Tag Archives: UT

How to start couponing as a college student

As a college student, I know how important it is to save money and stay on budget. One way I’ve been able to save money is by couponing for necessities like toothpaste, toilet paper and shampoo. If you want to learn how to save money, then here’s some advice on how to start couponing. 

Places to coupon 

My go-to places to coupon at are Dollar General, Walgreens and Family Dollar. All these places have big coupon communities on social media, so it’s easy to find deals each week posted online. 

They’re beginner-friendly couponing stores because they have digital coupons on their websites and apps. All you need to do is click each coupon on the app and enter your phone number at the store, then you’ll see your price start dropping. 

Digital coupons

When you think of couponing you probably think of that one show about extreme couponers and their giant folders full of paper coupons. Cutting out paper coupons and finding them around the city is definitely a big time-waster and not college student-friendly. 

Instead, I want to welcome you to the world of digital couponing. To start digital couponing, all you need to do is go to the store’s app or website, create an account and start clicking coupons. When you get to the store that allows digital coupons, like the ones I mentioned, all you need to do is punch in your phone number when told and your coupons will be added. 

How to find deals

When you open the app or website you will probably be overwhelmed by the amount of coupons available. Some stores may limit the amount of coupons you can have saved onto your account, so you want to make sure each coupon you clip matters. 

The reason I recommend starting with the three stores I named is because of their large couponing community. Join Facebook groups, follow TikTok couponers or follow Instagram couponers to learn about deals everybody else is doing for that week. 

In these social media communities, people will usually post the exact items they bought and post pictures of what coupons you need to save in order to get the price they did. This is probably the biggest advice I can give, so go follow some couponers on TikTok!

Best days to coupon

There is really no set day to coupon, you can go to the store whenever you have freetime. However, certain days do have better coupons than others. 

Dollar General has a $5 off when you spend $25 coupon that is only eligible on Saturdays. Lots of people stack this coupon with other coupons to get everything cheaper. Make sure you check if any stores carry coupons available for only certain days and that are stackable. 

Items you can coupon 

Popular couponing items are mainly household items and toiletry. Toothpaste, toilet paper, laundry detergent and air fresheners are the popular items you can get couponing. You use most of these items on a daily basis so it’s a good idea to stock up on them with coupons. 

Couponing may seem intimidating at first, but once you start doing it you learn quickly. This is a great way for college students to really save on things used on a regular basis, so go online and start couponing!

Feature image by Morgan Scruggs

feeling sophomore slumped? you’re not alone

I threw up the day I had to leave campus and return home at the end of my freshmen year. I didn’t want to leave my college bubble and had actually avoided going home that entire year. I left freshman year feeling accomplished both academically and socially. Once I returned to Austin for year two, I figured this feeling of excitement and community would return. I’d be ready to work harder, make more connections and more memories. 

The minute I returned to campus something felt off. I felt drained before the year even began, but blamed it on the nerves of beginning a new school year in person. Weeks of classes went by yet something still felt wrong. I wasn’t motivated, deadlines passed without submission, talks of the wonderful internships I could soon apply for filled me with dread, I withdrew from friends, and walks to my beloved turtle pond didn’t excite me as they used to. I started longing to go back home. Even the tower, which was once a landmark representing success and anticipation to me, became just another building. I didn’t know why I felt this way until I came across the phenomenon known as “the sophomore slump.”

Though it has many components, and everyone feels it differently, the sophomore slump is a period of disconnection from college life for second-year students. The excitement of independence and “firsts” from freshman year has worn off and you’re left feeling dejected. Students find it hard to maintain their college enthusiasm and live up to the academic and social successes of year one. They may feel emotionally detached from their college towns, pressured to declare a major and make big career decisions, or confused on what they want out of the ‘college experience’ overall. 

Second year journalism student Ileana Fernandez agreed that there’s a “slump in the air”.

“My school work has been piling on and it seems I can never catch a break,” Fernandez said. “A two-day weekend is barely enough time to catch my breath. Balancing my job and academics while still attempting to have somewhat of a social life drains me. To be honest I’m just trying to make it through the week, every week, again and again.”

Especially after the pandemic hindered the normalcy of freshman year for the class of 2024, many students came into sophomore year without social groups or familiarity with the campus. Fernandez and sophomore Daja Dansby both stayed home last year. While many classes are still online this semester, Dansby said zoom learning can make school feel non-existent. 

“When you learn online it’s so easy to pretend like school doesn’t exist. Like the black boxes on zoom aren’t real people, and like you aren’t really working towards anything,” she said.

“I didn’t know the sophomore slump was a thing until recently,” Dansby added. “I think the fact that we all lost a year to COVID has a lot to do with our collective lack of motivation. This stage in our lives is just a difficult one. We’re away from our friends and family for the first time, we’re messing up and learning lessons, losing friends and making more; we’re experiencing everything that comes with entering young adulthood. Pair that with living during a pandemic alongside the pressure of still needing to strive and succeed. It’s a lot, I’m not surprised we’re all going through it.”

There’s no vaccine for this illness ailing the sophomore class. This phenomenon of collective unmotivation is felt so widely by a myriad of students that it was given its own name. It’s important to remember that the sophomore slump is, indeed, collective. It’s not new and it’s felt by students everywhere. College combined with figuring out who you are as a person, and what you want in life is overwhelming; burnout is inevitable at one point or another. Learning how to cope can be difficult. There’s always hobbies to relieve yourself like podcasts, painting, journaling or exercising, but counseling is also a viable resource. Appointments can be booked at the CMHC to get whatever you need off your chest.  This is a battle not fought alone.

“To anyone feeling the same way, please know that there’s nothing wrong with you,” Dansby said. “You aren’t behind, you aren’t dumb. College is just hard. It’s okay to mess up and get stuck in slumps, it happens to everyone. You’re learning, which is what we’re all here for. You’ll get where you need to be eventually. Be gentle with yourself.”

Featured Image by Tara Phipps

The Five Best Texercise Classes

If you haven’t taken a Texercise class at UT yet, you’re seriously missing out. From dancing in disco lights to meditating, each class offers its own version of fun and reward. After taking multiple classes over the last two weeks, I can assure you that you’ll have a blast in any class you take. Even though it was tough to narrow it down, I managed to create a list of my top five class recommendations.

The first class I took was Yoga (Vinyasa) and Meditation. Yoga classes are a great way to wake up your body in the morning or wind down after a long day. I took this class after a stressful midterm, and I seriously needed it. The class focused on slow connected movements, with time at the beginning and end dedicated to self-reflection. Fun fact: shavasana is my favorite yoga pose, and if you take this class, you’ll see why.

I’ve never taken a cycling class before, but the one I took through Texercise will certainly not be my last. This may come as a shock, but if you’ve ever seen a cycling class depicted in a movie or TV show, it’s exactly the same. The energy, the loud music, the lighting: luckily, I managed to stay on the bike, unlike Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty, but the energy, loud music and lighting was all a parallel.

I also took my first Pilates class this week. I highly recommend this class to anyone looking to feel sore for a full week. Pilates is core-intensive, which is definitely an area of my body where I have room to grow. It was one of the most challenging classes, but the instructor was fantastic, and the class as a whole was a lot of fun.

Mind Body Fusion was another one of my favorites. I didn’t do my research, so I went in expecting a relaxing yoga or meditation class — I’m glad I was wrong. This class combined the fluidity of yoga and the intensity of crossfit, so I left feeling both energized and wicked sore. I also absolutely adored the instructor, as her coaching allowed me to easily follow her movements and stay engaged throughout class.

Finally, I’ve been itching to take a Zumba class forever, so I was super excited to take one this week. If you have any passion for dance, then Zumba is the perfect class for you. Zumba classes typically focus on cardiovascular fitness with intense dancing to Latin music. I find that the best way to relieve stress is to dance it out, which is why this is my favorite form of exercise. Plus, it’s basically a way to trick yourself into working out — I mean, how can dancing be anything other than fun?

Breaking up the last two weeks with these classes has been like a breath of fresh air. Exercise is so important to our mental and physical health, but it can be hard to find the discipline to work out on your own. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to convince myself to show up to a 6:30 a.m. cycling class than just the gym. These classes are super enjoyable, and I encourage everyone to try them!

Featured image by Morgan Scruggs

A Piano for Your Thoughts: Study Playlist

By now, most of us have found ourselves in the lobby of our dorm, fully absorbed with our homework, when someone starts banging on the piano and disrupts our concentration. The problem isn’t the piano itself. I, personally, really enjoy the sound of a piano, but not when it’s being played like a punching bag. 

With this playlist, you can enjoy the relaxing sounds of the piano while you write essays, read a book or take a stroll around campus. Enjoy!

Featured image by Bettina Mateo