Austinomics

Glory to the Green

The end of my time at the University of North Texas as an undergraduate student has all too quickly come to an end. This Saturday I will leave my life as a student behind and walk across the stage and receive my diploma; a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. My time at UNT has been special. I am thankful for every minute I’ve been able to call this campus my home. From living in a terrible apartment to being one of just a handful of students standing in the rain in December watching Lance Dunbar break the all time rushing record, I will cherish each and every memory.

I arrived on campus as a know-it-all-already libertarian, eager to finish school and make my mark in the real world. In fact, I had actually considered transferring away from UNT because I thought it was too easy (ironic for someone who made a 2.5 GPA his first semester). But then, I took some calculus. I took some advanced economics. Later, I took a course in environmental philosophy taught by a guy named Joey. I realized I didn’t have any of the answers. The academics at UNT, along with one of the most diverse student bodies in the state of Texas really broadened my horizons. I am intellectually honest enough to consider others’ ideas and understand that my own may not be correct. My heart has softened to sympathize with those less fortunate. I understand what it means to support your team because they are your own. For these things, I am grateful.

I have met some amazing people at UNT and in the city of Denton. Everyone who helped create and support my student organization, Mean Green Dodgeball, will not be forgotten. I look forward to connecting with each member again someday. The blue-collar yet creative heartbeat is what makes Denton and UNT so special; it truly is a melting pot.

I will be joining UNT as a full-time staff member starting in January, but there will always be a special place in my heart during my time as an undergraduate. Whenever else in your life are you going to leave a library at 2:00 am to take a break from studying accounting? Yeah, I’m weird because I’ll miss things like that, but my perspective is this: I have the rest of my life to work. I’m going to enjoy everything I can now, even if it is staying up until 2:00 am to study for something like financial markets and institutions.

I’ll end by saying this: If I could do it all over again, I would. The stress of finals, the 8:00 am classes, Spanish, football games, basketball games, papers, Big Mike’s coffee. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and I would do it all again at the University of North Texas.

Singing glory to the green, singing glory to the white,

For we know our university is striving for the right;

Down the corridor of years, we’ll forget the joys and tears,

But North Texas, North Texas, we love!

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Starbucks Season

It is officially cold, and you know what that means? Starbucks. Yes indeed, the little coffee shop with the green logo located on every corner in America; serving the best of burned beans to all craving a caffeine buzz. Starbucks has capitalized on Christmas and the holiday season more than any other company in recent years, and I’m not just talking about how they’ve completely monopolized the white-girl market with their pumpkin spiced lattes.

The reason why Starbucks is so successful is because Starbucks has managed to make you think of their brand when you think of Christmas, without actually trying to sell you on Christmas. All other brands take the following approach to the holiday season: Let’s advertise to consumers how great our discounts are in hopes to get their money. Starbucks takes this approach: Let’s advertise what the holidays are about (ie friends and family) in hopes that those friends and family will visit us. (Apple put out a similarly successful ad last year.)

What Starbucks does so well in addition to their advertisements goes hand in hand: Their red cups, and their holiday drinks. If it’s November and you see someone walking down the street with a red Starbucks cup, you immediately think it must be close to Thanksgiving or Christmas and you may start to think about one of Starbucks holiday-only drinks such as the pumpkin spiced latte or peppermint mocha. When you think of a peppermint mocha or pumpkin spiced latte, you think of Starbucks. I would argue that if you’re with friends or family during the holidays and someone suggests coffee, it’s almost a given that you will go to Starbucks. I say that not because Starbucks is located on every corner, but because during the holidays you want to enrich your life with the things holidays are about (friends, family). The peppermint mocha appeals so perfectly to nostalgia because everyone as a kid grew up eating candy canes around Christmas. And it’s just too easy to associate the pumpkin spiced latte with a pumpkin pie grandma just pulled out of the oven when you were younger. The Starbucks marketing is so non-hostile which is why it works. You go into a Starbucks during December and you’re not bombarded with red-tag sales, you’re bombarded with friends, family, and memories.

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