CNS Got Talent provides an outlet for students in the natural sciences, creates a platform for connection

Sandeep Bhakta

With a student culture that’s known for intense, academic competitiveness and constant studying, CNS Got Talent offers an outlet for students in the natural sciences to pursue their passions.

The College of Natural Sciences with its almost 11,000 enrolled undergraduate students, contains a sea of individuals facing the pressures of being the best. But with an event like CNS Got Talent, organized by the Natural Sciences Council, this pressure can be minimized by harnessing competitive energy into a fun talent show. This year’s winners, a trio of dancers from Texas Ballroom, show how students in the sciences juggle their commitments to school and their passions.

Sophomore computer science major Anthony Moeller said students in CNS tend to stay in their own “sciency” worlds and rarely open themselves up to newer experiences even when they can.

“As important as academics are for securing a future, at the same time, college is so much more than that,” Moeller said. “It’s important to take in the experiences that you can get, which CNS Got Talent can then reveal to people. It reveals the kind of experiences [other students] could be having.”

Biology sophomore Lauren Quesada said that even in spite of the academic atmosphere that surrounds the College of Natural Sciences, students can be more than just a grade.

She said that with her own lifestyle as a pre-med, it’s possible to not let school be one’s entire existence if you plan.  

“Where there’s a will there’s a way. Anyone can do it," Quesada said. "I volunteer, I’m in lab, I go to school, and I dance. Anyone can do it. It’s just a matter of balance.”

The last member of the trio, Victoria “Tori” Tatum a second year biochemistry major, said that it’s imperative for CNS students to explore their passions and hobbies and channel them into an outlet.

“Without [an outlet], someone would get so vortexed into a singular bubble,” Tatum said.  “Finding any outlet to branch out helps to re-contextualize yourself, get more perspective, meet new people and do new things.”

She said that with pursuing this choice, there is inherent sacrifice, but this too has to be balanced and prioritized.

“There’s definitely a healthy amount of sacrifice in the now for what will be better in the future and there’s an unhealthy amount of sacrifice," Tatum said. "You need to really examine what matters to you and adjust your priorities accordingly.”

In the literal sense, CNS Got Talent provides a physical stage for students to showcase their individuality and passion. However, it also allows students to witness others who are in the same college with newfound perspective.

Lauren Do, a public health sophomore and the Internal Chair for the Natural Science Council, said these some of the reasons for CNS Got Talent.

“The passions you care about are arguably the most important things that you should pursue because they’re important to you even though they don’t have to be,” Do said. “It’s inspiring for students to see other people balancing school and the things they care for.”

Do said the event is something created by students for students.

“[CNS Got Talent] helps to see your peers outside the classroom, it builds a sense of camaraderie and friendship," Do said. "You may see someone who’s in your biology class singing incredibly, and you’ll see them in a different light and it helps give them another dimension."