UT-Austin students share embarrassing, fun Zoom experiences

Gracyn Freiling and Anissa Reyes

Mute, unmute, “Is this thing on?”

After months of “Zoom University,” some students have had unique experiences ranging from awkward and embarrassing to fun and comedic. The Daily Texan has compiled four students’ most memorable moments.

Breakout Room Besties 

After minutes of awkward silence and blank screens in a Zoom breakout room, Clara Truax turned on her camera and unmuted her microphone to break the ice with four other students. Another student had the same idea, and the two “just vibed.” 

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, I need to be her friend,’” said Truax, architecture and architectural engineering junior. “We got taken out of our breakout room and went back to class … but for a week and a half, I had the biggest friend crush.”  

Truax said she was nervous to direct message her classmate on Instagram, but she eventually worked up the courage. 

“She immediately followed me back and DMed me and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I've been trying to find you. I want us to be friends,’” Truax said. 

The first time they hung out, they ate dinner, went thrifting at Buffalo Exchange and watched “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” 

Mute Mistake 

When her sorority Zoom meeting went longer than expected, biochemistry freshman Grace Hornung logged on through her phone so she could get dinner with a friend while still being “in attendance.” 

While on the call, Hornung made a comment without realizing her microphone was on. 

“I was like, ‘Oh, I'm so sorry. I feel like we should be having a nice conversation with each other, but instead I'm stuck on this stupid Zoom,’” Hornung said. 

When the call went silent and the president of the sorority said “Uhhh,” Hornnung looked down at her phone and realized she was unmuted. 

“I immediately felt like a clown (and) turned off my mic,” Hornung said. “I did not believe I just did that … It was so embarrassing.” 

Zoom’s Got Talent

Environmental engineering freshman Sophie O’Shields was alone in her room during her first calculus class of the semester.

“I sing a lot to myself when I’m alone, and I didn’t realize my mic was on,” O’Shields said. “I was singing, and my entire class of almost 200 people could hear me.”

O’Shields said the professor just kept teaching, but the Zoom chat started “blowing up” as her peers asked who the mysterious singer was.

“I was kind of embarrassed,” O’Shields said. “I definitely made sure my mic and my camera were off afterward, but I figured everybody would forget about it anyway because it’s not that big of a deal.”

‘Spy Kids’ Slip-up

On the first day of chemistry class, civil engineering freshman Whitney Hicks entered the Zoom lecture to find several people unmuted and chatting. As the professor was trying to join the meeting, he was experiencing technical difficulties with his audio. Hicks said he sounded “high-pitched, muffled and staticky.” 

“My mic was on, but I didn’t realize it, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, he kind of reminds me of the thumbs from ‘Spy Kids,’’” Hicks said. “(The class) went dead silent, and then I just heard laughing.”

When the professor was able to rejoin the call, the others laughed as they filled him in on what Hicks had said.

“(At this point), I was like, ‘Wait a second, are these not students?’ Turns out, (it was the teaching assistants) who were laughing about it,” Hicks said. “What a way to make a first impression — by making fun of the professor on the first day of class.”