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Parker Allen’s Unique Perspective on College


Rather than participate in school or work activities, some UNG students choose to start their own journey. Graphic design major Parker Allen is no exception. With just below a million plays on their top song, and nearly 8,000 monthly listeners, Allen’s band “Nuclear Tourism” is starting to pave a road of their own.

Many students already struggle with time management just between work and classes, adding in a touring band’s responsibilities would spell disaster for many. Allen says, ““It’s a balance that I’m still figuring out, but after you do it for a while it becomes more manageable. All my bandmates are also in college so it’s something we all work around.”

As many things in college life are, even travel for “Nuclear Tourism” is shifted around school. Band members often do work where they can on the road, including in their van, restaurants, and hotels. They even lined up their last tour to finish within the start date of classes. Allen says, “Yeah, we had to be sure to finish before the start of August. We did the tour within the course of a month, traveling all over the southeast and performing mostly on the weekends.”

Nuclear Tourism plays at The Globe in downtown Athens, Georgia.
Photo by Mason Pearson

In an attempt to benefit other artists and impact their community in Athens, Allen and his friends have begun booking bands to perform in concerts hosted at their house. Some of these concerts host anywhere from 100-200 people, with multiple bands performing throughout the events. The event space even has a half pipe for skateboarding that is built from crowd funding and money raised from events. Allen says, “We really wanted to create an open and safe space for people to be able to enjoy live music because that’s something that should be a norm, and sadly it’s not.”

Many college students monetize their hobbies, doing things they enjoy, rather than working a mundane job. Allen, like many skill-based students, also does independent graphic design work to build his professional portfolio.

“If I am learning skills through college then I feel like I could apply what I have learned in the meantime. In my mind, it sounds really good to be able to leave college with a degree, work experience, and a professional portfolio to go with my other accolades.” -Parker Allen, Lead Guitarist for Nuclear Tourism

Parker Allen outside of event space the “Redline”
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Parker Allen’s Unique Perspective on College