With a new semester inching closer, many changes begin to take place. New classes, new activities, and even a new Comet Life President! President Eric Aaberg first announced he was handing off the reins to Audrey Ruliawan in his article for UTD Comet Life this past November. After hearing the sad news that he would be gone for a semester, I decided to interview the man, the myth, the legend — Eric Aaberg. Most of y’all should know him considering he’s pretty much Mr. UTD and UTD’s human mascot (sorry Temoc you just can’t reach his level.) But, I wanted to give our community a more personal and inside look into the creator of Comet Life.
Malu Yitages: Okay! First of all, would you like to give yourself an introduction?
Eric Aaberg: Yeah sure thing! My name is Eric. I’m a junior here at UT Dallas and I’m…well I guess to say the least, a proud Comet. I’m the President and Founder of Comet Life, which is the university’s now own student-run student life channel;basically having become the primary organization focused on just student life. So that could be highlighting student life, you know thinking of new ways to help spread school spirit, and good things like that. I’m also the Student Director of Esports, which is the Esports Department & Program here at UT Dallas. So we have Overwatch, League of Legends, Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as Rocket League. In addition, I am a cheerleader and then I basically help out with photography and social media! It’s kind of like my passion as a marketing major and as well as school spirit that’s definitely one of my passions as well.
Eric is an extremely well-rounded person. Not only does he have a wide range of passions, but he’s been able to use his skills to inspire others. He wants to take his hobbies and use them to really make an impact on the university, which he evidently has done.
Malu Yitages: So you’re definitely one of the most involved students on campus, which I admire and I’m not just saying that cause you’re my boss. What inspired you to start Comet Life, especially on your own?
Eric Aaberg: So, I’ll take it back in time back to when I was coming to UT Dallas as an incoming freshman. I’m from the area and went to school at J.J. Pearce but never heard of UTD. It’s so new and its student life was not really established. I actually came into UTD thinking it was just a business school, that was kind of like my outside perspective. When I came to orientation and when I came to UTD, I knew other colleges did follow trains on social media. As someone that actively uses social media and is very involved in the social media realm, I was like “alright, why not make a social media page.” So it was called “UT Dallas 2022” and it grew pretty quickly. I wouldn’t have been able to meet so many people literally from just starting a simple social media account and seeing where it would take off. That’s literally been the craziest experience ever.
“We have a very vibrant and very unique student life and it deserves all the hype it can get.” Eric Aaberg
Malu Yitages: You had mentioned how UTD wasn’t your first choice, so what really led you to become a Comet?
Eric Aaberg: Well, I think when I came to freshman orientation that’s when I really fell in love with the campus. Really, I guess it’s like fate. I had gotten accepted into other schools and they really just did not feel like home. It’s also why I wanted to become an orientation leader; I wanted to be one of those first familiar faces of those new Comets.
Eric has definitely become a familiar face on campus. For many, orientation is the first look at UTD’s true student life. We have all had our previous perceptions of the university, but from others’ experiences and even my own experience, orientation completely shifted our views.
“Ever since I went to that orientation, stepped foot on campus, and woke up at like 8 a.m. to go to the ATEC building, it absolutely changed my view of the campus and university.” Eric Aaberg
Malu Yitages: What really pushed you to join all these different organizations and what do you love most about them?
Eric Aaberg: Well, I’ll start with UT Dallas Esports. At my freshman orientation, they announced the Esports Team and they had the chairs there, they had like pictures of the room and I was like “Oh my gosh what?!” It was like the big surprise at the end of a movie. There was an application for analysts, athletes, and a student assistant coach. Basically, I made myself a familiar face and messaged Greg Adler asking what I could do to help. I was in dining hall west, I got an email from Greg giving me the student assistant coach position! It was like a dream come true! With cheerleading on the other hand, I had just ran into the cheer coach one day after winning the social media “Comet Pride” contest and he was like “Hey! I saw you did gymnastics. Come try out for cheer.”
Malu Yitages: Right place, right time huh?
Eric Aaberg: Yeah! Being on the UT Dallas Cheer Team has been amazing. Obviously, I could go on about all the organizations I joined or tried out for, but I eventually had my core 3 or 4 groups. Honestly, my advice is just try everything, that’s how it is in college. Go follow their social media accounts, go to the meetings, and “test the waters” on which things you like! My Orientation Leader told me if you’re just semi-interested in something, put it down. I think I signed up at 20-30 booths at the org fair. Because the worst that could happen is that you meet some new people, and leave when it doesn’t feel right to you!
“Look, I am going to make this program known to students. I wanna carry this like a medal.” Eric Aaberg
A leader should always be proud of their work and Eric has always been a prime example of a good leader. He takes his leadership roles very seriously and works day and night to achieve results that go above and beyond.
Malu Yitages: Now, it’s been fun to hear about all the fun you’ve gotten to experience at UTD, but of course we’re all here to get an education… I guess. You’ve mentioned you’re a marketing major, did you start off in that major or has it changed over the years?
Eric Aaberg: Basically, I started as a Business Admin Major, with a focus in Entrepreneurship & Innovation as that’s what I thought I wanted to do. Then I realized I’m more into Marketing. So I added a minor in marketing and just ended up majoring in marketing. It wasn’t too hard considering everything was in JSOM.
Getting highly involved on campus can make focusing on one’s education harder, but Eric was determined to prevent his grades from suffering. Time management was a huge concern for him.
“I use Google Calendar to schedule pretty much everything, from classes, to games, esports practices, trips, homework, and hanging out!” Eric Aaberg
Malu Yitages: Lastly, I would just like to know what are your plans for the next semester? Obviously, we’re going to miss you and hope you will be back soon, but we all want to know what’s Eric going to be up to?
Eric Aaberg: Yeah! I’m taking a gap semester and hoping to make the best of it. Trying to go full force on hopefully this Esports internship. I will still be keeping my position at the Esports program at UTD. I’ll just be focusing on myself and growing my brand. Maybe even an internship in the DFW area. I’m super excited about that!
Eric, you really have made your mark on the school and although we will miss you in the spring, we know you’ll be back to deepen your legacy even more. I am glad to have first met you in our Texas Government class and got to sit by such a kind face every Tuesday and Thursday.
Keep yourself busy, and UTD on its toes!
Check out Eric on all social media platforms:
Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook → @erictigerawr
This article was originally published on Comet Life by Malu Yitages.