Tag Archives: UT austin

How to get Across Campus Quickly

If you’re a freshman like me, chances are you ignored all the warnings about not taking back-to-back classes or you had a little too much confidence about how easy it would be to get across the 40 acres. While online classes have offered a much-needed reprieve for some of these tough transitions, going back to in-person classes might leave some of us in sticky situations. No one can work miracles, but here are some tips about how to get across campus quickly. 

Know the Campus Beforehand 

A couple days before classes, do some recon work to scope out the situation. If you find yourself with a rough transition, make sure you know where both buildings are located and how to get there. If you’re a new student, don’t be afraid to pull out a map — it’s better to not be stuck wandering in circles in the Texas heat. Once you’ve successfully located your buildings, take some time to find the classrooms themselves. The ground floor is not always the first floor, so look for signage to find where you need to be. Also keep in mind that some buildings, such as Welch Hall, have multiple buildings and entry points. Familiarizing yourself with where your classes are will help you get to and from class faster.

Have an Escape Plan 

Just because you’ve made it to a building does not necessarily mean that you know how to get out. With a lot of the buildings here, there are different exits that will take you in vastly different directions. Take some time to find the exit that best positions you for your next class. Chances are the closest exit to your next class won’t be where you entered the building. 

Test it Out

Once you know where your classes are and have worked out a plan of attack to get from one building to the next, see how long the transition naturally takes you. You might be able to make it, but if not, here are some other strategies to cut down your time. 

Speed Walking is Your Best Friend 

It goes without saying that the fastest way to get across campus by foot would be by running. But for those of us who don’t want to show up to our classes drenched in sweat, speed walking is a happy medium that allows you to get across campus quickly without exerting too much energy. IIt can also be a nice mid-day exercise, especially once the weather starts to cool off. Something that I find helpful is listening to music. Not only does following the beat of a song help you with pacing, but also makes your walk more enjoyable. You can calculate your ideal walking pace and then search up songs that fit that bpm. Or, just make a playlist of songs that you really like! 

Cut Across Campus to cut Your Time 

While walking quickly certainly helps, let’s face it— campus is huge, and there’s only so much you can do by yourself. If you’re struggling to get to classes, try to find a different path to take that may end up being faster. Keep in mind that the most direct route may not always be the best one. For example, going down Dean Keeton from Moody to get to the PCL might be fast if you’re going downhill, but is a whole different story on the way back. 

I tested out a couple of different routes, and found that the most efficient way to get from Moody to the PCL was by going straight past Moody, the Littlefield house and the FAC before turning left at Littlefield fountain. However, if your final destination isn’t the PCL, another route might be faster for you! Most routes only differ by one or two minutes between these locations. So if you’re trying to go all the way across campus, it might be more helpful to implement strategies like crossing the street diagonally or walking around people.. 

Give Yourself the Green Light to get to Classes 

The lights themselves are typically red for less than two minutes, but when trying to get across campus in 10 to 15 minutes, every second counts. If you miss a light, see if there’s a way you can keep walking without having to wait. Although it may not be the most direct route, this will save time in the long run. 

With a campus as large as UT, it’s only natural to run into timing issues at one point or another. However, if your schedule seems like an unconquerable task, just take a deep breath, put in your headphones, and speed walk your way to success. 

Featured image by Valeria Aldana

10 Secret Study Spots at UT

If you’re a student at the University of Texas at Austin, then you know all of the hotspots for studying around campus: Perry-Castaneda Library, The Union, Medici Roasting, Flawn Academic Center, etc. There’s only one problem—  you’re never the only one planning to spend your Monday morning at the PCL or a couple of hours at a coffee shop after classes. These places get crowded fast, and it can be difficult to find an open spot and get work done with all the extra noise. 

I asked around and did some branching out this week to compose a list of some underrated study nooks on campus. Here’s my top 10 picks for the best “secret” study spots at UT.

1. Life Sciences Library

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

Let’s start with the libraries. The Perry-Castaneda Library is the largest and most visited library on campus. With six floors, you would think you wouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to sit on a weekday afternoon… wrong. There are lots of other great libraries on the UT campus, such as the Life Sciences Library. One of my friends described this space as having a “Hogwartsy vibe” and after visiting, I can confirm that is 100% true. Located on the second floor of the Main Building, this library is open most days until 5pm and usually has plenty of available seats.

2. Architecture and Planning Library

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

Another location is the Architecture and Planning Library in Battle Hall. This historic building has several long tables and excellent lighting, making it a great late-night study spot.

3. PCL 3rd and 4th Floors

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

The third and fourth floors of the Perry-Castaneda Library are actually pretty great if you’re trying to get some independent studying done. Most people crowd on the fifth and sixth floors, so it can get pretty tricky to find seating up there, but if you don’t mind working in silence, the lower floors are perfect for distraction-free zones.

4. Major Building

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

Did you know that UT students have 24/7 access to their major’s building? All you have to do is enter through the building’s “celebrated entrance” using your UT ID. This ensures that only students have access in order to enhance the safety of studying after hours. These buildings are a great place to study in the evenings, especially since you’ll find that many students are at the PCL, Union and other popular study places late at night.

5. Lucky Lab

Photo by Tara Phipps

I’m a heavy coffee drinker, so I’ve already tried most of the coffee shops on the drag and on campus. Although Medici Roasting might be my favorite place to get coffee, it certainly gets tough to find somewhere to sit. The coffee at Lucky Lab is great as well, and for an added bonus, there are several tables outside to sit and study. 

6. Engineering and Education Research Center

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

I’ve heard good things about studying at the Engineering and Education Research Center. This building is stunning and has big, beautiful windows that let in plenty of natural light. The facility has study rooms, project labs, and multiple tables, desks and comfy couches to use.

7. Welch Hall

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

Welch Hall is right off of Speedway and has both indoor and outdoor study spots. Once the weather cools down a bit more, there are plenty of covered tables in the courtyard that are great. If you prefer studying indoors, however, there are options for that as well.

8. Norman Hackerman Building

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

The Norman Hackerman Building has lots of open tables and lots of windows overlooking campus. This location is a lovely place to study and isn’t too packed. 

9. Empty Classrooms

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

Many people don’t think to study in empty classrooms. If you’re doing late-night or weekend studying, most classrooms are unlocked and unoccupied. As long as you are courteous and leave the room in the condition you found it, empty classrooms are a great place to study.

10. Dorm Study Rooms

Photo by Nicholas Muniz

For those of you living on campus, take advantage of the study lounges in your dorm! If you’re like me and have trouble studying inside of your dorm room, study lounges are a convenient place to camp out. My dorm has a study lounge on each floor, which is awesome for nights I don’t want to leave the building. The study lounge on my floor isn’t too crowded and usually pretty quiet, so I am able to get a lot done when I’m there.

If you plan to study anywhere on or off campus in the evenings, be sure to bring a study buddy living in or around your building, or take advantage of the safety resources offered at UT. SURE Walk and UT Night Rides are great resources that provide ways for you to get back to your home— on or off campus— as safely as possible.

Happy studying!

Featured image by Nicholas Muniz

Reality Dating Shows: Why Do We Like Them So Much?

Living vicariously through strangers’ lives and then judging them for it? Sign me up!

Reality dating shows have started to take over mainstream television. Shows like Love Island, Too Hot to Handle, and Are You the One? have garnered large fan bases throughout their respective runs, which include many college students. 

So, why do we like this subgenre so much?

According to an article by the Hollywood Reporter, TV and streaming viewership has had a 25 percent increase since the pandemic began. Many of the shows that have seen this increase in viewership include reality romance shows, such as The Bachelor, Love Island, 90-Day Fiancé and more.

Since there was a general increase in viewership for all types of shows, it makes perfect sense as to why the reality romance subgenre has also had a surge in popularity recently. But the question now is why is it so popular among the college-age demographic?

Political communications major Cindy Muñoz said that it’s due to being able to see other people make decisions that make you feel more “normal” in comparison.

“I think partly it’s projection When college kids see these shows, they’re able to see people like them make some of these decisions and it makes you feel like maybe you’re not the only one out here making dumb choices,” Muñoz said. “Personally, my favorite show is Too Hot to Handle. It makes me feel a little more sane in this world [when comparing myself to people on the show].”

Since people are able to picture themselves within the contestants on these shows, they quickly become invested.

“Sometimes these shows make it hard to believe [these people’s lives are] true so it lets you escape your stressful everyday life,” Muñoz said. 

Considering these shows often feature groups of 20-somethings that are attempting to figure out how to form genuine and meaningful relationships, it makes sense that college-aged people can relate to their decisions and feelings, despite how outlandish some of it may be. 

But, hey, that’s what makes good television.

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!

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