Many reserved their Friday night schedules to watch Alex Mika perform his one-man musical comedy show in Oak Hall on Oct. 4. The UConn student showed off his witty charm through humorous story-telling, songs and even poetry.
Although there was no overarching theme to his line of songs, there were four that seemed to encapsulate a deeper, cynical view of the effects of college life. Mika’s opening song, “Ballad of the Freshman Fifteen,” exposes the greasy truth about dining hall food and its detriment to college students’ bodies. He compares it to being on a cruise, being able to indulge in all the food one can desire, if that cruise was the Titanic considering how far students are sinking into debt. This eye-opening line draws an interesting comparison between the freshman fifteen and other issues at hand with the irony of prioritizing anticipated weight gain over its price.
“Major Issues” turns out to be a pun, the word “major” not referring to the extent of said issues but literally to his own major. He opens up about his conflicting feelings over his decision to study English as he points out the difficulties of finding a career path as a humanities major. It is safe to assume that every college student can relate to experiencing major issues and the breakdowns that come with thinking about future employment opportunities. “Major Issues” is a song that validates those feelings and proves that no one is suffering alone.
“Winds of Change” describes the changes that accompany campus life. Examples such as whether the football team will get better, the potential for tuition to rise and the capability of one’s GPA dropping were included. Perhaps the idea of change also goes along with the implied stress of college students, with no one aware of the next move. So with all this change, there must be some way to initiate it. “Manifesto” addresses the common demands of students whose main priorities lie in a broad spectrum from attention to climate change to free fabric softener. Mika’s song acts as an anthem for protest, the only method to achieve meaningful change in a campus setting.
College can be an incredibly stress-inducing time and some may not be able to find an effective outlet to release all of their academic tension. Musical comedy acts as a perfect method to alleviate any mental distress, whether that be sadness, simple boredom or the existential dread of becoming an adult. Consequently, “Major Issues” acts as a cathartic display of the daily problems experienced by students today; but rather than focusing on its negative effects, Alex Mika turns these troubles into laughter.
Esther Ju is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.