Tag Archives: atx

Top Snacks For College Students

Snacks are an essential component of the college experience. Whether you have a stash of  Oreos and popcorn or yogurt and almonds in your dorm, I can almost guarantee every college student has their favorite snacks on hand right now. I asked UT students to share their top snacks, and I got a multitude of responses. So, if you’re looking to add some variety to your snack collection, then this is a great place to start!

I was not surprised to discover Oreos, chips, gummy candy and goldfish were popular answers among the students I spoke to. All of these snacks have a wide range of flavors to choose from, which makes them appealing to a larger audience. In addition, these are the types of snacks that never get old because the second you get tired of one flavor, you can switch to the next one.

On the more nutritious side, many students said they keep a healthy supply of Greek yogurt, trail mix and granola bars. Greek yogurt can be more of a hassle to carry around, but trail mix and granola bars are great to take with you on the go. 

Again, depending on your preferences, you can choose different toppings for your yogurt, switch out raisins for m&ms in your trail mix or go for a fruit-filled granola bar instead of your usual chocolate chip and peanut butter combo.

There were definitely some outliers in the responses that are worth an honorable mention. Some people specifically mentioned lucky charms, peanut m&ms, Milano cookies and dried mango slices.

I can’t end the article without sharing some of my own picks for snacks. Of course, I always keep cashews, brookside chocolates and white cheddar popcorn. I’m definitely excited to use my research to diversify my snack selection the next time I’m at Target, though!

Featured Image By Matilda Herrera Ramirez

How to Budget Your Dine-In Dollars

At this point in the semester, most of my friends are either dangerously close to running out of dine-in dollars or have more money than they know what to do with. I’m somewhere in the middle with around $150 dine-in dollars out of $300. 

Even though I drink copious amounts of coffee and have trouble resisting the urge to grab peanut M&M’s every time I pass Kins Market, I limit myself to a weekly budget.

Here are my tips for creating and sticking to a budget so you can ration your dine-in dollars to last all semester.

First things first: determine where you typically spend all of your money. For example, I spend most of my dine-in dollars at the different Starbucks locations around campus. 

I could easily see myself grabbing a coffee before classes in the morning and another one to keep me motivated during my afternoon study sessions. However, I try to limit myself to three coffees a week. That puts me at 15 dine-in dollars a week. With about 15 weeks of classes in the semester, I spend about $225 on coffee each semester. 

That leaves me with $75  of non-coffee money. I can use this to grab an energy drink from Kins Market or fries and lemonade from the Union Chick-Fil-A on my way to class. I can also usually sneak in an extra coffee every other week and the occasional chocolate croissant.

This budgeting tactic can apply to any amount of dine-in dollars you have left. So Whether you have $50  or $450, figure out one place where you do/can spend most of your money and budget it out every week. This’s the easiest way to both save your money if you’re running low or use it up if you’ve got cash to spend!

Featured Image By Liliana Garcia

The Ballroom at Spider House

Almost every day, I pass by The Ballroom at Spider House on 29th St. Under the light bulb-rimmed sign that reads “BALLROOM” are the words “Bar and Cafe; Come on in.” I was intrigued by the seeming randomness of the building, so I googled it a few times, but I still couldn’t really tell what this place was. Could you sit and do homework there? Is it more of a bar or a coffee shop? At what point in the day does it switch from a coffee shop to a bar? So, finally, my friends and I decided to venture in. 

As we walked into the bar area, sunlight flooded through the front door, lighting up a usually dimly lit room. Seeing a bar in broad daylight doesn’t seem right, but the atmosphere was pleasant nonetheless. We ordered our drinks and sat in the Ballroom to get some homework done. I definitely recommend the dirty horchata with cold brew if that’s your cup of coffee. If not, they have all the usual coffee drinks. My friends enjoyed their cold brew, both plain and with oat milk. The coffee and alcohol prices are reasonable, and I feel that it’s worth noting that when they said my coffee was five dollars, they charged me five dollars flat. That was just a nice bonus.  

The Ballroom is, first and foremost, not a study space. Most of the tables inside are small hightops meant for the night scene the area usually accommodates. There is a nice patio with picnic tables and Wi-Fi access, but it has no coverage. Instead, it’s an event venue meant to host comedians and bands. Inside  you’ll find a stage with a movie screen where they play cult classics all day and three arcade games in one of the room’s corners. Lights strung across the ceiling reflect off a spinning disco ball in the center, softly lighting up the room. This is a space meant to be seen at night, but you can absolutely enjoy it at any time. 

The Ballroom used to connect to Spider House Cafe, which opened in 1995. And sadly, it closed in March 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. The cafe used to be a funky place to enjoy coffee, food trucks, and a nice patio, but now lives on through The Ballroom. You can still enjoy Arlo’s, a food truck on The Ballroom’s patio that serves plant-based burgers and tacos if you need some food with your coffee. For more information about upcoming events at The Ballroom, visit their website here.

Featured Image By Matilda Herrera Ramirez

Mindfulness Products to Use for the Second Half of the Semester

After Spring Break, many kids come back to school feeling rejuvenated and ready to finish the year strong, tired and lacking motivation. Whichever boat you find yourself in, investing in mindfulness products can help you maintain your productivity streak or help jumpstart it. This article compiles a list of mindfulness products that can help you balance your time, manage your stress, and allow you to have the most enjoyable and relaxing end to your semester.

  1. Affirmation Deck

This deck of 40 cards has positive messages written on them to provide you with inspiration and motivation in your daily life. They’re perfect for self-care and to remind you to love yourself! These also make for a great gift and are a way to let someone know you’re thinking of them and their well-being.

2. Hemp Seed Oil Bath Bombs

This set of three muscle-soothing bath bombs contains menthol, eucalyptus, and Epsom salt – a perfect combination to reduce stress, workout aches, and provide sinus relief. Enjoy a soak in the tub to release tension and inhale the relaxing scent to ease your mind and body at ease. 

3. Coloring Book

Did you know that they make coloring books specifically for adults? These coloring books have unique, mesmerizing patterns to help take your mind off whatever might be stressing you out. Not only is this fun, but it engages the creative side of your brain too!

4. Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are unique in that they are heavy. However, when you take them off, you literally feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Using gentle, soothing pressure-weighted blankets helps you relax more and sleep better.

5. Essential Oil Diffuser

An easy thing to keep in your dorm or living space is an essential oil diffuser. Certain scents like lavender or chamomile help you de-stress and relax. Some diffusers also act as humidifiers, which can help clear the air, thus allowing you to breathe better. 

6. Light-up Alarm Clock

This is no ordinary alarm clock. Instead, it uses sunrise simulation lighting and natural sounds to wake you up gently. It gradually gets brighter in the minutes before your alarm goes off, which is definitely better than Apple’s blaring alarm clock noises. 

7. Motivational Water Bottle

Struggle with drinking as much water as you should? This water bottle will solve that problem! It is perfect for reminding you to drink a specific amount of water at certain times and provides uplifting, motivational messages too. 

8. Massage Tool 

Gone are the days of paying for massages when you can receive a massage in the comfort of your home! This massage machine is heated and targets your deep tissue. Suitable for every body part, this is perfect for students who walk around campus or sit at a desk all day. 

9. Dry Body Brush

Dry body brushing is all the craze. Using this in the shower or bath in small circular motions on your skin helps remove dead skin cells and improves blood circulation as well. 

Some other things to do that don’t require you to go and buy things include 

* Journaling 

*Doing yoga (YouTube has some great guided meditations and yoga exercises that are beginner-friendly!). 

*Anything else that provides a sense of relaxation. 

For some, it could be taking a walk. For others, it could be painting their nails – whatever you decide to do just know you can finish this semester strong! 

Riverside Students Create Coalition

Housing in Austin is expensive. Many students can’t afford to live in West Campus, where the rent median is at $1,295, according to Zumper. For this reason, many students decide to live in the Riverside area where rent is lower. 

I live in Riverside and my rent includes parking, and utilities such as Wi-Fi/cable, trash, and furniture. But, of course, I have to give up the convenience of living within walking distance of campus.

However, with the wide gap in rent, I don’t have much of a choice. Like many other college students, I don’t have a car and rely on public transportation. Luckily, the UT Shuttle service is available for students in Riverside and other areas. UT Shuttles are free to students with their student IDs but are the same price as Metro Buses to anyone who isn’t eligible. The commute from my apartment to campus ranges from ~15 to ~30 minutes and depends on traffic.

However, this semester, the UT Shuttle experienced significantly lower bus frequencies. As a result, students, including myself, waited for upwards of an hour for a ride. As a result of the wait, there were a lot of passengers. 

There were many times I felt unsafe in the full bus amidst a pandemic.

I, as well as other students, couldn’t avoid it, though. Many professors are enforcing attendance policies this semester. Capital Metro told students to take Metro buses, which typically increases the commute time. 

The street that I live in houses many families and other non-students. I often see older people taking the UT Shuttle to the end of the street to cut down minutes from their walk to the Metro bus stop. People in this community, not just students, rely on these buses to provide accessibility.

Students speculated many reasons for the shuttle issues, including a shortage of bus drivers or that lack of UT funding, and a more recent rumor is that there was actually a shortage of buses. These rumors were spread by word-of-mouth, and some people called Capital Metro directly but almost always got the same answer: there’s a driver shortage.

In true Longhorn fashion, students are now working together to bring their grievances to attention. 

So far, students have formed a coalition to talk about their shared experiences and plan a course of action.

As students move forward with the coalition, the group is calling for other students, especially those who live in West Campus, to advocate for expanded bus services and increase equity for off-campus students in Riverside.

Riverside Justice at UT Austin has an Instagram page (@riseriverside) where anyone can learn more about the issues Riverside students are trying to overcome.

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