Social networking sites impact lives of students

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Joining various groups on Facebook can be beneficial to staying in the loop as a college student. Information, ranging from lesser-known events to where to find free things, can be found with a simple refresh of one’s newsfeed. (Photo illustration)

Photo Credit: Jorge Corona | Daily Texan Staff

With Facebook becoming a near-necessity in the lives of many college students, there’s no denying that social networking has transformed the way students keep informed about the lives of their friends, family and the events. Looking to stay up-to-date on what Austin has to offer? Here’s a quick look at some of the more interesting groups and pages relevant to student life at UT:

 

Money-Saving Resources:

Free at UT
With a tagline like “whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch has never been to the West Mall,” Free at UT certainly provides a great deal of promise in helping incoming students save up on their Bevo Bucks. Free at UT routinely supplies information on cost-free events going on around campus and the surrounding area, with a focus on food, music and the occasional interesting lecture. As an “open source platform,” many of the tips posted are provided by UT students via Twitter.

Free Fun in Austin
Love free stuff but wanting to branch out a bit from what the 40 Acres has to offer? While in the same vein as Free at UT, these two pages focus primarily on activities and events occurring around Austin as a whole as opposed to exclusively the UT area.

The University Co-op
Many students only visit the Co-op at the start of each semester, but the popular textbook store’s Facebook page regularly updates with the store’s current deals, new merchandise, contests and giveaways that may motivate students to stop by a few times more than for their routine book pickups.

Amazon Student
With benefits such as a free one-year trial of Amazon Prime to students with a .edu email, it’s hard to not want to keep an eye out on the deals and giveaways posted on its quickly growing official Facebook page.

Campus Life:

The University of Texas at Austin
As the “main” UT Facebook resource, this page provides general information about the University and a broad scale of news surrounding it.

Individual College Pages
Each individual college at the University of Texas has its own page on Facebook, many of which often post college-specific events and informational updates — such as special lectures, relevant research, internships and advice tailored to each school’s particular interests.

UT Housing and Food
Regardless of whether or not you live in the dorms, UT’s housing and food page is a great way to keep updated about where, when and what to eat on campus. It provides regular updates on housing-related activities and the occasional tip on where to get free snacks, which is always a plus for college students who are low on cash.

University of Texas at Austin Police Department
With updates linking to the daily crime reports and general safety tips, UT Police Department’s Facebook page is a great way for students to keep informed about keeping safe on-campus, with witty commentary and often dry, self-aware sarcasm present in the stranger incidents reported in Campus Watch.

The Albino Squirrel
Any sighting of this mysterious white-furred squirrel is said to bring you good luck on your tests, especially towards the end of the semester. While the squirrel’s fan page doesn’t provide any particular hints to its ever-mysterious whereabouts, it does provide occasional observations and personal insight into the current happenings of the campus.

PCL and the UT Libraries
The UT Libraries Facebook page provides many useful tips for studying and taking full advantage of the many resources the campus libraries have to offer outside of late-night study sessions. Included are updates on lesser-known study areas, tips from the undergraduate writing center and research pertaining to current events and campus life.

Entertainment:

University Unions Student Events Center, UT Austin
While many students associate the Texas Union with its many fast food options and Frappuccinos to grab between classes, it is also one of the most central stops at UT for campus events. SEC is the biggest event-planning organization on campus and frequently updates with events, movie showings and general activities.

365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas
Many freshmen make the mistake of thinking that the world ends at Guadalupe Street, but 365 Things To Do posts many suggestions to correct this all-too-common misconception, all provided by an Austinite with half a decade’s experience of venturing the city.

Austin Independent Music / Austin City Limits
With Austin being named the Live Music Capital of the country 20 years in a row, not taking advantage of Austin’s many music venues would be missing out on quite a bit of what the city has to offer. As the title suggests, Austin Independent Music’s Facebook page focuses specifically on recent discoveries of Austin’s up-and-coming independent bands and shows. If you’re looking for news on the more mainstream festival of our city, the official Austin City Limits Music Festival page is never a bad way to go.

Austin Art List
Austin Art List is a primarily user-run page in which anyone is welcome to post listings of upcoming art events, including (but not limited to): general arts, culinary arts, film, literature, poetry and performing arts.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
The Alamo Drafthouse keeps Austin weird while continuously proving to be one of the best theaters in the city. Its Facebook page updates with upcoming events, contests and general news surrounding the popular Austin-based dine-in cinema.

Printed on September 1, 2011 as: So Much to 'Like'