The transition from hometown hero to authorized Austinite doesn’t happen overnight. Hipster culture can be vastly different from your community in Small Town, Texas, and with the other obstacles of being a college student, life in Austin takes some getting used to. So how do you know if you’ve gotten the official stamp of approval and are actively Keeping Austin Weird? Here’s a list to walk you through the steps of your transition.
Story by Claire Hardwick
Illustrations by Jesus Acosta
You’ve grown hair, lots of it.
So it’s an upwards of 90 degrees all day long — who cares? In the 512, everyone is free to let their hair grow long and luscious. Rock a beard. Let your leg hair flow. Not only will you be prepared for winter (if it ever comes), but you will also look like you belong in the capital city.
You’ve got a convenient form of transportation.
Austin is full of hills and paths to navigate when you’re walking to and from class, so you have found a reliable and, most importantly, quick form of transportation. Biking, skateboarding or even pulling up on a razor scooter gets you to class sooner. You could walk, but your alternate forms of transport let you sleep in that much longer, while also allowing you to breeze through campus without any cares (with the exception of crowds of pedestrians.)
You’ve got the ultimate “walking to class” playlist.
You’re in the “live music capital of the world,” so the old playlist of Top 40 pop songs and Glee covers just doesn’t cut it. You started diversifying your music library by hitting up Soundcloud, Pandora, Spotify, 8tracks and every other music platform you could find to help you discover the most underground artists possible. Now when you go to class, you feel like a true Austinite. When someone doesn’t know the band you’re bobbing your head to, reply the following nonchalantly: “Oh you haven’t heard of them?”
You’ve mastered the art of cheap eating.
The combination of being a college student and living in Austin means that you probably aren’t rolling in piles of money. It’s necessary to eat on a budget, so surviving on what’s left in your fridge and what you scavenge from various free events is a no-brainer. You constantly hit up university and community events in search of your next free meal, even if they don’t apply to you. It’s been said that at University of Texas at Austin you can live off free pizza for weeks at a time.
You’ve embraced the comfort of college style.
In the past, you lived a stylish life in the comfort of your high school’s air conditioning. Being a college student in Texas has changed all of that. You envy people who, despite triple digit weather, continue to look fierce without the hint of a sweat stain. You may find it easier to embrace what is typically called the “college uniform,” consisting of your baggiest shirt, most comfortable athletic shorts and a supportive shoe for added comfort.
You always say yes to new adventures.
Obviously you don’t say yes to jumping off a cliff, unless you’re going cliff diving, but you make use of your new environment. In Austin, there are so many amazing places to go hike, swim, shop, listen to music, drink coffee and more. You never let your wondrous city go to waste, and have made it your mission to explore Austin from the depths of the Greenbelt to the top of Mount Bonnell.