Tag Archives: dorm life

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 empty desk at the end of the hall

Rumors circulate around Littlefield dormitory, UT’s oldest residence hall. Does more than just dust float through these nearly 100-year-old halls? Perhaps, even the ghost of Alice Littlefield herself?

I lived in Littlefield dormitory during my freshman year. Things were mostly normal. Mostly.

One memory comes to mind instantly when I recall my time there. For you to be able to understand it though, you have to know a little bit about the layout of the dormitory.

At the end of my hall, a narrow corridor lined with doorways and history , there was a singular desk and a singular chair. I had found it was a strangely peaceful yet eerie spot to do homework or study late a night. When I sat at that desk, the whole world seemed a little quieter, a little colder, and a lot more isolated.

It was rare to see anyone else in that hallway. If I saw anyone at all, they were gone in a moment or two, vanishing into their dorm room or the communal restroom.

There was no one and nothing to distract me. It was the ideal study spot. I couldn’t understand why such a perfect place was always vacant.

One night, I was at the desk, finishing an essay when my phone lit up. A snap from a friend.

On my screen, her face was morphed with a filter. So, as any 21st-century teen would do, I went to send a fun, filtered photo back or at least I tried to.

My Snapchat applied the face filter, just as it should. Except, there was no face in the camera’s line of sight.

A chill went through my body as my phone registered a face I could not see, and then two. The empty hallway before me that suddenly seemed very much not empty at all.

It had to be a mistake or so I thought. I restarted my phone, tried one filter after the next, positioned the camera at different angles but the filtered face remained, staring. It was always staring.

I can’t say for sure the face was Alice Littlefield. I can’t even say for sure it was anyone at all. All I can say is now I understand why no one sits at the desk at the end of the hall.

How To Make Your Space Feel More Like Home

Living in Austin is exciting. The city continuously hums with the sound of traffic and conversations, as thousands of people shuffle around one another on their way to classes and work. The movement is constant and there are always things to do, tasks to complete, and places to travel. What we often forget is that the hustle and bustle of it all can be just as thrilling as it can be exhausting.

Most individuals return to their tiny spaces seeking relaxation and debriefing from their tiresome days. Unfortunately for us college students, even our homes can be carriers of stress and exhaustion. They are reminders of the laundry we are too busy to wash, the groceries we forgot to buy, and the desks we need to unscramble with all of our assignments and readings. Inhabiting a messy home leads to a lack of productivity, and it can be overwhelming even when you do finally attempt to clean. If you can relate to any of these struggles, continue reading to learn simple ways to keep your space as clean and comfortable as possible.

Separate Work & Play

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Late nighters and crashing for an exam are often done in the comfort of our own home. There, we sit in our beds with our laptops in our noses and our books at our feet. While completing school work in your comfortable bed might seem like the best idea to engender your productivity, it might just do the opposite. Doing homework in your bed can without a doubt make you feel drowsy, lazy, and possible allow for too many phone breaks to check instagram and snapchat. This is because your bed is associated with relaxation, something that makes concentrating on homework very hard. If you were to shift your late night cramming over to your desk, you would quickly realize that you are much more motivated to finish the work so that you can earn some much needed rest. In general, your home should be associated with an escape from the stressful events during the day. Making an effort to keep the most comfortable and relaxing places of your house for debriefing only will provide you with a stress free zone to let loose.

Personalize Your Space

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As college students it can be hard to for the space you’re living in to feel like home. From horrendous roommates to tiny closets, there are a million things that make living arrangement uncomfortable. Although some of these events are unavoidable, creating a space that you love to be in can ease the burden off of your shoulders. The best way to create your own space is to surround yourself with all of the things that make your life feel full and happy. A great way to start is by hanging up pictures of you and your friends making your favorite memories, or displaying all of the sweet notes you’ve received from loved ones. Pin your favorite quotes, song lyrics, or life mottos to a bulletin board as daily dose of positivity and warmth. Hang up fairy lights, buy soft and warm blankets, and make your room feel like a sanctuary. Find simple and unique ways to turn the blank walls and stiff bedding into a space that you want to live in. Odds are the more thought and energy you place into decorating your space, the more you will strive to take care of it and keep it clean. A personalized room can make returning home more enjoyable, rewarding, and productive.

Keep Up to Date & Stay Organized

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The biggest contributor to a messy space, schedule and life is lack of organization. It’s a never ending cycle of feeling unprepared and stressed for the day that leads up to a clutter of clothes on the floor, a pile of dishes in the sink. The less we keep up with our mess the more time we need to clean it. Being proactive about the events on your schedule can lead to a more clear head and room. Invest in a desk calendar where you can write the dates of due homework assignments, tests, and social events. Also, consider adding a to-do list to your wall of thing that need to get done throughout the week to ensure that you don’t forget about the minuscule tasks that often get swept under the rug. It is always a good idea to use multiple calendars and reminders to help you stay on schedule. Making organizational space in your room can lead to a more productive and thoughtful outlook on your week.

Don’t Over Clutter

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The worst space to come back to is a place full of impractical and useless items. Although the snow-globe collection you have had since you were twelve is sentimental and belongs in your room, finding enough  space for every single one of them and for it to not become cluttered is difficult. This can encourage a messy room from the start, because when it is filled it to the brim there is no space to accumulate new things to bring you joy. A simple way to start decluttering is to go through all of your things and donate the clothes that you’ve outgrown or items that you don’t have the space for anymore. Not only is this beneficial for others who can find use out of your unused items, but it will help simplify your space and make organization seem more manageable than ever. Being intentional about the items that are in your space can make your home more meaningful, overall increasing your productivity and ability to relax inside of it.

Display Your Passions

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Burnout is a common issue college students feel throughout the semester. With so many hours lost to studying in the PCL and tests constantly appearing on your radar it is easy to feel overwhelmed and like the work you’re doing is meaningless. This is when you lose sight of the bigger picture and you no longer remember why you started or what goal you’re working towards. A great way to avoid burnout is to turn your home into a space that reflects your dreams and motivators in life. Display a vision board of the careers you hope to pursue, the places you want to travel, and the people that are helping you get there. Understanding the endless amounts of opportunity and possibilities ahead of you will push you work hard and never limit yourself. Your space will transform from a living space, to a home where you envision your future and productively work towards it.

Featured image courtesy of Pexels.