6 Things You Know Well If You Live In Helena, Alabama

6 Things You Know Well If You Live In Helena, Alabama

A City with a Small Town Vibe

1. Whether it's First Friday, Movies in the Park, Buck Creek Festival, 4th of July, you name it... NO PARKING.

We live in a town that is incredibly close knit. So, naturally, when our town hosts events, everyone comes out. People bring their families and pets, it's always a good time. The only downfall is parking. The Helena population is quickly outgrowing our town which introduces a small scale survival of the fittest situation when trying to find parking. Thankfully, the civic complex opens up their parking lots and graciously shuttles everyone to and from.

2. You're used to people constantly mispronouncing Helena.

This has probably became second nature to you by now. HELL-EE-NUH not HELL-EN-NUH. People are forever confusing our Helena with Helena, Montana. As a proud alumni of Helena High School and the Helena High School Marching Band... this all hits home with us. I can't tell you how many marching band competitions we've been to where our name was butchered.

3. Summers feel different in our little town.

There's just something about Helena in the summer. There is always something going on. So many great memories spent with friends at the Old Cahaba pools. You can go spend a beautiful summer day in Old Towne alone. Park your car, sit down for lunch at The Depot, go for a walk around Buck Creek and the waterfall, take a look around all the local shops, watch a killer sunset, then if it's a Friday, go watch a movie with the rest of your community at Movies in the Park.

4. The "OH MY GOODNESS YOUR TOWN IS SO CUTE!" when you show people where you live.

This is something you're probably used to by now. But I mean, can you blame them? I find myself thinking this too when I come back home after being away. One look at Old Towne and you're hooked.

5. 3:22 ... brace yourself.

In Helena, our schools all start at different times to alleviate heavy traffic in the morning. The high school starts at 8:10 and ends at 3:22. Since a good quarter of Helena's population comes pouring out of that building at 3:22, traffic goes from 0 to 100 real quick.

6. Helena High School A.K.A the best sunset spot in Helena.

In #3 I mentioned Helena sunsets, and they really deserve there own article. Around 4:45-5:00 you'll start to see cars parking up in the parking lot by the stadium. It is by far the best sunset spot in Helena. Unfettered beauty showcased right in our backyards everyday.

Cover Image Credit: Butch Oglesby

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.


7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.


10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.


13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!


16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!


19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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