While some students reach for the stars, others read them. Astrology-related apps and zodiac-based memes now frequent the phones of college students, but not everyone at UT finds it practical.
Astrology uses knowledge about celestial bodies alongside tools such as star charts to generate predictions about future events and people’s personalities. Despite its reputation as a pseudoscience, many UT students use the stars as a medium through which to learn about themselves and those around them.
For some students, the discipline can be used in aspects of life ranging from daily routines to relationship compatibility. Exercise science junior Monica Balderas said she uses astrology to get an idea of what to expect from her day. She said her chart and horoscope are usually accurate but that she uses the predictions as a guideline rather than a set plan.
“(I don’t) make major decisions with astrology, but here and there I use it to keep certain things in mind like, ‘Okay, well maybe certain energies are going to be in the air today,’” Balderas said. “I’m just being more mindful of myself and others.”
While some students use it for small aspects of life, others use astrology to make important life decisions. Chemical engineering sophomore Oishik Saha said his family considers astrology when planning marriages and evaluating a newborn’s future.
“I come from an Indian household and usually before (family members) get married they look at star charts and find a day that’s considered auspicious for marriage,” Saha said. “Usually when (a child) is born they tell the kid what is useful to him and what might be challenging for him based on his birthday.”
Despite the nature of his family, Saha, like many students, said he does not think astrological predictions hold much truth.
“It’s not that I completely don’t believe in it, “ Saba said. “It’s just far out of my scope of things I’m worried about. College and work take up so much time that I don’t have the mind space to focus on anything like astrology.”
Busy schedules, however, aren’t the only things keeping students from astrology. Sophie Kellner, a supply chain management junior, said she doesn’t like the discipline because of its inaccuracy and impact on people’s actions.
“(Astrology) gives people an excuse to act poorly,” Kellner said. “For example, if I texted my friend that I felt lazy that day and they’re like, ‘That’s because this planet is in retrograde’ then by thinking about that I feel like I have the right to be lazy because (of) my planet.”
Kellner’s distaste goes beyond daily life. She said she doesn’t like when people use astrology in confluence with relationships.
“I have friends who say they won’t date someone who’s not astrologically compatible with them,” Kellner said. “They read something that says that the relationship is doomed and therefore they’re dooming their own relationship because it’s in the back of their mind.”
Despite criticism, many UT students hold true to astrological beliefs. Balderas said she doesn’t let the doubt of others cloud her love for the stars’ predictions.
“(People) always align themselves with what they feel connected to,” Balderas said. “For some, that’s with astrology, and for others, it’s something different and that’s totally okay.”