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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Student marketing team takes on new adventures with “Try @ TXST”

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Schulz
Members of Try @ TXST learn to ride horses with the Texas State Equestrian Club, Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at Sunny Fox Farms.

The word “try” can be scary, and college is filled with tries. Students can try to make new friends, try to get internships or try to start conversations with someone. However, there are a few Bobcats who know more than a thing or two about trying new adventures for the first time, especially while the whole school is watching from their phones.

“Try @ TXST” is an Instagram Reels series and podcast where students tackle campus organizations, programs and share student experiences. From singing opera to riding horses, the student team with Texas State’s Division of Marketing and Communications share what makes campus so special by trying their hand at something different in each video and having fun doing so.

The idea for the “Try @ TXST” series started in the summer of 2022 when Giselle Kowalski, digital marketing strategist, had ideas for video content for the official Texas State social media that she shared with Elissa Fontenot, assistant director of digital. Inspired by TikToks and the Try Guys, they began to see a vision for the series.

“I wanted to start meeting people on campus that weren’t just from our department,” Kowalski said. “There were so many cool people I met after graduation where I was like, ‘Man, I wish I could have tried that.’ Then that’s where the series came about.”

Kowalski, Fontenot and the student team began to brainstorm on Texas State experiences to try, find organizations and people to talk to, set a time to shoot for the series, edit and post the videos to Texas State’s official Instagram.

Rock climbing was the first “Try @ TXST” video posted on Instagram in January, where Zoe Fein and Chelseia Blair, both Texas State alumnae, got to take on the 54-foot rock wall at the Campus Recreation Center. The video received lots of interaction from students, alums and even other campus organizations interested in being featured in a future try video.

Fein said seeing positive feedback after posting try videos was rewarding for her and the team after all the hard work put in. She said she’s happy that the Bobcat community loves the series just as much as the team loves creating it.

“These videos take so much time and so much dedication and planning,” Fein said. “So seeing the community liked it as much as we enjoyed doing it was so unbelievably rewarding.”

Tony Lopez, theater junior, learned about student organizations she didn’t know existed while creating videos for the series, such as esports, equestrian and fencing. She said the fencing video was one of her favorites to shoot and she’s even interested in returning to the gym to learn more.

“It’s crazy that there’s so many things happening here on campus,” Lopez said. “I think this series is just the best reflection of what our university actually is.”

Sam Nieves, theater junior, said at first it was nervewracking being posted online for the whole university to see as engagement from followers grew. Now he appreciates being part of the team that shows other Bobcats new and interesting things about campus.

“When we do these videos, we’re also showing students you can do this,” Nieves said. “You can like something or not, but trying can open a whole other world for you that you don’t know yet.”

The series transitioned this summer to doing podcast episodes in addition to Instagram Reels, adding a more academic and personal feel to the series. Compared to the quick and funny videos, the podcast episodes go into detail with professors, faculty and students on their perspective and history of the topic.

Adrianna Elias, digital media innovation senior, joined the student team this fall semester and has already met and had interesting conversations with guests on the podcast. Elias was inspired to apply for the student team after watching the “Try @ TXST” videos on Instagram.

“I feel like my freshman year I didn’t do anything because I was scared,” Elias said. “So being a part of the team has been great and I’ve got to try some things that I never would have known about.”

The student team accepts the fear of the word “try” and makes a video out of it. Lopez recognized that many talented students on campus don’t yet know their potential because they’re scared to audition, try out or submit an application. She said that although it’s human to be scared, it’s better for students to believe in themselves and say they tried.

“You are going to hear plenty of the word ‘no’ in your life from people that are not yourself,” Lopez said. “There’s going to be a lot of reasons to be scared and every single one of them is valid, but don’t be your first no.”

To watch the “Try @ TXST” video series visit @txst on Instagram. To listen to the “Try @ TXST” podcast and other Texas State Podcast Network Series, visit the TXST Podcast Network. To learn more about Texas State student media, visit the Student Team: Division of Marketing and Communications page.

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