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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Conn Coll chapter.

It’s the latest trend on TikTok: Asking the men in your life how often they think about the Roman Empire. Why do they think about it so much? No one knows. 

Anyways… in the spirit of trends, here are a few of our “Roman Empires”—obscure things we think about way more than we probably should:

Catherine Gwinnett ‘24

My “Roman Empire” is Michael Cera. 

Since I first encountered him in the film Superbad, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Michael Cera. As an actor, his portfolio is comedic genius and seems almost distinctively curated to suit him. I would go so far as to say that he is the voice of our generation… or at least, the only voice of our generation who has come so far without seeming to say very much at all. 

Despite his impressive career, one of the most significant reasons that Michael Cera is my “Roman Empire” is because of his highly popularized meekness. To be blunt: Michael Cera portrays awkward characters, which leads me to believe Michael Cera is awkward. For this reason, as a woman in her 20s navigating life, Michael Cera is usually at the back of my mind as a kindred spirit, or a co-star on a sit-com. Let me explain. 

When I confidently raised my hand in class only to get the answer horribly wrong, I thought of Michael Cera. When I backed my car into a wrought-iron gate and dented my fender, I thought of Michael Cera. When a math problem had my name in it and the whole class stole glances at me, I thought of Michael Cera. When I first opened the website that tracks my student loans and saw a number much greater than what I had anticipated, I thought of Michael Cera. When I made a joke in the group chat and no one responded, I thought of Michael Cera. When I stumbled my way through a complicated coffee order, I thought of Michael Cera. I could keep going with this and give you more examples, but I think you understand my meaning. Each time something embarrassing or awkward happens, Michael Cera’s nervous laughter and uneasy grin unintentionally flashes in the back of my head. 

To conclude, Michael Cera teaches me to take everything with a grain of salt, and to prioritize joy and living life, even at the risk of looking foolish in the process. He even makes social anxiety look endearing, and I want that for myself. If that means that I think of him as often as men think of the Roman Empire, then I can live with that. 

Catherine made me include this… -Lara

Lily Clemens ‘27

My “Roman Empire” would have to be the Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses version of the “Happy Birthday” song. It may sound niche to some, but to me it is a daily occurrence that I have become used to over the years. Men think of gladiators eating grapes and being fanned with leaves, or ruling an empire with Julius Caesar, however my gladiators are those twelve dancing sisters, and my empire is the 2006 DVD copy of this five star film. Those animated young ladies aged 5-22 have been kept in the forefront of my mind since I had consciousness. Even the mere trigger word of “today” fills in the blanks in my brain to finish the lyrics. There is no valid reason for me to think of this song as often as I do, however I can’t say I don’t enjoy it. The nostalgia of my younger self yearning to join the sisterhood of dancing siblings is something I’m not mad about being reminded of. If you have not checked out this musical masterpiece, I would heavily recommend enlightening yourself. 

Caroline Snyder ‘26

My “Roman Empire” would have to be natural disasters and storm chasing. I know it is beyond bizarre, but I am FASCINATED by the forces of nature and what they can do, in both a horrified and awe-inspired kind of way. I love staying updated about the weather, watching documentaries and history videos about, especially tornadic, but really any disaster. I’m not kidding when I say my YouTube search history is at least 75% weather related. I can probably tell you facts on just about any major tornado you can think of, from the strength to path to timeline to… whatever else! There is absolutely no reason why it should fascinate me as much as it does— I grew up in New Hampshire, and the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a tornado was a funnel cloud that never manifested. In fact, I have a feeling that’s why I’m interested—I probably would be terrified if I lived in Tornado Alley, and in no way do I want my fascination with tornadoes to trivialize the dangers of them or those who have fallen victim. However, the fact remains that I think about them way more often than I should! 

Allison Bull ‘26

My personal “Roman Empire” is the now infamous Trisha Paytas TikTok to Steve Martin’s comedy skit titled “King Tut.” I just simply think about this too much. I remember seeing the video for the first time in August 2020, and knowing that my life trajectory would never be the same. I am certainly not alone in this life-altering “Roman Empire” moment and would love to find my community of people who are still ruminating on this production. 

Lara Beckius ‘24

My “Roman Empire” has to be the movie Happy Feet… especially when the penguins all sing the Earth, Wind & Fire song “Boogie Wonderland.” The reason has to be a combination of several factors: I am a tap dancer, I am obsessed with ‘70s music (this movie may actually be the reason why), and I actively study anthropogenic climate change (a major plot point of both Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two). I literally brought this incomparable franchise up in a seminar class the other day… as if I believe tap dancing penguins will truly save the world? Embarrassing, for sure. As a dance fanatic, as well, I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed a better animated dance sequence than “Boogie Wonderland.” Seeing that movie in theaters in 2006 was truly life changing.

Some honorable mentions of things that constantly live inside my mind rent-free include the stop motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie, “Vogue” by Madonna, and the “Do you wear wigs?” interview prank on Elijah Wood (who also happens to be the lead penguin in Happy Feet???). The mind is a crazy place… but I wouldn’t trade mine for the world.

Lara is a senior at Connecticut College, where she is pursuing a double major in environmental studies and economics with a minor in dance. Her interests include choreography, sustainability, the performing arts, and conservation.
Hello! My name is Catherine (she/her) and I am a Classical Languages and Art History major at Connecticut College. I am also completing a Museum Studies Certificate Program here. I work as a curatorial and archival intern at the New London County Historical Society, and I love visiting museums and spending time around good (and bad) art.
Allison Bull

Conn Coll '26

Allison is a current sophomore at Connecticut College pursuing a degree in Educational Studies and Anthropology. She is from a small town in Southern New Hampshire where she loves running, hiking, harassing her cat to take selfies (see profile pic), getting lost in the woods, and generally romping around outside. Outside of class, Allison loves reading, making friendship bracelets, listening to music, lying in the sun, and cooking!
Caroline Snyder is a sophomore at Connecticut College who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies! She is also on the rowing team, runs events for Conn's Her Campus chapter, is on the education task force in the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, and works in the college's archives, among other things. She loves writing, reading, her cat, dinosaurs, working out, and sustainability.