I am currently the guest blogger for The University of Texas Co-Op. Check them out @ www.universitycoop.com/info/blog
Hook ’em! \m/
“15 Things that make UT uniquely awesome!”
In light of national signing day, I thought I would point out some of the things that make UT so special. Reassuring our new Longhorns why they made the right decision. And reminding the rest of us why we chose to be Longhorns. To say The University of Texas is unique is an understatement. This university is not like the rest. And in my opinion, that’s what makes it the best.
Too exclusive to be a bear, eagle, or some form of cat species. Too classy to be portrayed as a rebel or warrior. Intimidating, yet not frightening. Definitely memorable. What better way to represent the state of Texas than with a Longhorn steer colored in beautiful burnt orange?! You know who you are up against when you see those unforgettable horns. Always cool, calm, and collected. Bevo is a LEGEND.
And he currently just had his 98th birthday. Happy late birthday Bevo! You sexy not-so-little beast.
There’s no mistaking that burnt orange and white. Named as the #1 best team color in college football by USA Today, burnt orange truly is unique. Basic colors look nice and all. But let’s be honest, we aren’t basic. We’re one of a kind.
Hell, the sky stays burnt orange in Austin.
You can’t call yourself unique until you have an entire television network created solely for your university. The first of its kind. Now that the days of “everybody meet me at The Tavern because it’s one of the only three places in Austin that can show the game” are over, life is so much more content having LHN in the depths of our own homes. Don’t feel like watching reruns of the ATM game, or hearing nothing but the SEC over and over again? Turn to Longhorn Network. A network devoted to the “Come Early. Be Loud. Stay Late. Wear Orange” way of life.
You don’t have to venture into the city to get your art fix. Walking down the Drag will give you half the exposure as most museums. Okay, not literally. You are likely to see many “original” pieces, however.
Ya know, just making small talk.
Music from the tower
Who needs iHeart Radio when you have the Carillon bells?! As you walk to class among your colleagues, some of the smartest individuals in the country, there is music in the air. Music coming from huge bells inside of the tower, that are over 100 years old. There really is nothing like it.
Boots, boots, boots
While yes, cowboy boots on game days has become a common occurrence on many university campuses, there is something different when you pair that with burnt orange. What’s better than a sea of orange and white, cowboy hats, overwhelming school pride, and a pair of worn in, comfortable boots? That my friends, is what I like to call TEXAS.
I mean honestly, you can’t tell me you have ever seen a more beautiful pair of Lucchese’s. Am I wrong?!
Sanya Richards-Ross. Kevin Durant. You name it. In total, Longhorns have won 130 medals, 73 of which were gold. During the 2013 Olympics in London, UT ranked in the top 5 of all U.S. colleges, and would have ranked in the top 17 if the university was a country. Not trying to brag or anything, but that is pretty impressive. Just kidding. I’m totally bragging.
A little birdie once told me, “You can’t have Texas without the Exes”.There’s something to be said for the amount of people who remain involved after graduating from this university. The scholarships are endless. The support is never-ending. The donations are outrageously generous. The alumni group at this university really is one of a kind. They are also the reason why it is sometimes close to impossible to find a football ticket. No, but seriously. I bet 50% of the crowd consists of Texas Exes. For all the students out there, no worries. Your time will come.
I mean the guy is pretty damn proud to be a longhorn if you ask me.
It’s true. Everything is bigger in Texas. And if the size doesn’t impress you, the four brand members wearing hot as hell uniforms spinning the drum in a full on sprint during the heat of the day most likely will. Go big or go home, right?
Smokey the Cannon
Once again. Just in case the cowboy boots, hats, and chaps didn’t give it away, we have an artillery cannon to remind you that we are Texas. Plus, who doesn’t love scaring the sh*t out of the opposing team every time we score?! Always helpin’ y’all out on defense, boys.
Hook ’em sign
Harley Clark discovered how to form a hand sign to represent our Longhorns in 1955, and a tradition was born. Whether it be in cheer, in sorrow, or to represent pride. When told to “put your horns up”, you put your damn horns up. It’s the easiest way to let others know who you associate with. Plus, it just looks really cool.
Thank you Mr. Clark! You created a legacy.
Lighting the UT Tower orange
Okay, okay, okay. I get it. UT isn’t the only school with some distinguished landmark placed in the heart of the university to symbolize tradition and excellence. However, there isn’t a tower out there that shines like the UT Tower does. From national championships to campus-wide anniversaries and accomplishments. We are proud of every single achievement, and we sure as hell aren’t afraid to show it. The cities very own night-light for those nights spent celebrating victory.
UT is enriched with diversity and culture, and the Drag serves as a playground for expression. Retail stores. Coffee shops. Food marts. An array of various restaurants. Vendors. The Co-op. All in the immediate vicinity of campus. Symbolizing the Longhorn lifestyle we all encompass, not only on school grounds.
The School Song & Fight Songs
“Texas Fight, Texas Fight, and it’s goodbye to A&M”. Longhorns are classy, yes. But we show no mercy when it comes to rivals. Most likely if we don’t like you, we will find a way to put you into one of our songs. And in case you have forgotten, “The eyes of Texas are upon you, till Gabriel blows his horn”. Oh, and it’s 9:03 am and OU still sucks. Obviously.
Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride for our state.
Pride for our team.
Pride for our university.
Even Beyoncé has that Texas pride.
So if you came here looking for tradition, you’re in the right place. For greatness, you made the right choice. If you are searching for a place full of passion and pride, this is where you belong. If you came here because you wanted something ordinary, then you should search elsewhere.
Congratulations to all of the new recruits that just made the decision of a lifetime to become a Longhorn! I promise that you won’t be disappointed. Welcome to the family. Hook ’em! \m/
“10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Starting Classes at UT”
As if y’all don’t have enough to worry about with classes starting up this week, I wanted to take a second and offer some advice on the little things that might come in handy throughout the next semester. The course catalog is helpful and all, but sometimes I wish there would have been a survival guide for me during my time as a student. While I could go on forever, I decided to highlight the top 10 things I wish I had known before starting classes at UT Austin.
1. The Forty Acres is much larger than it seems
Figuring out how to get around can be challenging in the beginning. It is VITAL to avoid scheduling back-to-back classes that are on opposite sides of campus. Trust me on this one. You really haven’t tested your limits until you are sprinting in the blazing Texas heat to your second mid-term of the day, dodging the pedestrians and bikers all the way. The Speedway traffic is literally no joke in between classes. 2. A lot of people will hate on you for going to UT
Let them hate. They are just jealous. And for some people, this can happen over night. It may feel like one minute you have a lot in common, and before you know it there is an aura of despise. You shouldn’t have to feel bad for being a part of one of the best institutions in the nation. Take it all with a grain of salt. Especially if their favorite color is maroon. Silly Aggies. I don’t know a single person that has ever taken offense to the rearranging of letters from UT to TU, but good try! 3. Double Dave’s 2 for 1 Tuesdays
Food carts on campus. Two locations. 21st & Speedway and 24th & Speedway. Two fat pizza rolls for under a couple of dollars. Warm and delicious. You’re welcome. 4. Parking is hard to come by
Finding a parking spot without a permit is basically obsolete, and can be a real pain in the ass when you are already running late to class. Over time you learn where the secret spots are, and how to slide out of fines when parking illegally. Until then, invest in a bike, a bus route map, and a nice pair of headphones. And you might as well go ahead and put your name on the waiting list if you are willing to pay a hefty sum for a garage permit. But don’t be alarmed if you’re classified as an upperclassmen before you get notified. Supply and demand doesn’t really exist when it comes to parking on campus. Hey y’all, the struggle is real for everyone. 5. Getting into the classes you want is a skill that is hard to master
Unless you are an athlete or an upperclassman, you might as well cross your fingers and hope for the best when registering for classes. With over 50,000 eager students fighting to perfect their schedule, it can get dirty during open registration. Even if you haven’t gone to a single 8 am morning class all semester, your ass better be at a computer ready to go the minute you gain access to register. I love having a full Friday coarse load, said no one ever. 6.How to find the best study spot
Mid way through a semester can often times be such a blur. Having a go-to place where you can recollect your thoughts, consume unhealthy amounts of coffee, and try to make sense of what has been happening in your classes all semester can be the difference between surviving and having a mental breakdown. One most remember that there is a hierarchy of campus study locations, depending on your mood and how much time you have left before the test. I will share a few of my favorites, but every successful Longhorn knows not to reveal all of their secret study spots. In case of emergencies, of course.
The Life Sciences library. The closest thing to Hogwarts on campus. The place to go when you are still in a “calm and collected” state.
The Six Pack in the South Mall. The spot to go between classes to quickly review a chapter while simultaneously getting some vitamin D. The Casual Corner. A beautiful place to visit when you need a reminder of why you are here.
The infamous PCL 5th floor. A space of constant pandemonium and gossip. A world full of never-ending ways to procrastinate.
7. You will become a number
At least initially. Depending on where you are coming from, this may become more or less of a shock for you. Life can start to feel pretty overwhelming when you realize how small of a presence you have in a sea of colleagues. Hell, Jester dormitory once had its own zip code. However, once you get comfortable with your college life, you can do things to avoid becoming invisible. And you should! Join an organization. Get involved in student government. Apply to work on campus. Even if it’s merely starting your own study group, you’re better off when surrounded by others. And by that, I don’t mean “I feel like I’m walking through a human stampede on the way to class” surrounded by others.
8. Spotting one of the albino squirrels before a test is good luck
Don’t ask why. It just is. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware of this until grad school. As if acknowledging that UT has their own species of albino squirrels wasn’t weird enough, you’re expected to know that they are associated with good juju. And the scavenger hunt continues. 9. You CAN do it all
While you are still in that initial “oh sh*t, college is way harder than high school and I’m definitely going to fail” period, it’s easy to forget that the full college experience is so much more than just academics. Especially at the Forty Acres. There are way too many opportunities that you won’t want to miss out on. It’s imperative to prioritize what’s important, while still managing your time in a way that allows you to enjoy everything that UT has to offer.
Like Texas tailgating and Longhorn football…
…that West campus life…
…everything that is Austin…
…and more Longhorn football
10. What starts here changes the world Call me cheesy, but it’s true what they say. Your time spent at the Forty Acres will encompass the best and worst moments of your life, and it will be over before you know it. In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle of what is college, it can be hard to sit back and recognize how privileged you are to be at such an amazing university. So when you are having one of those stressful “this is definitely what depression feels like” weeks, take a second to reflect on all of the great people and great accomplishments that have come from this one-of-a-kind school. Just as those that have come and gone, you too can change the world.
I hope you guys have a fabulous first week back! Welcome home. Hook ’em!