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Why do we like escape rooms?

January 19, 2024

What’s so fun about being locked in a room? If you’ve never taken on the challenge of completing an escape room yourself, you might be asking this question. It’s no doubt that escape rooms and other mind-toggling games have recently increased in popularity. But what makes this strange endeavor so enticing?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an escape room is, “A room in which people are locked in order to play a game requiring them to solve a series of puzzles within a certain amount of time to accomplish a goal, typically finding the key to unlock the room.” Those who agree to be locked in race against the clock and try to find a way out as soon as possible.

In the U.S. escape rooms started to rise in popularity in the 2010s, however, mind-puzzling games have been around for decades. Video game-style escape and mind challenges have roots as early as the 1970s. According to The Escape Game, the first real-life escape game was created in Japan in 2007. Takao Kato created the game after seeing the success of video escape games. The U.S. saw an explosion in escape room popularity in 2014, and today they are found across the country and the globe.

There are several theories as to why escape rooms are so popular. The challenge alone draws many people in, wanting to test their cognitive and deductive reasoning skills. Another reason may be due to the rise in experiential entertainment. This new type of entertainment is becoming more and more popular as people want to “do” rather than just “sit and watch”. Instead of just watching or reading about characters, customers get to be the characters and create their own adventures. Since these rooms are often completed in teams, they can also create a great environment for fostering team building and bonding. When people are locked in a room together, they are often forced to work out any disagreements and help each other escape.

Abby Newman is a Liberty University student who has a history with escape rooms herself. One of Abby’s favorite pastimes is completing escape rooms with her friends and family. When asked why her family enjoys this seemingly odd and difficult game she stated, “It’s fun to work together as a team to discover clues and puzzles all while trying to get out in a certain amount of time. Plus, you feel super accomplished when you make it out!”

Are you interested in taking on a challenge for yourself? Register for Student Activities Labyrinth: Scavenger Hunt. The games begin on Saturday, January 20th at the LaHaye Event Space.




Written by Mary Richey

Mary is a sophomore studying Hospitality Management. She enjoys spending time outdoors, going to coffee shops, and is always up for a road trip. Creative writing has always been one of her favorite hobbies!

Let It Snow

December 1, 2023

Being snowed in for Christmas – it’s not just the plot of the newest Hallmark romcom or an unfortunate side effect of living in the Northeast, but the accidental and irreversible slowing down of the holiday season.

After all, there are decorations to hang. Presents to be bought, wrapped, packed. Flights to catch. Food to be made. Family to catch up with. Movies to watch. And don’t forget to volunteer your time, you should be giving back to the community! While we’re told this is the “most wonderful time of the year,” it can often feel like it’s the most stressful, instead. From November to January, there is more to do than in any other season. And most of our anxiety and hustle is glossed over with glitter and wrapped in ribbon, smiles on our faces saying “I’m doing good! Just busy.”

Then, a storm blows in.

Suddenly, there is no more rush. No chance to do last-minute shopping, let alone get out on the roads. The perfect itinerary is out the window. Snow is piled up into doorframes, icicles cling to the tree branches, the world is white, and Christmas is ruined.

Or is it? Let’s back up.

How is it possible that the holiday season got so busy in the first place? If we were to ask Charlie Brown, he’d say “Everything’s gone commercial.” And I’d have to agree. Often, what keeps us busy is the expectation of spending: from family and friends to home décor and the office white elephant party.

As the holiday momentum picked up in America in the early 1800s, marketers began to catch on to the potential of Christmas to sell goods [1]. “In the early-to-mid 1900s, mass advertising campaigns full of holiday tunes and colorful decorations filled the radio airways and storefronts” [1]. And this fanfare has built upon itself year after year. In 2021, holiday spending climbed to an astronomical $886.7 billion [1]! I’ll be the first to admit that I represent an embarrassing percentage of that number. No one is immune to a little bit of commercialism.

However, as the holiday has become more about the dollar amount, we often can’t resist the rush of ads and sales, becoming swept up in consumerism. We get busier and busier, and Christmas detaches further from its purpose in favor of cash.

Being “snowed in” brings a halt to all of this.

With no more money to be spent, places to go, or décor to perfect, the Christmas season is stripped down to its roots: gathering together with loved ones, sharing in good company, and the joy of Christ’s birth. I think if we were to be locked in our homes for the season, it would serve as a “chilling” wake-up call as to where our priorities truly lie. So, let’s look at three ways we can reorient ourselves this Christmas: gratitude, reflection, and rest.

Consider for a moment: How wonderful is it that so many of us can celebrate Christmas with food, gifts, and loved ones? That we’re given the privilege to pursue our education and finish another semester? That Christ was born to die for our sins? This is the heart of gratitude. When the noise of consumerism and busyness is cut from our lives, we’re given the opportunity to be thankful for both the mundane and the fantastic in our lives. We have a heavenly provision! We’re saved by grace! Who really cares if we don’t find the perfect present?

Reflection, then, gives us the opportunity to look back on the year with fresh eyes. What did we accomplish? What were we proud of? What could we have improved on? How have we grown? Each new year is a chance to improve ourselves, reset our priorities, and establish new resolutions (even if we’ll ditch them by January 2nd). Plowing through November-January without taking time to evaluate ourselves does February us a disservice!

Finally, there’s rest. Contrary to popular belief, busyness is not the same as giving of yourself. It’s easy to think that the more we do for another person, the more we must love them, or if our days aren’t packed full, we’re not trying hard enough.  But the truth is that giving is about intentionality, it’s not measured in hours or dollars spent. And you can’t be intentional without first taking time to rest.

Rest may look like spending time with close family and friends or recharging your social battery in your own company. However you choose to rest, it should result in a newfound stillness, allowing you to reflect on and feel gratitude for the blessings in your life. Only then can we be intentional with those closest to us, give to them graciously, and rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.

(Hint: Jesus is the reason for the season. It’s true.)

So, this holiday, I encourage you to consider this: maybe being “snowed in” isn’t about what’s happening outside, but what could happen inside, instead. And if you’re looking for a chance to join in rest and reflection with the rest of the student body, don’t forget to grab a ticket and join us inside the Vines Center on Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. for Christmas Coffeehouse: Snowed In!

[1] https://yorktownsentry.com/11944/about/staff/2022-23/a-brief-history-of-christmas-and-its-commercialization/


Written by Emma Lane

Emma is a Senior studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Business. While she loves all things photography, fashion, and indie music, creative writing has always been one of her favorite ways to express herself.

There are No Thanksgiving Songs

November 17, 2023

“Why are there are no thanksgiving songs?” That is the question the Student Activities team posed a month ago at our blog meeting. Our team has been busy in preparation for Christmas Coffeehouse: Snowed In. Tryouts wrapped up a few weeks ago, the emcees have been rehearsing and revising their script, the marketing team is pushing out promo videos and beautiful designs, and our evenings and weekends have been spent building and painting photo booths for that big night. And all that is for what? A show dedicated to displaying the talent of our student body through – you guessed it – Christmas music. But before we sprint through those last couple weeks of projects, finals, and Coffeehouse sandwiched somewhere in the middle, we get to return home and spend a day stuffing our faces with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. So, if Thanksgiving is so valued in our culture, why does our holiday music act like it doesn’t exist?

Well, one possible answer is that Thanksgiving is far less marketable than Christmas. I would like to believe that everyone enters into the holiday season with a grateful heart. But in our materialistic-centered society, that is far from true. The songs we listen to tend to attach themselves to memory, and from our mind flows our decisions. If the mall blasts Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” you won’t necessarily think of your special someone but instead recall those amazing Black Friday deals a few years back, when that same song was being played in every store you shopped at. Why are stores now playing Christmas music in October? Perhaps it’s because the earworms subconsciously motivate consumers to make their Christmas purchases long before frost covers the ground. Ty Justice, Student Activities Event Staff, phrased it this: “Thanksgiving is the speed bump on the Christmas highway.” Quite simply, Thanksgiving music is impractical for consumerism.

Another likely reason is that Thanksgiving is insulated to our American culture. Sure, some other countries celebrate Thanksgiving to an extent, but the holiday has roots in our uniquely American history. We understand that Christianity is a global faith. As the Great Commission is being fulfilled, the message of Christ is being spread to every culture in the world, and through the work of Bible translators, more and more people groups are gaining access to the narrative of the birth of Christ. But while the celebration of Christmas naturally follows the spread of the Gospel, Thanksgiving has remained bound to our country and even been diminished due to some of its negative origins.

Certainly, some Thanksgiving songs exist – songs like “Jingle Bells” or “The Thanksgiving Song” by Ben Rector – but these are few and far between. That is if we view Thanksgiving music from the Western understanding of a holiday. But how were the Old Testament festivals and the Sabbath we observe today depicted in Scripture? They were designed to be special days of remembrance, to recall what the Lord has done in the past that impacts our present and will transform our future. How does that relate to Thanksgiving songs?

Two Hebrew words (yadah and towdah), commonly translated as “praise” throughout the Old Testament (especially the Psalms), also mean “thanks” or “thanksgiving.” As believers, we should “[t]hrough Jesus… continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess His name” (Heb. 3:15 NIV). The Greek word used here for praise? Ainesis, which can specifically mean a thank offering. In that case, we sing Thanksgiving songs all year round – in church, in Convocation, in Campus Community.

“There are no Thanksgiving songs.” Oh really? Let me show you the Psalms and the set list for this week’s Sunday service.

As you head home for Thanksgiving break, bump elbows at the table with cousins and your crazy uncle, and nap off your turkey coma, don’t forget to lift your voice in praise. I believe that Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to bring out worship songs like “Gratitude” by Brandon Lake, “Thank You Jesus for the Blood” by Charity Gayle, and the classic “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman.

Then when you return, get ready to turn up that Christmas music and display your amazing talent at our Christmas Open Mic on December 5th. The event starts at 7:00pm and will be held in the Montview Starbucks. We can’t wait to see you there!






Written by Moriah Joseph

Moriah is a sophomore dual major, studying Music & Worship and Elementary Education. She loves to spend her time experimenting on the piano, serving at her church, and hanging out with friends and family. But you also won’t hear her complaining about a good book, mountain views, or dark chocolate. She has always loved writing, so she is so happy to be a part of the Student Activities blog team!

A Love Letter to La La Land

November 6, 2023

Some movies stand out as timeless classics in the film industry, while others leave a lasting impression on our minds and hearts. La La Land, a musical masterpiece by Damien Chazelle from 2016, belongs to the latter group. This captivating movie explores love, dreams, and the allure of Los Angeles in a fresh and original way.


  1. A Love Letter to Los Angeles

A mesmerizing traffic jam that has been transformed into an impromptu song-and-dance number on a Los Angeles freeway serves as the opening scene of “La La Land.” A movie that openly celebrates the City of Angels is immediately inspired by this spectacle. This film will rekindle your love for Los Angeles if you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting or residing there. The movie paints a vivid picture of the city’s beauty and charm by showcasing well-known landmarks like Griffith Observatory, the Watts Towers, and the Hermosa Beach Pier, among others. You’ll want to travel to the locations it depicts or, at the very least, take in the city’s vibrant culture and history from a distance after reading this cinematic love letter.

  1. The Power of Dreaming

Anyone who has ever dared to follow their passion will find “La La Land” to be incredibly relatable. The story of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician with aspirations of starting his own club, and Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, serves as the film’s main character. The dreamer in all of us can relate to their tales of ambition, struggle, and the pursuit of artistic fulfillment.” La La Land” serves as a reminder that our aspirations are worthwhile pursuits in today’s world where practicality is frequently prioritized over passion. It gives us the motivation to stick with our goals despite obstacles. The movie skillfully demonstrates how pursuing one’s dreams can result in extraordinary moments of personal development and artistic achievement, even in the most difficult situations.

  1. A Musical Extravaganza

La La Land is primarily a musical. The movie perfectly choreographs its song and dance numbers, evoking the heyday of Hollywood musicals. Justin Hurwitz’s catchy songs are enduring and have a way of sticking in your head. The songs improve the storytelling and elicit a range of emotions, from joy to melancholy, whether it’s “Another Day of Sun,” City of Stars,” or “A Lovely Night.”

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling put a lot of effort into learning the songs and dance sequences, and their chemistry is undeniable. The characters’ struggles and authenticity are enhanced by this commitment, which makes the movie even more compelling.

  1. A Bittersweet Love Story

La La Land is unquestionably a love story, but it deviates from the typical romantic film formula. Instead, it investigates the complexity of love and possible sacrifices for a person’s dreams. The passionate nature of Mia and Sebastian’s relationship is also tempered by difficulties that put their loyalty to one another to the test.

The movie does a wonderful job of capturing the highs and lows of relationships while also pointing out that falling in love isn’t always easy. You get a strong sense of how fleeting life is and how beautiful moments are that can never be relived from the ending, which I won’t spoil. La La Land stands out from other Hollywood romances because it is a realistic portrayal of love that many people can relate to.

  1. Stunning Cinematography

The work of cinematographer Linus Sandgren in “La La Land” is breathtaking. With its vibrant colors, creative camera work, and meticulous attention to detail, the movie is a visual feast. Long takes are used in the dance sequences to give the performance a sense of immersion and continuity. A true cinematic masterpiece, the movie’s visual aesthetic complements its emotional depth. The film gains authenticity and charm thanks to the choice to use realistic effects and shoot on location. It’s a welcome change from many modern movies’ reliance on CGI. The characters’ journey through the ups and downs of their lives is reflected in the cinematography, which captures the magic of Los Angeles.

  1. An Ode to Jazz

Jazz is a crucial component of “La La Land,” and the movie honors this defining style of American art. The story centers on Sebastian’s love of jazz music, which serves as a compelling backdrop for examining themes of tradition, creativity, and artistic integrity. The movie uses jazz as a metaphor for the characters’ own journeys because it is both timeless and evolving. The effectiveness of music in evoking feelings, telling stories, and establishing connections is effectively illustrated in “La La Land.” It serves as a reminder that even in the most trying circumstances, music can lift our spirits and bring us closer together.

“La La Land” is a cinematic gem that merits viewing due to its moving music, captivating visuals, and heartfelt storytelling. It’s a movie that inspires us to pursue our goals, appreciate Los Angeles’ natural beauty, and comprehend the nuance of human relationships and love. La La Land is a truly magical and unforgettable experience, regardless of whether you enjoy musicals or just enjoy well-made and thought-provoking movies. Why then should you watch “La La Land”? Because it’s a love letter to life, love, and the pursuit of dreams that will leave an emotional and lasting impression on you. This is my favorite movie of all time, and I hope to see all of you in attendance at the Vines Center for Student Activities Movie Night on November 7 at 8:00 p.m.

Here are my favorite quotes from the movie to get you excited.

“People love what other people are passionate about.” -Mia

“I am letting life hit me until it gets tired.” -Sebastian

“I am always going to love you.” -Mia

“I’m a phoenix rising from the ashes” -Sebastian


Written by Justin Rockey

Justin Rockey is a senior Communications major. He is very passionate about the story and creativity of La La Land and was honored to be able to share his excitement with the student body through this blog.

Texas has a Cult Following

October 27, 2023

“Everything is bigger in Texas!” This well-known phrase is often associated with American southern culture. From cowboy hats, boots, country music, and line dancing, Texas and its quintessential elements have gained a cult following in the United States. Chains such as Buc-ee’s, Whataburger, and H.E.B are well known across the nation. Even current social media and fashion trends such as “Coastal Cowgirl” seem to be rooted in Texas heritage. But why is there so much pride in Texas? What makes it stand out against other states?

According to the History Channel, the Lone Star State was officially declared in 1845. The state is massive with 268,597 square miles of land and over 25 million residents. An article from KXAN, an Austin Texas NBC affiliate, explains that Texas pride may stem from the state’s time as its own republic in the 1830s and 1840s. There is a sense of community and pride associated with Texas and its rich history. The website also included several items Texans themselves love and cherish. Some of these include personal freedom, the Houston Space Center, the Alamo, massive ranches, and state fairs.

Not only is Texas culture widespread throughout the nation, but hundreds of thousands of Americans are flooding the state. Texas is becoming increasingly popular to move to. From 2020 to 2021 about 596,000 Americans moved to Texas from other states. According to Texas View, people are moving to the state due to the low cost of living, low taxes, the down-to-earth nature of Texans, and the diversity of cultures and lifestyles.

Liberty student and Texas native Laurelie Nemeth had this to say when asked what she loved about living in the Lone Star State, “I love that question! It’s really difficult because each part of Texas can be vastly different. I am from a small town south of Houston and Houston is considered a melting pot of different cultures and people. I was able to experience so many cultures in my childhood, but living in a small southern town was one of the best parts because almost everyone went to church and knew the Lord. Obviously, not everyone had accepted Christ as their Savior, but for the most part, it was a very biblically based area, and I love how that can be easier to find in Texas! Our churches were involved with our community and our schools, so although I was raised in a non-Christian home, it was still possible for me to find and know Jesus! I also love how speed limits are just suggestions and summers just get hotter every year!”

When asked the same question, student Luke Tomlin responded, “I love that there’s a mutual pride that exists between Texans. Texas was its own country for a bit after it gained independence from Mexico and the most culturally significant places still have a little bit of “Tex-Mex” style to them. So, the history is super fascinating already! There really is an unspoken understanding between all Texans that we live in the best state and we’re all proud to be there.”

If you’re part of the Texas cult head on over to Everything Is Bingo in Texas on October 28. The event will start at 8:00 p.m. in the LaHaye Event Space.





Written by Mary Richey

Mary is a sophomore studying Hospitality Management. She enjoys spending time outdoors, going to coffee shops, and is always up for a road trip. Creative writing has always been one of her favorite hobbies!

Inception is Nolan’s Masterpiece

October 20, 2023

As of right now, most people know who Christopher Nolan is. With a dozen movies under his belt, he has become a household name in the industry and his films draw the attention of both movie buffs and critics. While you can find countless lists of Nolan’s movies ranked, I am baffled that Inception is not ranked number one in most of them. It is time we start recognizing Inception for what it is, not only Nolan’s best film but his Magnum Opus. I know that everyone has their own opinions, which I respect, but I am still going to try and convince you that my opinion is the right one.

Inception is an incredibly inventive movie. In a sea of remakes and reboots, Inception is not only a breath of fresh air but a vital oxygen boost to an industry that is suffocating under the weight of its own lack of imagination. I am not saying that remakes are bad, but I feel like it is an insult to the viewer’s intelligence when movies are the same rehashed formula over and over with little plot variation. (I am looking at you MCU.) Inception came out in 2010 and it still boasts one of the most compelling and creative plots to date. Without giving too much away, this movie follows a thief who steals secrets from people’s minds by entering their subconscious dreams. Not only is this plot incredibly creative but it also lends limitless possibilities to the writers. As the plot unfolds you are launched into a mind-bending journey that has you questioning the difference between reality and dream.

The cast and writing in Inception were incredible. Not only because it was a star-studded cast, but each character performed their role perfectly. One of the most important aspects of the cast is that they were written and acted in such a way that every character we were introduced to felt important. A lot of movies write characters just so they can move the plot along or even worse, simply explain the plot to an audience who would much rather just see it play out. Also, movies try to force an audience to love a character who just does not feel important to the story at all. Inception not only dodges these pitfalls but creates a cast that feels genuine and makes the audience care about them. As the story unfolds, you can enjoy each character’s journey because they all feel important and worthy of your time. The journey of each character comes together to form an unforgettable ending that has made this movie live long after it was released.

Now if you have read this far you either agree with me or you are plotting the perfect comeback by reading for all of my flawed arguments. Fair.  But let me give you one more reason. Inception is the quintessential Christopher Nolan movie. It has every Nolan trope, but they are all done so perfectly. You have the grand plot that messes with time and reality and while this plot seeks to be complex, you can still follow it and understand what is going on in a single watch. (I am looking at you, Tenet.) You have the loud sounds and score which I don’t think are an annoyance in Inception but help elevate the story. You have the practical effects that Nolan loves and come on, the hotel hallway fight scene is worth the price of admission alone. All of Nolan’s movies weave similar threads together and Inception does it so beautifully that if anyone has never seen a Christopher Nolan movie, Inception should be the first one they watch.

If you don’t agree with me but have not seen the movie in a while or have never seen it, you’re in luck! Student Activities will be showing Inception and Interstellar ( I have a lot of thoughts on that movie too) on Saturday, October 21st in the Vines Center starting at 7:00 p.m. Come on out to see Christopher Nolan’s movies how they are meant to be viewed, on the big screen.


Written by Jordan Kreitzinger

Jordan is the Assistant Director of Student Activities.

Art that’s good for the heart

October 13, 2023

Imagine seeing a blank canvas turned into something beautiful right before your eyes. It is rewarding knowing you created it – seeing the beginning through the end of the process. Creativity and art can be for everybody, no matter your skill set. Hobbies do not always need to be something you are good at, just something you enjoy. You can enjoy playing an instrument, a sport, or creating art, even if you are not the best at it.

As we enjoy Fall Break, we can view this time as a reset or, for some, a time to catch our breath. Why not create something with your time off? Not only can it be fun but there are several benefits of creating art!

1) Exercises creativity

When creating art for yourself, you can make something without the pressure of someone else’s approval. You can create something that doesn’t have restrictions or guidelines. This type of freedom allows you to create something unique. You can express yourself with the style, colors, and concept behind the art piece. Your brain is a muscle, and like any muscle in your body, you need to exercise it to keep it strong and healthy.

2) Reduces stress

College can be a stressful time (can I get an Amen?) needing to manage academics, and personal and social life. It can be challenging to find time to just be and not worry about the next thing on your calendar. Art can be a great outlet to focus on something else.

3) Increases dopamine

Dopamine is the “reward center” of the brain. Having a healthy amount can make you feel happy, motivated, alert, and focused. This can help your mood throughout the day and can even benefit your education.

4) Processes emotions

A lot of people like to journal to process their thoughts and emotions. Some people though, find it difficult to process through words. Art can be a great way for those people to express their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.

5) Gives a break from the screens

Art can be created in many mediums. A great way to give your eyes and mind a break from our daily screens is to create studio art. People enjoy painting, drawing, pottery, and more. This allows you to be tactile and rest your eyes.

Seeing something beautiful can bring joy. We love to watch sunsets and go on a hike for a great view. Inspiration can be found everywhere – you can take a walk in nature, take a drive through a city, or visit local shops. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your little bubble of daily life to spark some new ideas. Creating art can be the next great step after gathering inspiration.

Come out to LeMonet on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. on the Academic Lawn. Enjoy a relaxing evening with friends, create a masterpiece watercolor painting, and enjoy a glass of lemonade.





Written by Makena Joseph

Makena is the Coordinator of Marketing for Student Activities.

Cool Shirt …. But can you name three songs?

October 5, 2023

“If you’re a real fan, name two songs by them.”

The dreaded question. Long seconds of silence. The answer will be the sole determining factor of whether you’re cool or uncool. And all you wanted to do was wear a piece of vintage band merch.

While classic rock gurus and music connoisseurs have been tormenting the everyman for wearing merch for bands they don’t listen to since the dawn of fandoms, they do pose a legitimate question: if we don’t know a band or enjoy them personally, why are we so willing to emblazon them on our clothes for all to see? Pop on a Nirvana playlist and let’s dive in.

To understand why indie fanatics are so bent on preserving the sanctity of merch in the first place, let’s look back to when it first arrived on the music scene: the 1950’s; for the king himself, Elvis Presley. The earliest known piece of merch was made by an Elvis fan club in the late ‘50s, but it didn’t take long for the trend to catch on. Soon enough, people were clamoring for tees with The Beatles’ faces across the chest (and who could blame them, honestly?). Fans got their tees, promoters got their cash; everyone was happy. However, it wasn’t until a decade later in the late ‘60s that rock concert T-shirts truly became a viable commercial product. This self-defined “hippie” era also saw the advent of political protest T-shirts and the use of T-shirts as an art medium, more a piece of self-expression than a piece of fabric [1] .

This ideology hasn’t gone anywhere: whether we admit it or not, many of us view our favorite artists as an extension of our own identities. Music speaks volumes about our personalities, styles, and aesthetic preferences, which is why we broadcast our Spotify wrapped and are so quick to post at a concert on our Instagram story. We’re hoping to be perceived in a certain way by others. But before the existence of social media, people declared their allegiance to artists through wearing merchandise. Putting on a band tee set you apart, signifying you belonged to a subculture and sending a clear message that you were a unique, even rebellious, individual.

Okay, but you don’t listen to Def Leppard. Why do you still have a T-shirt with the Hysteria album cover in your closet? There’s psychology behind that, too.

First, let’s talk nostalgia. Even if we haven’t experienced a band’s sound for ourselves, most of us in this generation have grown up hearing about the iconic era of classic rock from the ‘60s-’90s from our parents and grandparents. As they relive the glory days of concert culture or play their old CDs in the car on long drives, we develop our own opinions and perceptions surrounding the band, most of which are positive associations. In adulthood, when we open our drawer and decide to throw on a band tee, we’re able to experience secondhand nostalgia, generationally tapping into a culture that we never experienced, but always heard about.

Next, there’s the influence of “evergreen” fashion trends. Let’s face it, even if our parents have only ever listened to KLove Radio our entire childhood, we’re still drawn to band tees like moths to a flame. They have undeniable aesthetic appeal that makes us willing to risk the embarrassment of not knowing a single song time and time again. Turns out, it’s not just masochism. According to Paradiso Clothing, “Classic logos, album art, and tour graphics often boast a timeless quality transcending generational boundaries. The simplicity of these designs allows you to remain relevant and stylish…” even if you don’t have a personal connection to the artist [2]. This just in: it’s okay to say, “I thought the design looked cool.” Just call yourself a lover of evergreen trends.

Finally, let’s discuss what it means for band merch to be “vintage.” It’s no secret that the market for vintage clothing is on the rise. We’ve all seen the TikTok videos of people digging through the Goodwill bins for the perfect “authentic” oversized T-shirt. Or, for the more civilized, buying vintage from the upscale retailer set up on the lawn outside the library. Classic rock merchandise is at the pinnacle of this new wave, the perfect mix between timelessly cool graphics and an individualistic superiority complex.

It comes full circle to the fans of the 1960s: most of us aren’t just wearing merch because we love the band or even think the design is stylish, but because putting on merch declares our allegiance to a subculture. It’s a statement: not about the band, but about ourselves.

TL;DR: Is it okay to wear merch for a band you don’t listen to? Absolutely. Whether it’s for childhood nostalgia, to keep up with timeless trends, or simply a newfound vintage purchase, classic rock merch is undeniably cool. If you have it, you should show it off! We’re giving you the perfect opportunity this Friday night: if you wear a piece of classic rock merch to our Classic Rock Concert on top of the Runk and Pratt Garage at 7 p.m., you waive the $2 entrance fee!

We’re not gatekeepers around here. Joan Jett isn’t the only one who loves rock and roll, after all.


[1] http://www.antiqueweek.com/ArchiveArticle.asp?newsid=2265

[2] https://www.paradisoclothing.com/blogs/blog/why-are-rock-band-t-shirts-still-a-trend-in-fashion-music-culture

http://www.antiqueweek.com/ArchiveArticle.asp?newsid=2265 [LL1] [LL1]


Written by Emma Lane

Emma is a Senior studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Business. While she loves all things photography, fashion, and indie music, creative writing has always been one of her favorite ways to express herself.

Fall is not just a season, It’s a lifestyle

September 28, 2023

Fall is a cult following. Everyone’s slight obsession with Gilmore Girls, pumpkin spice lattes and Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” are just a start. From the moment you feel the first chill in the air, everyone starts talking excitedly about the coming season. No more sweaty days and sunburns, it’s time for Sunday Night Football and apple picking!


I don’t know about you, but the start of fall gives me a sense of nostalgia and a chance for new beginnings. Ouroverstimulated brains are always needing to be entertained, so the change in the weather helps motivate us for the coming season. The shift in the season signals a fresh start for many people as they want a break from the long days and summer heat. Something as simple as leaves changing colors brings about a change in scenery and helps break up the stretch of summer that we’ve been enduring. It also gives us something new to look forward to along with the chance for students to get back into a set routine again. I believe that the beginning of this season helps reset our brains and gives us a refreshed perspective for the new semester.


Certain music and media trends really play into the whole culture surrounding the fall season too. Shows such as Friends and Gilmore Girls have been known to be classic “fall” shows. Indie music tends to rise in popularity during this time too, with it bringing about the peaceful feeling of fall.


It’s also the start of sweater season. Thrifting is becoming increasingly popular amongst Gen-Z, which fits the fallculture so perfectly. October will bring about a lot of college students shopping at local thrift stores for sweaters andoversized sweatshirts. Thrifted sweaters compliment the fall aesthetic so perfectly, and with chillier weather on the way, we will see no stop to these staple fall outfits that everyone has been missing all summer.


But it’s more than just that. Fall is wrapping yourself up in a blanket while watching a movie and sipping on some hot apple cider. It reminds me of a cozy home, eagerly awaiting the upcoming holiday season. These special and distinct moments are just a glimpse into what makes everyone so obsessed with this season.


A few students on campus were interviewed about their favorite fall activities and opinions on fall in general. When asked about what music is prominent during these months, Chandler Dingle, an English Education major, said that “Despite the many opinions I’ve heard saying otherwise, to me, Folklore breathes Autumn air. Its collection of soft,mysterious, and ruminative tunes, sends a chill down my spine that only a crisp temperature can. Tracks like ‘Exile,’ ‘Cardigan,’ and ‘The 1’ make me want to hide away under a warm blanket during a thunderstorm, or skip along the sidewalks covered with crunchy leaves. A feeling bringing the adventures of summer to a halt, and welcoming the beautiful yellows, oranges, and reds”.


If you are part of the “fall cult following” or want to experience some fun fall activities for yourself, then come out toFall Fest on Saturday, September 30th starting at 5:30pm at Hydaway Outdoor Center!


Written by Kaila Haines

Kaila is a junior studying Family and Consumer Sciences: Event Planning. She loves doing anything outdoors, music, writing, and is always down for an adventure!

Tauren Wells Deep Dive

September 21, 2023

A talented artist, performer, teacher, and leader, Tauren Wells definitely doesn’t need to fake it to make it. With ten Grammy nominations and many more accomplishments behind him, Wells would still give the glory to God for each one. His music style and presence are even compared to music legends like Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Michael Jackson. How did this masterful solo artist get to where he is today?

Wells started his music career way back in 2004 with three friends while they were in college. They called themselves Royal Tailor and became well-known in the Christian contemporary circle, but not until some years later. Their debut album, Black & White, was released in 2011, and their second self-titled album was released two years later. Some of their hits include “Ready Set Go” with Capital Kings, “Remain,” and “Got That Fire,” which I know for me were some of my favorite bangers growing up. The group was a huge success, but God had some new directions for the band members.

In 2015, Wells was the one who initiated the split, but for a different calling God had for his life. As an artist, he was tired and was close to quitting music entirely. Yet, God was faithful to him and guided him to his solo artist career shortly after. The heart of Wells lay rooted in his Savior, his family, his church, and his music, but balancing these things – that was going to take work. I’m sure we can all attest to how hard it is even in college to balance everything. We feel like we’re barely holding on. Nevertheless, God uses that lack of control to lead us somewhere better if we’re willing to listen. Just look at what he’s done in Wells’s life and career!

Wells has a rich ministry in his church and is even planting one in Austin, TX next year with his wife and four young boys. He has such a heart for cultivating a greater love of God in believers and sharing the gospel with the world.

So far in his solo journey he has released three studio albums and one live album, headlined three tours, has consistently stayed on top of Christian charts, and has been nominated for many awards, but most of all, Wells has stayed true to his faith and the journey that God is taking Him on. He has kept on making music that is a blessing to those who hear it and worship to the One who inspired it.

His story should be an encouragement to us in whatever stage of life we’re in. Tauren Wells started his music career as a college kid, not knowing where it would take him. He certainly had moments of indecision, doubt, and fear of the unknown. Yet despite his moments of fear, he was fully known by God, Who would never leave him empty, and is faithful to bring joy in the morning. God will be equally as faithful to any of His children who earnestly seek Him.

No matter what career path you’ve decided on (or are still deciding on), God has already got it figured out. It may come with huge career shifts like Tauren Wells experienced several times. You may not see the results of hard work for a while and go through periods of waiting and wondering, but even when you feel like you want to quit, God’s not done with you! When we pray for God’s direction and guidance, He will see us safely through both the hills and valleys.

You do not want to miss his miraculous show on Friday, September 22nd at 8 p.m. at the Vines Center! Come be a part of the incredible story that God is so famous for writing!


Written by Faith Catanzaro

Faith is a sophomore studying Digital Media & Journalism concentrating in Video Production, and she is also a videographer for Student Activities. She loves watching movies, cooking, blogging on Instagram, graphic design, health, and fitness!