Tag Archives: utaustin

5 Ways to have a good day with mike

Everyone loves the UT Parking Guard Mike from PTS for his uplifting personality and inspirational quotes (especially when we’re having a rough day). But I wondered how he’s so cheerful all the time — And how can the rest of us have a positive attitude like him?

I sat down with Mike to ask him what tips he has for students to have a better outlook on their day.

1. Have Longhorn Pride!

Have pride because we are here to represent what the longhorns are about — what starts here changes the world. It does if you understand what changing the world means. The change comes within the part that you can play within the University of Texas. We want to take you from where you are now to shock the world.

2. Slow down and smile!

Not everybody is smiling, so you have to figure out ways to reach people. So that was when I came up with the ‘pound,’ the ‘high five’ and ‘fist bump’. Just getting students to do some type of activity because if you watch them, they’re in their own world, their zone. Why? Because they study all night, they’re under pressure. So my thing is trying to get the students to slow down and realize where they are at that point. 

3. Life is stressful but that’s okay!

I want students to understand you are going to have a lot of tests here at UT. When you go to take a test, you always have to prepare. Poor preparation means poor production. But also in preparing, you have to realize you always have to take care of yourself. It’s not about how much you can stuff into your mind; it is about how much you can retain. There is always going to be some stress, life is full of stress, but it is how you achieve going through the stress and coming out on the other side.

4. Strive for an A!

You did not study to get a C; you studied to get an A+. So that’s your drive. Go into class with that drive. Go into class and get that A. I wanna give you that winning mentality.

5. Follow Your Heart — Your heart will be with you always.

Understand what your heart does for you. Without your heart, your body doesn’t work. So understand how much of a role your heart plays within your life. Understand that everything that comes out of your mouth and out of your mind has developed in your heart. So focus on your heart.

Whenever you need an uplifting piece of advice or just a solid fist bump — you can stop by and say hi to Mike during the school week by the parking post off 24th Street and Whitis Avenue. 

Featured Image by Katie Shanina

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.   


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!

ATX: An Outside Perspective

I am not from Austin, Texas. In fact, I am from the opposite of Austin, Texas— a small, country town with only a school and a gas station to its name. During my first few days living in the city, I experienced mixed feelings about my new home. I despised waiting for 20 minutes just to cross the street and having to walk a mile to Target to get an overpriced toothbrush. But I loved the bustling energy of The Drag and the millions of lights that shone throughout the city at night. After my experience, I wanted to talk to some other first year students who aren’t originally from Austin to see how their first impression of Austin compared to mine. 

Leonel Castillo is an aerospace engineering major from San Antonio, Texas. He also participates in the engineering student organization Longhorn Racing.

Leonel Castillo

What is the biggest difference between Austin and your hometown?

San Antonio is significantly more sprawled, meaning less people packed together and better traffic, but you need a car to get everywhere. San Antonio also is rich in Mexican heritage, and as a Mexican, it makes me feel right at home. Austin doesn’t have any of that cultural spice, so I have yet to find that sense of being at home.

What was your first day living in Austin like?

It was overwhelming, because of the new city-scape and the whole not knowing anybody thing.

What do you like about Austin? 

The food, the people, urban planning, the emphasis on transit (busses, rails, bike lanes) and the capitol building.

What do you dislike about Austin?

The hills. It’s difficult to ride my bike. Campus is very hilly, and so is much of downtown. I also dislike how unsafe it feels after 8 p.m. off-campus.

If there was one thing you would change about the city to make it more accommodating for you as a student/resident, what would it be?

I’d increase the number of buses that go around campus and take students directly to shopping centers and such. Or maybe even open more supermarkets closer to campus.

Before you arrived at Austin, what initial expectations did you have for your new life here?

I expected to travel wherever I wanted without a car because of the great urban planning, but also was aware of the homeless people and tents creeping near campus that could offer some trouble.

In your first few weeks in Austin, if you have shared Leo’s concerns about safety, consider traveling with a friend or using transportation services such as UT Night Rides or SureWalk. If you’ve found yourself struggling to bike up a formidable hill or missing a hometown that is rich with your cultural heritage— you’re not alone. Austin is an extremely diverse city, so the various cultures tend to blur together— it can be overwhelming. Go out and explore the city. I promise that you will find the “cultural spice” you’re looking for.

Featured image by Tara Phipps