarity with the campus. Fernandez and sophomore Daja Dansby both stayed home last year. While many classes are still online this semester, Dansby said zoom learning can make school feel non-existent. 

“When you learn online it’s so easy to pretend like school doesn’t exist. Like the black boxes on zoom aren’t real people, and like you aren’t really working towards anything,” she said.

“I didn’t know the sophomore slump was a thing until recently,” Dansby added. “I think the fact that we all lost a year to COVID has a lot to do with our collective lack of motivation. This stage in our lives is just a difficult one. We’re away from our friends and family for the first time, we’re messing up and learning lessons, losing friends and making more; we’re experiencing everything that comes with entering young adulthood. Pair that with living during a pandemic alongside the pressure of still needing to strive and succeed. It’s a lot, I’m not surprised we’re all going through it.”

There’s no vaccine for this illness ailing the sophomore class. This phenomenon of collective unmotivation is felt so widely by a myriad of students that it was given its own name. It’s important to remember that the sophomore slump is, indeed, collective. It’s not new and it’s felt by students everywhere. College combined with figuring out who you are as a person, and what you want in life is overwhelming; burnout is inevitable at one point or another. Learning how to cope can be difficult. There’s always hobbies to relieve yourself like podcasts, painting, journaling or exercising, but counseling is also a viable resource. Appointments can be booked at the CMHC to get whatever you need off your chest.  This is a battle not fought alone.

“To anyone feeling the same way, please know that there’s nothing wrong with you,” Dansby said. “You aren’t behind, you aren’t dumb. College is just hard. It’s okay to mess up and get stuck in slumps, it happens to everyone. You’re learning, which is what we’re all here for. You’ll get where you need to be eventually. Be gentle with yourself.”

Featured Image by Tara Phipps