Tag Archives: west campus

Coming Soon: Cauldron Coffee

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been itching for a new coffee place in West Campus. I love Lucky Lab and Starbucks as much as any UT student, but they’re tried and true. I’m ready for something a little different. Lucky for us, Cauldron Coffee is set to open on March 17! 

Cauldron Coffee is a new coffee shop and bar with “the perfect blend of Tulum and Mediterranean vibes,” according to their website. Tulum is a beautiful coastal city in Mexico. The Mediterranean is obviously a huge coastal region, so this should be a great place to hang out and dream of summer vacations as the weather gets warmer. 

I can already see myself pretending to live my Mamma Mia fantasy on the patio! After months of renovations, the shop looks completely different from how it started (check out their Instagram highlights to see their process, @cauldroncoffeeatx)! A total renovation has given it a new life, one I can’t wait to see in person. 

The shop is on San Gabriel, right by Hilltop, which is perfect for people who live a bit farther from campus but want a convenient place to study. It will also be a great place to get some casual drinks or pregame before a night out! They claim to have some of the best coffee in Austin, but honestly, from the pictures, it looks like one of those places that even if they have mediocre coffee, the vibes are so good that you can let it slide. I’m still banking on good coffee, though. They also have a broad menu, so you can try their matcha or other teas if coffee isn’t your thing. If it really does have good vibes, good coffee, and good cocktails, then it will be the triple threat of West Campus!  Try something new and go check out Cauldron Coffee!

Featured Image by Talisa Trevino

6 Tips For Living Off Campus

Off-campus living has been one of the most enriching experiences of my years in college. Not only did I get a taste of being on my own, but I also got to learn a little bit about being an adult— bills, commutes and finally getting to turn the thermostat down when it’s too hot.

It can be overwhelming to try and tackle this experience as an 18 or 19-year-old in the middle of class schedules, job searches and everything else, so here are some tips to live the best off-campus life.

1. Pick a Place You Like

My apartment is 20 minutes off-campus, but I would much rather be here than somewhere close in a cramped sardine can. I knew I would likely be picking an apartment complex I’d spend the rest of my college years at, and wanted to find a place that I wanted to go home to every day. So, find an apartment that makes you smile, and not one that you’re just trying to stick out for a semester or two.

2. Background Check Those Roommates

When it comes to the off-campus apartment life, you’ll be picking your own roommates. If they’re not friends, then definitely meet up beforehand and talk to them. You’re going to be spending so much time with this person, and sleeping across the hall from them at night. Make sure they’re bearable. I have heard an abundance of roommate horror stories and trust me when I say you don’t want to be the one having to tell them.

3. Research Locations

When picking a place, check out the area. Try to find somewhere in a nice area with a grocery store and some of your favorite places nearby. This is your main location so it’s always nice to have everything you need around. Beyond that, it’s good to try and find safer areas to put some roots down in for the next few years.

4. Figure Out Your Budget

The biggest reason I chose not to live in West Campus was affordability. I’d much rather commute to school every morning than spend $1,200 a month for a shoebox. It was outside my budget and even with my student loans, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it. By figuring out what I could afford I was able to find a nice place within my budget.

5. Don’t Isolate

Living off-campus can feel isolating sometimes because you’re so far away from the action and, a lot of the time, your friends. Don’t let the distance isolate you from campus. Join clubs and make time to see the people you care about. Sometimes it’s a 10 to 20 minute drive, but it’s worth it to get the socialization you need to have an enjoyable college experience.

6. Plan For The Commute

Make sure you know how long the drive to campus is with morning traffic so that you’re not running down Speedway to get to class on time. And even more important, make sure you have a parking plan! Sign up for a parking pass and try to pick a place that’s convenient for you. If all else fails, you can always find room in one of the garages on campus or find some street parking nearby. If you don’t have a car, be sure to check out bus routes or, if you’re close enough, the time it takes to walk to class.

Finding a place to live can be tough, but the place you go home to everyday is supposed to be your escape from the rollercoaster of college, so make sure you’re investing the proper amount of time in finding it. Find a place that makes you feel happy, so when you’re cramming for midterms at three in the morning you’ll at least have some comfort in the fact you’re doing it in a safe, inviting space.

Spring 2021 Fashion: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Spring

Spring is upon us and now is the perfect time to get caught up on spring fashion trends! Check out our list of the six hottest fashion trends of Spring 2021 and take your pick of what stylish pieces you’ll be strutting around campus in.

1. Statement Sunglasses
First on the list is statement glasses! Spring is all about enjoying the sun and Austin’s warm weather before the summer heat makes it unbearable. Grab a pair of cool shades, maybe even color coordinate them with your outfit, and head out for a picnic with friends or to one of your in-person classes.

2. Silk Scarves
These stunning scarfs can be found all over TikTok, especially in the super popular “Please Don’t Go” headscarf trend. There are so many ways to style them and unique prints you’re bound to find something that works for you. For a summery look, tie a scarf around your ponytail or fold it into a triangle and wear it like a bandana. To add a little extra something to your outfit, tie a scarf around your neck or tie one to the straps of your favorite purse. Looking for somewhere local to pick one up? Visit Flamingo’s Vintage located just north of campus.

3. Print Button Downs
Looking to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring? Bring back some of your favorite button downs! Rather than wear them buttoned up, pull them over your favorite cami and your all set! Not only are you protected from the sun, you also have something to keep you warm at sunset.

4. Lingerie
Lingerie is no longer just for the bedroom! Some of your favorite pieces might be your new favorite going out outfit. Consider wearing a lacey slip dress or tucking a dainty cami into a pair of jeans. If you’re looking to go a step further, consider also incorporating an underbust corset.

5. Long, Flowy Skirts
This spring is all about statement pieces. Printed long skirts offer modesty and are just flowy enough to keep you cool as temperatures rev up. For an edgier look, pair them with a classic pair of docs. For a softer vibe, throw on your favorite pair of sandals!

6. Anything Vintage
Wearing vintage is all the rage. Not to mention, you’ll never have to worry about showing up in the same outfit as someone else ever again. Wondering what to get? Vintage dresses are a great option if you’re looking for a retro take on a sundress. You can also never go wrong with a bright 80s windbreaker paired with your favorite t-shirt and denim shorts.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and start rocking your favorite spring trends. And perhaps, bring a friend and a mask and check out local thrift and vintage stores for a new piece or two to spice up your wardrobe.

Photos by Ren Breach

The Best Kids Meals in West Campus

Yes, I am a grown adult. Yes, I order from the kids menu. We exist. Let me explain.

Do you ever go out with your friends to eat but you’re not hungry hungry? Or, you want to enjoy outside food but don’t have the financial means to splurge? It’s time for you to put your pride aside and start ordering from the kids menu! Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, I visited some of the most popular food joints in wampus in search of the best kids meals — here’s what I found.

1. In-N-Out and Halal Bros, can’t hang

First, I stopped by two wampus favorites on Guad, Halal Bros and In-N-Out. To my surprise, neither establishment had kids meals. However, Halal Bros does offer cheap side options (pictured) that can substitute a kids meal and In-N-Out’s burger costs less than the other meals reviewed. In-N-Out also has animal-style fries (fries topped with american cheese, caramelized onions and their signature fry sauce) which could serve as a meal! These are financially-good alternatives to ordering from the regular menu even if they don’t come with the quirkiness from ordering off the kid’s.

2. Pluckers, the hit or miss, 6/10

My friend and I ordered from the kids menu online at the Pluckers on Rio. I ordered the Kids Naked Boneless Wings with tater tots ($6.25) and they ordered the Kids Mac and Cheese with waffle fries ($6.00). Although the portions were large, the buffalo-dressed chicken strips were not that appetizing. My friend, however, did enjoy the mac and cheese / waffle fries combo as a vegetarian option. The tater tots were decent, but not out of this world. This is a good option when visiting the Wampus classic and you don’t want to overspend on a regular- sized meal. 

3. Kerbey Lane, The Surprise Contender, 8/10

Photographed by Josh Romero

I’ve eaten at the Austin-classic several times, however, I had never considered ordering off of the kids menu until writing this article. The kids meal consists of breakfast and lunch options, ranging from chicken tenders to pancakes. I ordered the chicken quesadillas and was pleasantly surprised. The quality of the chicken was good and all the kids’ meals came with fries or fruit. There were ample fries, and for a good price ($6.94 including tip) you get a decent sized meal without having to spend a lot.

4. Whataburger, the small but mighty, 8.5/10

Photographed by Josh Romero

I discovered the worthiness of the Whataburger kids meal when I worked for the state-favorite back in 2017. Coming in at $5.19, the chicken tender kids meal comes with two tenders, small fries, a cookie, and a small drink. This is perfect for a post-6th street munchies, or a reward for finishing midterms. 

5. Cava, king of the kids meal, 10/10

Photographed by Josh Romero

When at Cava, If you aren’t ordering from the kids meal, you’re doing it wrong. The Cava kids meal comes with a small pita, choice of hummus, choice of three toppings, pita chips or carrots, rice, and a small drink. When I discovered this hack, I was blown away. You get so much for a decent price ($6.98) and are still able to make selections as if you were ordering from the regular menu. I highly recommend switching to kids meals when visiting this Wampus favorite!