With over 30,000 students crowding the UTSA campus, where can a Roadrunner run to escape the headaches of academic life? Of course, you can nuzzle a cup of Joe at the University Center Starbucks, but beware long lines in the morning and lunchtime. Or you can hit the Einstein Bros. inside the Bioscience and Engineering Building to cram some carbs. You can sneak in a mental vacation at the Sombrilla, home of the tranquil John Peace Library, or put yourself through an endorphin-releasing workout at the UTSA Rec Center.

But to experience the independence that is expected to complement a full college life, every student needs to find their place in the off-campus world. Need a post-exam cold one? If you’re of drinking age, The Roadrunner Cantina is within walking distance of campus. If you’re underage, though, nearby Karma Hookah Lounge is a chill alternative, with $7.99 hookah happy hour from 6pm-9pm.

Another off-campus treasure is Chela’s Tacos, a red taco truck you’ll find near the intersection of UTSA Blvd and Utex Blvd. For all you iPhone users, Chela’s app (chelas-tacos.com/contactus.html) lets you order up ahead of time. But that’s all still sort of campus-plus territory. Venture beyond with a visit to local music landmark Hills and Dales (15403 White Fawn Dr), which dubs itself the “center of the universe” and fills an adventurous study break with country music, pool tables, and dartboards.

The area surrounding UTSA holds hidden cheapie treasures for intrepid college students who find themselves restless, close to broke, and still yearning for stimulation. Santikos has a buy-one-get-one-free deal that you set up via text message. Simply send a text to 2FOR1 and you will begin receiving all kinds of two-for-one deals that include admission and snacks.

For the active at heart and light of wallet, there is University Bowl and the Alamo Golf Club. Both businesses have special discounts specifically for college students. University Bowl offers discounts Sundays through Thursdays for games and shoes alike, not to mention free WiFi for those who must squeeze in some study time. Their website also has printable two-for-one coupons for lanes and free popcorn.

At Alamo Golf Club, they take care of the college folk by offering 50-percent off their green fee — just print the coupon from their website. Ladies receive 50-percent off every week just for being a lady, and, if it’s your birthday, you automatically get a free bucket of balls too. •

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