Tag Archives: student life

A Rant About Gluten-Free Dining

If you have a severe food allergy, you’re probably used to not having the best dining options. The person allergic to peanuts is used to not being able to have the peanut butter cookies for dessert. The lactose intolerant person knows to get the sorbet if their group goes out for ice cream and the gluten-free person asks for a burger with a lettuce wrap at In and Out. We know how to adjust. Since being gluten-free for the past few years, I’ve learned to roll with it. Do my friends want Whataburger? That’s fine; I’ll get french fries. Are we going out for pizza? If they don’t have a gluten-free crust, I’ll just get a salad. It’s pretty simple, for the most part, to avoid gluten. 

Since coming to college, I’ve been on a dining plan. My dorm has pretty good gluten-free options. There’s always gluten=free bread for toast or sandwiches, and on pancake day, they whip up some gluten-free pancakes (usually). Some meals don’t have a gluten-free option which is frustrating if I’m in the mood for an actual meal, not just a sandwich, or if the meal is really good and I can’t have it, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. This was my mindset until my friends without dietary restrictions began to pity me. 

My friends got frustrated with my lack of dining options before I did. They began to say things like: “What do you mean they didn’t have a gluten-free option today?”, “Why wouldn’t that restaurant have gluten-free options? It’s so common now,” and “That sucks that you never get to have the dessert.”  Eventually, after listening to all their pity comments, I became a little frustrated. I pay the exact same amount for my dining plan as they do, but I probably have half of the options they do. There are four types of bread and four types of bagels for them every day. I have one. They can choose between ravioli, spaghetti, or penne on past nights, while I get the same gluten-free pasta that’s never cooked right and always a bit stiff and cold. I truly appreciate the options that I have, especially compared to the options five years ago, but still, it would be nice to have at least close to the same amount of options as everyone else.

Gluten-free food often costs more than the regular options, which is fine. I understand that the products can be more expensive and difficult to obtain, but it’s just ridiculous at times. For example, I used to get chicken fried rice from a place that charged an extra $5 for gluten-free. Want to know what they did to make it gluten-free? They just didn’t add soy sauce. So I paid $5 for them to remove an ingredient. 

Let me reiterate: I am so grateful for the options that I do have. When people go out of their way to make sure I have something to eat it means the world to me. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because I’m not. I just want to be able to have a hot meal option for every meal at the dorm, where I pay for a hot meal option at every meal, and I don’t want to have to pay so much extra for a simple modification. 

Featured Image By Allison Geddie

Student’s in Class

Created by Francessca Conde

Student B who took notes on her iPad

Student A – a TA who was usually working on her other assignments during class

Student D- sat in the very last row

Student F – the other TA– she would online shop during the class LOL

Student E – he always had a mask on so shoutout to him.

A professor who was very stylish.

Student G – She was super nice and always had something pink-colored on her body.

Student C – Who I only ever saw once

11 Moving Tips to Consider During Move-Out

As the academic school year is winding down and summer is fast approaching. That can only mean one thing; it’s the season for moving out! Getting to go back home is exciting, but the thought of having to transport all of your belongings within a certain time constraint can certainly be daunting. Students living on and off-campus will soon have to pack up all their belongings to make the journey back home. Here are some things you can consider before and during the packing process. 

  1. Start packing ahead of time. 

This might seem insignificant at first, but getting a head start can never do any harm. Many students think that moving out won’t take too much time, but there is definitely more work to be done than one might initially assume. It is easier to pack little by little instead of trying to cram everything in random boxes the day before moving out.

  1. Make a mental list of everything that you need to do.

 This is another step that might seem like a waste of time, but I can assure you; it is definitely important and worthwhile! Students are so used to seeing their room that they get desensitized to how much stuff they actually have. Think back to extra supplies, miscellaneous furniture/appliances, seasonal clothes, and other trinkets that you might have tucked away in drawers or closets out of sight. Do a scan of your space and re-familiarize yourself with all your possessions. 

  1. Learn to let go of items you aren’t/haven’t used. 

Throw away all the items you’ve been hoarding throughout the semester. Yes, this means you have to take out the trash that you’ve been too lazy to take out. Make sure to scan your room and get rid of anything that you don’t need to eliminate unnecessary items that take up space. You’ll be surprised at how much good a bit of decluttering can do to your mental state.

  1. Separate your things from your roommate’s belongings. 

Although not everyone has a roommate, it can be applied to everyone in different contexts. If you do have a roommate, it is important to talk to them to decide who will take previously shared appliances/goods. Even if you live alone, make sure to go around looking for objects that your friends might have forgotten in your space or items that you’ve previously borrowed and never given back. 

  1. Use big boxes separated into different categories so that it is easy to differentiate the items when reopening them back at home.

Not everyone has the resources to pack in big moving boxes, but sticking to containers with a solid structure is always recommended when making a big move. It’s easier to carry out in the short term, easier to manage and reduces the chances of damage during the transportation process.

  1. Make sure to have labels on everything after categorizing your belongings.

This might take some time in the beginning, but it will be useful in the end when you have to find something really quickly. Categorizing items also makes it easier to pack since everything has a given place it needs to be. It is really tempting to skimp on this step during the process, but naming boxes/containers will save you more time in the long run especially when you unpack. 

  1. Make use of towels, clothes, and other soft linen items to act like bubble wrap/packing peanuts. 

Anything that takes up less space is useful, and in this case, it can also save some money. Instead of investing in bubble wrap or foam to shelter the more fragile or glass items, substitute it for things you already have to pack: thick padded sweaters, fluffy towels, fuzzy socks, etc. 

  1. Roll up clothes, towels, blankets, and any other foldable item.

The biggest thing about packing to make a big move is to optimize space. Although everyone has their personal preferred style of folding clothing items, I highly recommend the rolling method during move-out. Rolling up clothing items tightly will save so much space, and the compact style makes it easier to move around. 

  1. Heavier items on the bottom, lighter items on the top.

This might seem like common sense, but it’s amazing how much we can forget when we are rushing in order to get the moving part over with. Unless you want to be dealing with bent or broken items, it is smart to always keep in mind that heavier things go on the bottom of the boxes. Yes– this means that you have to empty out the box and restart when you find something towards the end of packing that needs to be packed at the bottom. 

  1. Make use of school backpacks, duffel bags, etc.

Have all the essential items that you use the most in your backpack, like your laptop, phone, chargers, and earphones since things can get hectic and lost during the process of moving out. This also means that all your other bags can have a role too. Many students pack away unused bags into boxes, but why not make use of them? Bags are designed to store belongings in a contained space while also making them easier to transport. 

  1. Avoid being lazy and throwing everything in one box.

This might sound like something that is obvious, but moving can be mentally and physically draining. This also means that giving up is a temptation that will constantly nag you in the back of your mind. Definitely try to avoid shoving everything in boxes in an unorganized manner due to frustration. 

Everyone has been through the stressful process of moving, and sometimes it might feel like giving in to the anxiety is an easy fix. Worry not; take a deep breath and continue on slowly. Put on some relaxing music or a podcast you enjoy in the background while working, and it’s okay to take it step by step slowly. When starting, it might seem like there is no end to the monumental  task but remember, there is always a rewarding end waiting at the finish line for each journey!

How To De-stress: Burnout Edition

It’s that point in the semester where everything seems dreadful and mentally draining. So here’s a gentle reminder that it’s okay to take a break from schoolwork and relax. What are some ways to do that? You’ve come to the right place because I’ve got a list!

  1. Watch something you love: 

We’ve all got a comfort show that always puts us in a good mood. Having a good laugh can help relieve stress after tense study sessions. Even if it isn’t a comedy, watching something that makes you happy is what matters, whether that be true crime or cartoons. Pro tip: anything on Disney + is great for a pick-me-up, tbh.

  1. Read

Sometimes we’re so caught up in homework that we disregard the nine unread books that lie idly sitting on our shelf. Try reading one of them, or maybe finishing the one you already started. Reading books is a good way to pass time, and forget about everything else happening in the world. You’re stuck in someone else’s fantasy when you read, hopefully, a good one. And hey, at least it’s not your schoolwork! 

  1. Enjoy your favorite comfort foods

Just the other day, I made matcha-white chocolate chip cookies with my sister and instantly felt better after eating them. After hours of homework, eating something nice is rewarding. Treat yourself, even if that means ordering that expensive Uber Eats meal. Trust me; you deserve it

  1. Play a fun game

When I want a small break, I crack open the good ol’ Nintendo Switch and play a game. Lately, I’ve been playing “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” for a bit of fun before returning to homework. Of course, it doesn’t have just to console games but could be board games, cards, or whatever you find fun. Cool math games, anyone?

  1. Take a nap

Nothing feels better than a nice nap! Don’t force yourself to stay awake if you’re exhausted and haven’t gotten enough rest. Naps aren’t a waste of time if you use them wisely. Your work can wait till you’re in a better mental and physical state. Go rest!

  1. Let it out! 

When in doubt, scream, sigh or sing, as it will all relieve that pent-up stress. If you’re able, go ahead and just let out a good scream. If not, sighing works too, as it relieves tension in the upper body. Maybe, you feel the need to sing your favorite song, such as “As It Was” by Harry Styles or “Pied Piper” by BTS (my current favorites). Doing so helps release endorphins and hormones like oxytocin, putting you in a better mood.

When things get tough as finals approach, make sure to take a break. Burnout hits pretty hard and can take a toll on your mental health. Everything on this list has personally helped me feel better during burnout season, and I hope it helps you too. Remember, you’ve got this, and we’re almost there!

Featured Image By Morgan Scruggs

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