Dear International Student,

Dear International Students,

We are SO glad you’re here! Welcome to West Texas, we can’t wait to meet you. We wanted to reach out specifically to you to take some time and give you some pointers for when you arrive on campus.

 

  • Make it home!

 

West Texas has a little something for everyone, you just have to go out and find it. You’re bound to bond with someone over a good restaurant or an activity that you grew up doing. If not, there is always room for growth.

You can visit the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership to learn more about how to get involved or start your own organization.

 

  • Do not get stuck in your room!

 

It takes time to adjust to new settings and cultures, but don’t let that become your life. West Texas has a little something for everyone, you just have to go out and find it. Reach out to other involved students, professors, faculty etc.

  • Find other international students

Whether you share the same home country, language or similar culture, it’s worth getting to know other students who have experienced the same culture shock as you. Connect with other internationals within your major or department and learn more about involvement and their perspective. They can give you an inside look at what is a good use of your time and what may not be.

  • Utilize the resources available to you.

The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership is a great place to start to find organizations, but there are countless other opportunities to find your niche on campus. Join intramural sports, for example, as a way to stay or get in shape and meet people from all over campus. Advising Services is there to answer any academic related questions.

  • Talk to your advisor, professors, or faculty and staff within your department.

They are invaluable resources not just for your education, but within the WT community and the surrounding area. They are here to serve you and make you a better person, so reach out to them.

The best way to get a good understanding of EVERYTHING WT has to offer is by attending Buff Branding on move-in weekend (August 23-25). There, you will be introduced to the campus, your class cohort, organizations and local businesses and all other things WT.

If you have any questions, check out the schedule at http://www.wtamu.edu/student-life/buff-branding.aspx, and follow us on social media.

Welcome home, Buffs!

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A Student’s Guide to Food

Canyon’s food scene has been blowing up in the past year or two, so your situation is going to be significantly better than what it was when the graduating 2018 seniors came into the area. However, Amarillo food is absolutely not to be ignored. Here are some recommendations of yummy food for when the Caf just doesn’t hit the spot.

  1. The King & I: 104 15th Ave. Canyon, Tx. –  This hidden Canyon gem looks like the last place you would want to buy sushi from when you come up to it from the outside. On the inside, though, it is immaculate and has some of the best, biggest sushi rolls ever. This seems sketchy since we’re landlocked, but however they do it, the food is fresh and anything on their menu is fantastic (and cheap!) You absolutely need to check this place out.
  2. Sayakomarn’s: 421 16th St. Canyon, Tx. – This Thai and Laotian restaurant is affectionate dubbed Soccer Mom’s, Cindy’s, and Saya. It is the slightly nicer version of Thai Kitchen and has longer hours, so it’s easier to get that fried rice for study time whenever you need it.
  3. Braceros: 2822 SW 6th Ave. Amarillo, Tx. – This fun atmosphere off Route 66 is the best Mexican food in Amarillo, hands down. Also, they have nights of the week where certain specials are cheap, such as Monday Enchilada Night. You won’t be disappointed.
  4. Joe Taco: 502 15th St. Canyon, TX. The queso is great and if you don’t have time to run to Amarillo, this is your best bet for Mexican food. And they’re open late (by Canyon standards).
  5. Green Chile Willy’s: 13651 I-27, Amarillo, TX. – This little, unknown spot has never served something that didn’t taste like the best thing Grandma ever made. Period.
  6. Firehouse Subs: 1901 S Georgia St, Amarillo, TX. – This one isn’t specifically based in the panhandle but it’s still the best. If you’re from Lubbock, DFW, or some comparable-sized city, you know how addicting these are.
  7. Rain Sushi Amarillo: 817 S Polk St, Amarillo, TX. – In downtown Amarillo, this yummy sushi place is a gem that is worth every single second you drive to get there.
  8. Taste Dessert Bar: 1909 S Georgia St, Amarillo, TX. – Fix your sweet tooth and make it a date!
  9. Palace Coffee: 420 15th St, Canyon, TX. – The only reason that good ole Palace isn’t higher is they really don’t do food. Otherwise, this place is the classic hangout spot and way cheaper than starbucks.
  10. KJ’s Diner: 1202 23rd St, Canyon, TX. – This place is a hidden jewel and the cheapest way to get a great meal in the area. Don’t get too excited and get two pancakes though. They’re bigger than the massive plates and you won’t even finish the first.

Parking: The Common Enemy

Every college student knows that there is only one good thing about 8:00 AM class.

You get parking.

Here are a few tips and tricks to dealing with the parking situation on campus.

  1. Get your parking pass shipped to your house and have it on before you get to campus.

You are going to have a lot going on when you get to campus and the last thing you want to worry about is getting your parking pass put on your windshield (bottom left of your rear windshield, fyi). WTPD doesn’t usually start ticketing until the second week of school, but why worry about it when you can have it done ahead of time? Just go online to the Parking Services website and register.

  1. The Shuttle Bus is your friend.

Parking at the First United Bank Center and then riding the shuttle to your classes is a great tool to keep you from being one of those people who circle the parking lots ten minutes before classes start. There is a bus stop at every building around campus and you can track the shuttle buses here.

  1. Honestly, don’t drive if you don’t have to.

There is no reason to drive if you’re in walking or cycling distance to the school. Fifteen minutes of movement keeps you from stressing about parking and makes everybody else’s life easier. Plus, you can justify not going to the gym if you ride a bike to class.

  1. Parking is easiest to find when classes are getting out.

If you park right when classes finish and people are walking to their cars, life is simpler. 12:15 is primetime to park anywhere on campus. Or 7:30 before the 8:00 classes. Monday/ Wednesday at 9:00 is the most common class on campus so finding parking at that time is next to impossible.

  1. Park responsibly.

Don’t be that guy who took up multiple spots for your tiny car or your big rig truck. People will not like you and the cops will ticket you.

 

Caf Hacks: Getting Creative in the Dinning Hall

One of the biggest pieces of your survival budget goes to food and let’s face it: eating the same stuff over and over gets old. This ends with you spending more money on food rather than just using your meal swipes that you already pay for through your meal plan.

We want your life to get easier, though. To prevent boredom of Caf food, here’s a few tips to help you actually use your meal swipes!

  1. Brunch on the weekends is the best.

Eating brunch on the weekends is the most consistently good food you’ll find. Soak it up while you can.

  1. Go to appetizer night.

The other best food time of the year.

  1. The food is always the best at the beginning of the semester.

This is when all the fresh food is there. Salads are better and so are all the cooked entrees. Don’t use this time on the chicken sandwiches and burgers. You’ll want to save that for later and not be sick of it by the end of the semester when things are running out!

  1. Get creative.

Use toppings from the salad bar and toss it on your chicken patty and a hamburger bun. Bring ziplock bags and bring food back to your dorm room.

 

Dollar Store Dormitory

You are about to graduate from high school. You are getting slammed with mailers from Bed Bath and Beyond and your Facebook advertisements suddenly revolve around IKEA. Despite what these companies want you to believe, The Container Store is not the only way you can keep your necklaces from tangling and your bath products off the countertop.

Here are some great Pinterest plans for an organized, cute, frugal dorm that you can put in that collection of things to do before the big move.

  1. These wire cabinet shelves are great for textbooks, organizing clothes and shoes in your closet, or even storing towels on the shelves of your dorm (gotta use those Founders shelves somehow!). (These are also great for corner spots.)
  2. Why spend $10-$15 at IKEA on a vanity organizer to toss all your makeup into when you could spend $1 on it?
  3. These cute trinket boxes with drawers have endless possibilities.
  4. Vacuum storage bags are the best for big blankets and warm clothes when the West Texas summer sun is keeping you from needing those fluffy winter sweaters.
  5. Everybody has had at least one of these collapsible bins in their dorm at one point. Don’t spend more than $1 on it. (And they have it in brown if grey is not your style.)
  6. Two words: Shower. Caddy.
  7. These over the counter towel bars keep that hand towel off the floor (and you don’t have to wash it as much when it’s not in a pile on the ground!).
  8. You can mount these coat hooks (or jewelry hooks, towel hooks, whatever floats your boat) with these handy dandy, dorm-safe Command Hooks!
  9. Here’s a $1 trash can!
  10. Who doesn’t need a few extra plastic food storage containers for when you don’t quite finish all that Thai Kitchen chicken fried rice? Or some cups for when you need to snag some free soda from a random event in the dorm? (Don’t worry. They’re plastic so they’re much easier to move and keep from breaking.)
  11. These cute wall plaques are a fun way to add some color to those white dorm walls!
  12. Who doesn’t want a fun mirror on the wall? (And these ones have suction cups for your tile walls or your fridge.)
  13. Bet you didn’t know that there is a plethora of fun pillow case options. (And more even more satin pillow cases here!)
  14. Dry erase boards for your walls and for your doors don’t have to be lame black and white.
  15. These mugs make consuming your daily caffeine much more colorful.
  16. Shower organizers are a simple way to snag extra space when they’re hooked onto the back of your door.
  17. Candles and wax warmers are a no-go in the dorms, so flameless candles and air fresheners (such as these scented beads) are your next best options.
  18. You never know what will happen in the dorms so you should probably keep a first aid kit around.
  19. These sheet straps keep your sheets from coming off the corner of your mattress (so you don’t have to remake that lofted bed every night).
  20. You’ll want to make brownies eventually. Be prepared with a brownie pan. Or if cookies are more your style, they have cookie sheets, too.

We hope that these tips have helped you learn how much of a gold mine that dollar stores are. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your dorm to make it convenient and cozy. Plus, you can brag to your friends about how cheap all your cool stuff was over that Whataburger you were able to afford with that extra cash.

 

10 Reasons to Come to Buff Branding

Buff Branding is an extension of New Student Orientation designed by students for students to have a good time, learn more about West Texas A&M University, and welcome them to the Buff family. This three-day event includes campus tours, traditions, a class photo and several fun events to get you acquainted to your new home.

  1. SOOO much free food. Nothing says, “Welcome to college in Canyon, Texas,” better than a cookout and festival! Join your fellow classmates in a fun, interactive event with the community gathering to celebrate you and your choice to attend WT.
  2. Get connected. Meet some of the 100+ organizations on campus and begin making new friends.
  3. Learn about important campus traditions. Ever wonder WHY we have a giant marble buffalo sitting at the middle of campus? Why is there a random rock in the middle of a flower garden and why random people always sit on it? Now you’ll know!
  4. Hit the books early! During Buff Branding, there is a specific time set aside for you to go pick up your books from the WT Bookstore, so set them aside today!
  5. Learn about yourself. With events like the R.I.S.E. lunch, where you learn about the Gallup StrengthsFinder Strengths that you tested for at NSO, and how to utilize them in your studies, relationships and overall college experience.
  6. Serve others. Join your classmates for the Maroon Heart Project, where you will make a huge impact in the WT community by packing meals for the local food bank.
  7. Meet the President. You’re invited to an intimate reception hosted by Dr. Wendler specifically catering to the newest class of buffs.
  8. Join the Herd.
  9. Take a cute pic with 1,000+ of your closest classmates. Who needs selfies when you have drones?
  10. Get branded! Join your new friends in the biggest, most-texan welcoming ceremony you’ll ever see! Celebrate after with a big party, live music and dancing all night long.

We can’t wait to see you at Buff Branding, August 23-25. We promise it will be the biggest and best one yet! Don’t forget to register at https://wtamuuw.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d5SLqnf7VrDNtop.

 

College vs. High School

Sure, high school teachers are constantly preaching about the ways that college will be different than high school, but for the most part, they are just scare tactics designed to make you even more stressed. Not to worry, while college is stressful, it’s totally doable!

  1. Professors are not ‘TEACHERS.’ Yes, they teach, but they are do not hold the same label as your high school teachers. In many cases, they hold more advanced degrees which warrant a more prestigious title, and expect to be addressed as so.
  2. Mutual Respect– In high school, teachers always preach that “ you will respect me, OR ELSE,” which after a while, gets old. In college, no one cares if you go to the restroom in the middle of class, or show up late, just know that it is not always appreciated. You get what you give, in most cases.
  3. No one is going to hold your hand. Professors don’t have to respond to your calls/emails. They are not required to be on campus and accessible for 8 hours a day like high school teachers are. If it’s outside their office hours, you can almost bet that you’re not getting a response. ESPECIALLY if it’s the night before a huge deadline or test.
  4. Everyone is paying to be here. It doesn’t matter whose money is going into the account, every person who is enrolled in college is there because they want to help change the world in some way. Make the money spent worth it.
  5. Your roommates won’t always become your best friend (or your biggest enemy). It’s not like the movies, kids. Depending on your personality, your roommate’s personality, and the living arrangements, you’re likely to just make things work. Don’t feel pressure to be besties, because it won’t alway work out that way. In the end, it’s up to you on how things work out. Just don’t be a jerk.
  6. You don’t have to worry (as much). Sure, it’s stressful and can be overwhelming. There is always something going on and there are plenty distractions and life happens. But, for the most part, it’s awesome.
  7. You truly get to pick who your friends are. It’s a new life! You get to pick your path, and with that, you get to choose who your friends are. Granted, as you grow in your respective fields and pursue more advanced classes related to your major you will likely  be surrounded by a specific group of people, but for the most part, you get to find your tribe, which is a nice change from being in the same classes with the same people for 4+ years like in high school.
  8. There is no algorithm for being a successful student. The “three hours of studying per every hour you’re in class” rule is a JOKE. Every student, in every major is completely different and you have to find what works for you. Sure, it takes trial and error, (sometimes a lot of error), but you ultimately find the best ways to effectively learn.
  9. 8 a.m. classes are NOT the same in college as they were in high school. You may think you can handle an 8 a.m. You may think you can handle a 9 a.m. But the truth is, you can’t even make it to an 11 a.m. on time, most days. Play it safe, and take it easy on yourself. This is college.
  10. People don’t actually have their lives put together. We all knew what we wanted to do in high school, but in reality, college switches things up. College is a time of new discoveries and new adventures of what you want to do. If it doesn’t change, great. If it does, join the club.

 

Discounts With Student Emails

Discounts with student emails–

College is expensive, no matter who is paying for it. But that doesn’t mean you have to live the #brokecollegekid life! We have compiled a list of companies that offer student discounts on things that you already use, all you need is a valid student email address.

For the books

Amazon Prime Student

Student offer: Free 6-month trial, $6.49

Billing Type: Monthly

Test the waters with a free 6-month trial and receive perks like free two-day shipping, unlimited TV and movie streaming, and top deals on electronics, school supplies and more.

Stay fresh

Urban Outfitters

Student offer: 10% off

Aerie

Student offer: 20% off

Athleisure

Adidas

Student offer: 15% off

Under Armour

Student Offer: Extra 10% off

New Balance

Student Offer:10% off

Reebok

Student Offer: 20%

Music MAJOR!

Apple Music

Student Offer: $4.99 (plus tax)

Billing type: Monthly

Spotify

Student offer: $4.99

Billing Type: Monthly

If you’re not an Apple person, this is the deal for you. Discount for premium, they also offer a Hulu membership just for signing up. Plus, there’s no commitment, you can cancel anytime.

For the Artists and creators,

Adobe Creative Suites

Student Offer: $20.00 (plus tax)

Billing type: Monthly

Stock Up

Sam’s Club

Student Offer: Discounted membership rates, savings on college essentials.

Billing type: Monthly

Save even more money by buying necessities in bulk, just don’t forget how much space you have in the mini fridge.

Adventurers

Uber

Student Offer: $15 off your first ride

Billing type: One time offer

Enjoy $15 off when you sign up for uber online.

To book a flight for a quick weekend home or a Spring Break getaway, visit studentuniverse.com. Put in your destination and it will search for the lowest prices.

Curious if your favorite brand will you offer deals just for being a college student? Check out Unidays for more offers!

 

What Your Tour Guides Didn’t Tell You

What tour guides won’t tell you–

Disclaimer: Due to the variety of educational experiences and diverse backgrounds and situations, everyone’s college experiences are going to be different. There is no “right way” to do things, and even if you think you have it figured out, there will be times where you have no idea what to do, where to start, or what is going on.

AND IT’S OKAY.

You do not need to come to campus expecting to have it all figured out. College is about getting an education, but that education is not limited to the classrooms or labs. Some days, your greatest lessons will happen on the floor in your dorm room, or at 4 a.m. in a booth at a Whataburger.

Keep the faith. There is something about being in a new place in a completely new and exciting time in your life that makes you feel like you can do anything. Hold onto that. Sure, there will be times that are hard, and messy and you may want to quit. Don’t.

That’s where Buff Branding comes in. As a continuation of New Student Orientation, Buff Branding is an experience designed to acquaint you with campus, your peers and the community. Making the effort to show up and learn about your new world will open you up to learning about yourself while meeting people who are in the same place as you in their lives. (And let’s be honest, the free food and t-shirts- amirite?)

You chose to go to college because you want to better yourself and make a difference in the world. Let us welcome you to the family properly. We want you to succeed and have a great time while you’re here. All you have to do is show up.

See you August 23-25. We can’t wait to meet you!

 

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