Peace, Soul, Rock & Roll

I absolutely love live music. In fact, I’ve been too close to the speakers at so many concerts that I have hearing loss in my left ear. When I was in high school, I went to at least one concert a month, if not more. I couldn’t get enough of the atmosphere, the fans, the memories, and the overall experience of a live show. When I got to college at SMU, I thought that I wouldn’t have nearly as much time or money to attend the amount of concerts that I wanted to.

Shortly after the start of my first semester, though, I realized that SMU would make my concert-loving dreams come true. Within a few weeks, I was at a free Aaron Carter concert – who, by the way, was my childhood crush – right outside my commons. At this concert, I happened to push my way to the front and Aaron Carter actually grabbed my phone and took a video of himself on it! Not too long after this, B.o.B. came to McFarlin Auditorium, a 2-minute walk from my residence hall, and SMU students got to open up for him. The next year, I got to not only see, but meet Kailin and and Myles, some vine-famous pop artists who I still listen to today. Chance the Rapper came to SMU that same year. This year, I got to break out my cowboy boots for a free Eli Young Band and Cam concert on the eve of SMU’s 100 year anniversary.

Outside of the free concerts that SMU provides for my friends and me at least a few times a year, we live in Dallas, TX, one of the best places for live music in the nation! I’ve been to countless shows for under $30 over the past few years as an SMU student at all kinds of incredible venues like the House of Blues, Southside Ballroom, or Gexa Energy Pavillion. Just south and west of downtown is my favorite venue ever: The Kessler Theatre. I don’t even have to drive to these concerts, either. SMU students get a $5 DART pass for all four years that we are here, which is the equivalent to two day passes. I can take the DART to pretty much any concert venue I want, and as long as I use my DART pass twice, it pays for itself!

Overall, SMU has provided an incredible experience for me as a live music fanatic. Not only can I walk outside my residential commons and watch free concerts multiple times a year, but I can take the DART for a few minutes and see inexpensive concerts in Dallas. In addition to all of this, as a Finance and English major with a musical performance hobby, I have been able to perform for my fellow students at the Family Weekend Talent Show, Celebration of Lights, and local coffee shops like Union, just a few miles from campus. SMU has already given me so many opportunities to enjoy listening to and performing music, and I still have a few more years to go. We’ll see which concert I see or perform in next!

-Jacqui Jacoby

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At SMU, anything is possible. If you want to have a snowball fight in August, you can! That’s what I did when One28, a campus ministry here at SMU, hosted their annual One28 snowball fight! Every year One28 brings out hundreds of snowballs onto Dallas Hall Lawn, so that students can enjoy the biggest snowball fight of their lives.

My team and I during the snowball fight!

My team and me during the snowball fight!

When asked if I would be willing to be one of the team captains this year, I was ecstatic. I could not wait to lead my team, the red team, to victory. However, to win the glorious honor of being the 2015 One28 Snowball Fight Champions, the next step was to recruit the dream team. I didn’t want the people that were the biggest and strongest, but the people that were dreamers. I wanted a team who understood just how glorious it would be to be crowned the champions. To me, these were the real winners.

After recruiting the final member of the dream team, we were ready to step out onto the field and win. The referee blows the whistle, and snowballs start flying everywhere. It was so much fun. I got hit with snowballs more times than I’d like to admit. We lost, but it didn’t matter. It was a blast, and a great way to cool off especially in August. At the end, each member of the winning team received a paper star. One of the winners didn’t want his star, so I took it. So in the end, I felt like I won anyway.

-James Jang

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Oktoberfest in Munich

I’m fortunate enough to be spending my fall semester in Madrid, Spain through SMU Abroad!

I'm lucky enough to be studying abroad with some friends from SMU; this is us at Oktoberfest!

As a Spanish and International Studies double major, I’ve had the most incredible experience so far practicing the language with my host family and traveling inside and outside of Spain. Even though I’m missing SMU life, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything! There’s so much to learn about the world and all of the cultures within it, and it’s so awesome that SMU allows its students opportunities like this.

I spent this weekend in Munich, Germany for the authentic Oktoberfest and it was absolutely incredible. We spent our first day in the city of Munich itself, which is absolutely beautiful with its vibrant yet quaint city square and Disney-esque architecture. Don’t even get me started on the food. I probably ate my weight in pretzels, sausage, and strudel and it was wonderful. We also took a short train to Salzburg, Austria for dinner Friday night. However, one of the most interesting parts of being in Europe at this particular time is witnessing the current refugee crisis firsthand. We had a late train back to Munich that night which was actually canceled due to the refugee influx, as were all other trains back into Germany. After much frustration and slight panic, we got a hotel room for the night and somehow found a way to get back to Munich on a bus leaving at 5:30am.

It’s safe to say we got minimal sleep this weekend, but it was definitely an experience and the Oktoberfest was one of the most amazing events I’ve ever attended. I like to describe it as the State Fair of Texas on steroids with its carnival rides, authentic German food stands, and thousands upon thousands of people. I’m so humbled by the experiences I’m able to have through SMU Abroad and can’t wait to be back in Dallas for the spring semester!

-Nadine Kakish


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My Advertising Internship

 This summer, I interned at Publicis HCG. I wouldn’t have gotten the internship if it wasn’t for the support and guidance of SMU’s faculty. The Temerlin School of Advertising definitely made sure my application and recommendation letters were of the highest caliber. From 9-5pm, I’d work on projects at my internship. This ranged from planning social events for the office, to writing copy for clients, and even working on an unbranded depression app for the Apple Watch for our intern project. At 5pm, I’d go home to grab dinner and would continue to work from 6-10pm, sometimes even later on passion projects.

My first day in New York was a scene right out of a movie. I managed to get myself to Target via subway, but had no idea how to get back home. The Uber driver who picked me up not only offered me his mixtape and a date the following weekend, but also dropped me off no where near where I needed to be. My phone died and my friends that I somehow managed to find accidentally put me on the wrong train home. When I finally made it back, I realized that between lugging my purchases from Target around town, and grabbing dinner, I had lost my ID to get into my room. I was feeling discouraged, but was hopeful for better days to come.

As the summer moved forward, I became more acquainted with the city and the people that came with it. The one thing that I loved most about interning in NY was the variety of people I befriended and how people were always willing to help me move forward in my career. I also found a friend group that doubled as my family away from home. We made each other laugh, cooked dinner when someone was too busy to feed themselves, and always made it a point to keep each everyone motivated. As interns, we learned to work hard, but to also save some time to play hard as well. We filled our free days with visits to Coney Island, stuffing our faces with delicious food at Smorgasburg, and appreciating all of the art that NYC had to offer. New York was a life changing experience, and I can’t wait to go back for good!

Tien Dang-Tien Dang

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Career Fair at SMU

Evan Giacomini

A couple weeks ago, I got to participate in career fairs brought onto SMU’s campus by the Hegi Family Career and Development center, as well as the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership. Because it is my junior year, I spoke to tons of recruiters about the prospect of interning with their firms this upcoming summer. I was able to connect with over 15 companies including State Farm, Credera, Insight Global, Deloitte and many others. Better still, I was able to see some of my good friends, that had recently graduated, come back to SMU to recruit our students to their companies as well. Additionally, it was so incredible to see how forward thinking our students are, with a good percentage of students in the room being first year or sophomore level students. So far, I am still applying and looking for positions, both in the Dallas area and elsewhere. So far, a company has already contacted me and set up an interview in mid-October for an intern opportunity which I am very excited about. The career centers on campus deserve to be commended for their hard work and success on such wonderful career fairs because they really helped me get my name out into the corporate world with such ease.

-Evan Giacomini

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Homecoming’s Top Perks

Alex HibbardHomecoming is an exciting time at SMU, and this year was no exception. Southern Methodist University was founded in 1911 and opened for 1915. This Homecoming was the 100th birthday of SMU and the faculty and students filled the entire week with fun activities to celebrate 100 years.

Every Homecoming, organizations pair together and participate in different activities. The Homecoming theme this year was based on previous years themes and organizations stuck to their designated theme the entire week. From Field Day to Rock the Vote, members from the organizations participated in all Homecoming events to try and earn points for his/her organization. Throughout the week, individuals painted Mustangs (Peruna Painting), decorated banners, built masterpieces using cans of food, shared images on social media, and built a float.

The celebration expanded way beyond the events listed above. Because this was the 100th birthday celebration of SMU, the school threw many events for students, faculty, and alumni. One of the first big events was the concert in Moody Coliseum. SMU brought in the Eli Young Band and students were able to attend the concert with just the swipe of their ID card. The band was incredible and it was a great way to celebrate SMU’s 100th year. On September 24th, SMU’s actual birthday, students, faculty, alumni, and other notable individuals were all on the north side of campus, celebrating with food, music, and carnival games.

The 100th year celebration ended Saturday Night after the football game with an incredible fireworks show. Fans went down to the field and looked up into the sky as fireworks were shot from all around the stadium. It was one of the most incredible firework shows I had ever been to and it was a great way to end a memorable week.

-Alex Hibbard


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This year I started the Masters of Science in Accounting program at SMU after I graduated in May with a bachelor degree in accounting from the Hilltop. I knew a few things before starting graduate school. I love Dallas and SMU’s presence in the city, so I knew I didn’t want to leave just yet. I knew that this year would be very different from my undergraduate years, but was hoping that some of the great things about SMU would carry over into my graduate studies. After a few weeks into the program, I am pleased to say that ALL of the great things about SMU have carried over.

The majority of my friends studying accounting in my undergrad years followed suit and joined the masters program with me; there is definitely the Mustang Spirit still in the graduate school. Thanks to attending SMU for my undergraduate studies, I have seen or have had most of my professors. I believe that this has fostered a better learning environment since that relationship is already in place. As a student in the MSA program, I still have all the access to SMU facilities and campus perks, am able to cheer on the Mustangs at Boulevards every home game and still have all the opportunities for networking and career help that SMU provides all students. The Cox School of Business has made what would feel like a year in limbo feel like a year as part of a community.

In conclusion, I am so happy I am attending SMU again for my graduate studies. I now understand how truly great SMU is; it makes every student whether they are undergraduate, transfer or graduate, feel a part of the SMU community.

-Liz Crowell


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Time in England!

Coming into college, I knew that studying abroad was something I wanted to do during my undergraduate career. As a double major, however, I was worried that it was going to be impossible. Thankfully, SMU made it possible for me to go to London, England this past summer.

During the three months I was abroad, I took four classes, completed an internship, and conducted research on immigrants. I worked in the middle of Camden Town at a community center called Castlehaven where I did public relations and event planning. Each day for lunch I got to explore the infamous Camden Market—just a block away from Castlehaven. With over 700 shops and vendors, the market is one of London’s biggest and most eclectic. In light of missing Dallas’ Tex Mex, I often found myself at one of the Mexican food stands for a burrito. Austin Whittle

Beyond my internship, I had some amazing experiences in London such as going to Wimbledon, the London Pride Festival, and seeing Fleetwood Mac at the O2. From London, I also travelled to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and more. But now that I am back in America, I miss the things that became a significant part of my English lifestyle: the pubs, the high tea, and the front row seat of the double-decker Tube bus to work. Although I had some of the best times of my life abroad, it’s great to be back at the place that made such opportunities possible!

-Austin Whittle


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SMU’s Centennial Homecoming

Caroline Gurley

I got to visit with President Turner after handing out prizes to Homecoming Queen and King winners!

This year’s Homecoming Celebrations are going to be remembered for a long time to come. SMU had its one hundredth birthday on Thursday, September 24th-the Thursday of Homecoming week! Because of this momentous achievement, SMU celebrated the achievements of the past century and the goals of the next all throughout the week. Students filled their free time by participating in the Homecoming activities and competitions held by SMU’s Student Foundation. I got to participate this year in Homecoming by leading it; I had the honor of being this year’s Student Foundation Homecoming Chair. This means that I got to work with an amazing group of students to plan the whole week. I’ll take some time now to describe what we did.

The week began on Friday, September 18th with candidate interviews. The candidates quickly showed the judges how involved they are at SMU and how much SMU means to them. Float building began the next day. Each year, student organizations build floats that are seen in the Homecoming parade. It is a large part of the competition for Homecoming spirit points, so teams give their best effort to make their float the best!

Sunday was a day full of fun. While float building continued, members from each organization participated in Field Day. Field Day is a race around campus. Each team must figure out a clue to find their next location and perform a task at that location. Each location was a blast!

Each day during the school week had a ton of activities planned as well! On Monday, each organization cheered loud at Rock The Vote, a pep rally celebrating the Homecoming candidates. Coach Chad Morris made an appearance and spoke to everyone about the game coming up. It was awesome! Tuesday was CANstruction. CANstruction is the philanthropic event of Homecoming. Organizations build structures out of cans that are then donated to the North Texas Food Bank. Wednesday was the Centennial Concert Celebration hosted by Program Council. They brought Cam and the Eli Young Band to campus to celebrate the University’s birthday at midnight. Thursday was the university’s 100th birthday. The day was full of celebrations and ceremonies; one that was particularly special was the Centennial Celebration. Thursday was also the night for late night float building that lasted until 2am. The organizations were working hard to finish their floats!

Finally, the weekend arrived! Saturday was a big day for everyone. The parade kicked off the celebrations for that day. Following the parade was the boulevard and then the football game against the James Madison Dukes. Following the game, SMU ended the birthday celebration with the best fireworks show Dallas has ever seen. SMU and the surrounding community came together to celebrate this momentous event. It really was a week that will be remembered for a long time to come!

-Caroline Gurley

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August Term in Taos

Niki CarenzaThis past August I got to study Business Law and Outdoor Adventures at SMU’s second campus in Taos, New Mexico and it was absolutely one of my favorite SMU experiences so far! Our campus is about 20 minutes outside the town of Taos and is entirely SMU students and faculty living and learning on campus. Courses offered range from business to anthropology to biology. Every day, students are in class from 9 am until noon. Afternoons free to explore all Taos has to offer! We have hiking trails right on campus and tons of other trails just minutes away that can take you up the neighboring mountains and show you absolutely breathtaking views. Living in the beautiful mountains of Taos provided the perfect opportunity for going on a hike and getting lost in nature! In my  outdoor adventure sports class, we got to go hiking during the week and on the weekends we got to go rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, and horseback riding.

Another awesome part of studying in Taos was experiencing the local community. Every teacher made sure to take field trips to expose us to the local culture through visits to the local Native American pueblo, a sustainable living community called Earthships, and the Taos Ski Valley. Taos is a fun and funky little town with lots of art and music shops to explore, as well as some incredible restaurants that impressed us – even coming from all the delicious restaurants in Dallas! Taos locals rely on chile peppers in their cooking and it didn’t take us long at all to embrace their style of southwest cooking (even if Dallas Tex Mex will always hold #1 in our hearts!). Overall, the best and most memorable part of Taos was the instant community we all formed being on the smaller campus together and all the days and nights spent exploring Taos and enjoying everything it had to offer!

-Niki Carenza

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